With all the useful staff for designers and developers, it’s easy to get lost in the ocean of articles and reviews. From this week on, we will post a brief weekly digest to share the set of fresh handy links we liked. The links are supported with short excerpts to let you know what the posts are about.

Site Search Suggestions by Kate Meyer, Nielsen Norman Group

“Useful search suggestions lead to relevant results and are visually distinct from the query text. If appropriate, they include scope, thumbnails, or categories.”

Developing a Design Environment by Jules Forrest

“Design environment: the set of processes and design tools used to design the program or software product.”

7 Insane Features from Top Chinese Apps, and what they tell us about the human condition by Kendra Schaefer

Trendy review of the widely-used Chinese apps spiced with humour and packed with screenshots. Check wild features and join the discussion in comments.

How My Son’s Condition Made Me Rethink UX by Adam Wolf

“Users need to set up technology, and that can be a barrier. Many systems require something other than voice activation to get up and running. Additionally, the user may need to provide information about the existing Wi-Fi environment in the physical location where the tools will be used. Solving these problems is a major challenge for NLP developers.”

UX Writing: The Case for User-Centric Language by Alana Schroeder

“Here are some tools you can use to test language in your products:

  • Create a survey to discover your users’ natural terminology;
  • Cross-reference existing terminology on labels, links, and page names against search volume data (see above);
  • Run a card sort or (even better) a tree test to ensure both the labeling and organization of your content matches your users’ mental models of your content; and
  • Even run an A/B test to see which words convert better.”

Mobile UX Design: List View and Grid View by Nick Babich

“Ultimately the decision to use list view versus grid view should be aligned with what is most valuable to your users. Remember, User Experience is about humans, not about patterns. It’s easy enough to find out what’s best for your users and their tasks: mock up the leading flows, and test them with a handful of users. The view that allows users to work more efficient is the winner.”

7 Rules of Using Radio Buttons vs Drop-Down Menus by Saadia Minhas

“There are certain items that make a form usable including input controls, input validation, error handling and user feedback.”

Understanding Speech Recognition to Design Better Voice Interfaces by Kore

“When designing a good voice user interface, it is always advantageous to know how the technology works. Knowing what goes on behind the scenes enables you to make design decisions that take into account the current limitations and advantages of the technology.”

Why You Shouldn’t Use Bright, Saturated Colors for Backgrounds by UX Movement

“If you’re using a bright and saturated color for your background, you’re making it hard for users to keep their eyes on your page. Bright, saturated colors attract the most user attention. Too much of it in a large area overstimulates the retinas which can strain the eyes.”

Good Questions, Bad Asks: The UX Of Questions In User Onboarding by Yohann Kunders

“This isn’t a post about how to ask better questions. It’s a post about how to ask questions better.”

Getting Started With CSS Layout by Rachel Andrew

“This guide is for you if you are fairly new to CSS and wondering what the best way to approach layout is, but also if you are an experienced developer from elsewhere in the stack who wants to make sure your understanding of layout today is up to date.”

9 Free Open Source Flipping Clocks Using CSS and JavaScript by Jake Rocheleau

“This gallery features 9 totally free flipping clock designs with a variety of styles and coding techniques. Whether you want to build something like this for practice or add a working clock onto your page, these snippets are sure to help.”

Reddit Co-founder Tells TNW about the Sneaky Design Trick it Decided to Abandon by Bryan Clark

“How do you redesign a site with 350 million monthly active users, 300 million comments a day, and a user base known to get a little rowdy when things go wrong? This is exactly the sort of challenge Reddit’s CTO and Co-Founder Chris Slowe has been tackling over the past year.”

Elevation in Material Design by Material.io

“Elevation in Material Design is measured as the distance between Material surfaces. The distance from the front of one Material surface to the front of another is measured along the z-axis in density-independent pixels (dps) and depicted (by default) using shadows.”

The Biggest WTF in Design Right Now by Alexander Handley

“In this article we’ll go through the big WTF in design: “What’s the flow!”. Answering what user flows are, the fundamentals of user flows, and then we’ll finish with a few examples.

  • WTF are user flows?
  • WTF am I looking at?
  • The fundamentals of user flows
  • Putting it all together with examples.”

Bonus: How to Recolor Icons – Video Tutorial

In this video our designer Margarita will show you how to recolor icons. You can use our icons in PNG for free for a link. The most popular icons are free even in vector formats.

Title illustration by Ted Kulakevich

Check our fresh case study on design and development of photo stock websites and ideas on Airbnb app redesign for user goals