20 Websites to Help You Master User Interface Design

Oct 15 2008 by Jacob Gube | 56 Comments

As web technologies progress, websites and web applications are becoming more responsive, providing us with more ways and techniques to interact with the users. Form, more than ever, has been superseded by function.

The following websites deal with interface design, user experience, user-centered design, usability, and everything in between – all with the goal of enhancing the user’s interface.

1. Boxes and Arrows

Boxes and Arrows - screen shot.

Boxes and Arrows is a peer-written journal and a premier source for information on interaction design, usability, and information design. You’ll find articles on designing a usable online email application to storyboarding rich internet applications.

2. UX Magazine

UX Magazine - screen shot.

UX Magazine deals in the topic of user experience. You can expect to read articles on topics such as designing in layers and design tips for programmers.

3. UXmatters

UXmatters - screen shot.

UXmatters is a non-profit web magazine devoted to sharing information on effective user experience techniques and becoming a leading resource for User Interface (UX) professionals. Some of the topics in UXmatters include usability, user-centered design, web 2.0 applications, and more. You can read articles that talk about how rich internet applications help users and the usability of search forms.

4. A List Apart: User Science

A List Apart: User Science - screen shot.

A List Apart – the leading resource on standards-based design and development articles – has a User Science topic that covers various parts of designing the user’s interface. The User Science topic is further sub-divided into three categories: Accessibility, Information Architecture, and  Usability.

5. Usability Post

Usability Post - screen shot.

Usability Post is a blog about design usability. A couple of blog posts you’ll find share tips on using white space to improve User Interface and using Photoshop color profiles for web images.

6. Usability Counts

Usability Counts - screen shot.

Usability Counts is a blog by Patrick Neeman and Ha Phan, consultants on User Experience. You can expect posts that talk about the form design of airline sites and musings on why usability counts.

7. Usable Web

Usable Web - screen shot.

Usable Web is a collection of links about User Interface design topics as it pertains to the web. Although it’s no longer updated and many of the articles are outdated, you’ll still find timeless resources and articles on the site.

8. User Interface Engineering

User Interface Engineering - screen shot.

User Interface Engineering is the research, training and consulting firm that holds the annual User Interface Conference. The Articles section of their website hosts plenty of articles on the topic of User Interface design. Some topics covered are usability challenges of designing web apps and design mistakes with account sign-in that designers should avoid.

9. Functioning Form

Functioning Form - screen shot.

Functioning Form is an interaction design blog by internationally-recognized web professional and author Luke Wroblewski. Some posts you’ll find in Functioning Form include "Web Form Design: British Airways" and "Sign-Up Form Patterns".

10. useit.com

useit.com - screen shot.

useit.com is the website of Jakob Nielsen, a leading expert on usability. Check out the Alertbox section, a bi-weekly column about current issues on usability. 

11. InfoDesign

InfoDesign - screen shot.

InfoDesign is a website that covers the topic of information design. Some categories on InfoDesign include Accessibility, Usability, and User Experience.

12. Designing Interfaces

Designing Interfaces - screen shot.

Designing Interfaces is an online book constructed using excerpts from O’Reilly’s
Designing Interfaces: Patterns for Effective Interaction Design.

13. Usability.gov

Usability.gov - screen shot.

Usability.gov is the primary government source for usability and user-centered design by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. You can read about the basics of usability and usability methods on the site.

14. Usability First

Usability First - screen shot.

Usability First seeks to provide valuable information on usability as it pertains to websites and applications. Usability First has several sections including Website Design, Usability ROI (Return of Investment), and Accessibility.

15. Design with Intent

Design with Intent - screen shot.

Design with Intent is a blog by Dan Lockton that talks about the topic of understanding user interaction and influencing it.

16. Pattern Tap

Pattern Tap - screen shot.

There’s no better way to learn how to design effective user interfaces than to see how other designers do it. Pattern Tap is a showcase of popular interface design for inspiration. You’ll find collections of Forms, Login, Subnavigation, Buttons, among other design patterns.

17. Welie.com

Welie.com - screen shot.

Welie.com’s Interaction Design Pattern Library shares design patterns in interaction design. You can find design patterns such as Breadcrumbs, Tabs, and Comment Box as part of the library.

18. UI-patterns

UI-patterns - screen shot.

UI-patterns is another top-notch User Interface library that collects and showcases reoccurring design patterns such as Captchas, Account Registrations, and Navigation Tabs.

19. UI Pattern Factory

UI Pattern Factory - screen shot.

UI Pattern Factory is both a UI pattern library and a UI gallery. It showcases and discusses patterns such as Stacked Tabs, Carousels, and Edit-In-Place.

20. Yahoo! Design Pattern Library

Yahoo! Design Pattern Library - screen shot.

The Yahoo! Developer Network has a growing design pattern library called Yahoo! Design Pattern Library that showcases common design patterns in User Interface design. Some patterns discussed in the library include Module Tabs, Drag and Drop, and Ratings and Reviews.

Missed your favorite?

Didn’t find your favorite site on the list? Share it with us along with  your thoughts on why it’s a great resource in the comments!

Related Posts

56 Comments

Dave

October 15th, 2008

UX Magazine is essentially a stale site. It shouldn’t be on this list.

Dmitry

October 15th, 2008

Great list Jacob, and thanks for the mention :)

liam

October 15th, 2008

A great post, looking forward to going through these. I’m so glad you included Usability Post as it’s one of my favourite blogs around.

Bootstrike

October 15th, 2008

useit.com should be No.1

Nicole

October 16th, 2008

Excellent list! I’m excited to see that you have compiled such a great collection of sites here. Usability is such a major key to a successful website.

Kevin Elliott

October 16th, 2008

Now I just need an app that lets me bookmark all these new sites and helps me keep track of which ones I’ve completely read (or if there’s new content) and let me keep notes about what I’ve learned. Any ideas?

kumailht

October 16th, 2008

Hi, This is a great list. I have been very interested in usability and UI design lately and I hope these help.

Kumail.H.T
http://www.kumailht.com/blog

Davide

October 16th, 2008

Great List!!!

Devin

October 16th, 2008

This is great. Thanks for the pattern sites. I’m designing the UI to a flex app. I realized early on that I don’t have any font limitation, being flash. Strolling through these examples really does help.

jenaelee

October 16th, 2008

Thanks for posting all of these in one place! I took a UI/ interaction design course not too long ago, and I certainly recognize most of these websites. Very useful, and especially important in not only knowing, but also in getting involved with this “movement” so to speak, for people seem to become very passionate about it.

Patrick Neeman

October 16th, 2008

I don’t know about those Usability Counts guys — they seem like blowhards. ;)

Rahul

October 16th, 2008

Just awesome resource compilation. I’ve got this bookmarked. Thanks.

Jacob Gube

October 16th, 2008

@Kevin Elliott: I personally like delicious. If you get the del.icio.us buttons, it makes the service much more convenient.

You can add notes to your bookmarks, tag them (for organization), and you can have access to them anywhere as long as you have an internet connection.

matthew smith

October 16th, 2008

Glad to see Pattern Tap make such a strong list! We hope to keep improving and continue to be a better resource for UI folks all around. Suggestions can be thrown at getsatisfaction.com/patterntap

Thanks!

GeorgeO

October 16th, 2008

Why is it that 3/4 of the sites listed appeared like they could use an interface remake?

Todd

October 16th, 2008

I think he was being sarcastic Jacob ;)

Mike

October 16th, 2008

My favorite blog on UI/UX is bokardo.com. Joshua Porter wrote a book on the topic and his blog always has great insight into user issues.

Dmitry

October 16th, 2008

Kevin: Have you tried Google Reader? http://www.google.com/reader

Designer

October 16th, 2008

that’s a very nice list…… thanks for this.

Patrick Algrim

October 16th, 2008

Pretty good list, I like InfoDesign the best, especially since our Web site is mainly about Information Architecture and user experience inside of those applied-sciences. Great list, glad people are getting the move on UI, UX, and iA!

Dainis Graveris

October 16th, 2008

Excellent list, mate! Glad visiting and getting so good content :)

Janko

October 16th, 2008

Awesome list, some of the sites are new to me!

Alf

October 16th, 2008

You know what else all these sites have in common?

Horrible user interfaces.

No wonder the web is so screwed up — everyone’s following the “lead” of idiots. Example: almost every page on the Internet HIDES the “Logout” button. You call that USABLE? Ha!

DON’T BE SHEEP!

Gerard McGarry

October 16th, 2008

While I have fond memories of A List Apart, I have to admit to marking it read automatically in my feed reader these days. ALA used to make you walk away scratching your head and thinking hard about web design.

These days any scratching of heads is triggered by confusion at the fluffy concepts and dull, theoretical writing. In essence, I get no value from ALA anymore – they need to go back to grassroots.

Dmitry

October 16th, 2008

It’s a shame we can’t see your great website Alf, you should have left a link :)

liam

October 16th, 2008

@ Alf – You sir are a fool.

kuyuri

October 16th, 2008

this one’s a nice topic. keep em coming man. thanks for your tips.

Lalit

October 18th, 2008

Hi !
Thanks for this brillient post.Though,I am software Developer by profession,I used to keep track of useit and UXMatters.

oh,Lord! Everybody could understand that from making UI to UE is so much work and worth journey…

God Bless you!

Darren Taylor

October 20th, 2008

Gerard, I agree with your point about ALA 100%, I find these days it’s more theoretical rather than real hands on stuff that used to wow its readers.
Of the links above UX Magazine grabbed my attention but what an awful, inaccessible homepage design. I almost immediately closed my browser window, what’s that say about my user experience?!

insic

October 21st, 2008

very useful article.

rruli

October 21st, 2008

Function and Design must be balanced to create a convenient experience for the user. For example check out http://www.adriaticwebdesign.com/ it seems to have nice design and does not get to complicated

Preston

October 22nd, 2008

Hi this is a great list. Many of these I’ve known about and some of them are new. THe list overall is pretty good. I’ve read and met Luke W at a few conferences. He is very smart. His book on forms is a must read.

Of the ones I have not looked at I’ve added them to my RSS read. I also have a UI design site that covers various topics..

Cheers

http://www.uidesignguide.com

David Hamill

October 23rd, 2008

This is a good list. I agree with the point about UX Magazine. As for useit being first, I guess that’s just personal preference.

Dan Lockton

October 23rd, 2008

Many thanks Jacob for including Design with Intent in the list – some great company to be listed alongside! I hope over time to include a lot more about specific interface design on the site.

James

October 27th, 2008

Just bookmarked a couple of these that I hadn’t heard of before… thanks! :)

Tom Coombs

October 29th, 2008

Great list thank you.
I agree that UX Matters is not the best looking site, but it does contain some great content, so don’t hit that browser close too fast @Darren Taylor.

Tom Coombs

October 29th, 2008

Sorry, I misread the comments. My comment remains a vote for UX Matters.

Erok

October 30th, 2008

Thanks for the list Jagub.

Sorin Stefan

December 4th, 2008

Great selection. I needed that. Thanks

patembe

December 27th, 2008

wew, thanks for reference!

ZAIDIMAI

March 1st, 2009

Yes useit.com is the best here
thank you for the post

AJ

May 26th, 2009

Adaptive Path’s site is quite a trove of UX goodness as well. Their co-founder Jesse James Garrett’s site has many useful tools here: http://www.jjg.net/ia/

Jaspal Singh

June 22nd, 2009

Thanks for sharing this excellent list of resource sites.

Morteza

September 19th, 2009

Thank you for sharing this excellent list. This is exactly what I was searching for.

Goutam

January 1st, 2010

Gre8 list. Thanks.

name

May 4th, 2010

So where it to find?,

arooapm

September 4th, 2010

great information on user interface design..thank you

FromDev

January 19th, 2011

Thanks for sharing, I just subscribed to few of them.

Himanshu

April 11th, 2011

This is one nice list and i have gone through most of the websites. Since i am a fresh graduate of Computer Sciences so can anyone please tell me where to begin for a good career in UI and what languages and software packages to learn. I think i have the creativity which is first requirement of the UI designing so please suggest me something…..
And yeah thanks again for the great post

thedigdesign

May 31st, 2011

GREAT list of UI friendly sites. UXer need to follow this link and will get idea about good UX.

VishwanathAU

July 6th, 2011

2 months ago I had been to this place, I really didn’t find it is great list even though I am working for a Usability group. BUT last month I underwent a traing on usability by Atul Joshi – Design Incubator,… NOW I am really understanding how important this list in a usability performer !! great, thanks for the wonderful list.

jasimmk

September 1st, 2011

I have found out one other site too.. http://uicart.com it has many listing of User Interfaces

Milind Soman

September 14th, 2011

http://www.uxbooth.com/ is also a nice collection of UX resources.

satya

September 18th, 2011

Nice collection of UI design.

hemant

November 4th, 2011

thanks for giving me so much knowledge .

Kumar Gaurav

June 7th, 2013

Thanks for these precious links.

Leave a Comment

Subscribe to the comments on this article.