Your Emails (and Recipients) Deserve Better Context

Like the headlights of an oncoming train, the sender name and address, subject, and preheader are typically all that’s initially visible whenever our company or app reaches out to connect with users via email. With huge impact on engagement, open rates, and user satisfaction, these are nimble context elements that punch well above their weight, yet rarely get the attention they deserve. As Garrett Dimon points out in this exploration of best practice, that’s a shame, because they, your users, your app, and your company deserve better.

So You Want to Write an Article?

Ready to write a professional article? Make sure your submission is the best it can be! ALA editor Brandon Gregory gives some advice on common pitfalls the editorial team sees in article submissions, including advice for picking your topic, writing intros, and adding authority to your ideas.

We’re Looking for People Who Love to Write

Publishing on A List Apart isn’t as easy-peasy as dashing off a post on your blog, but the results—and the audience—are worth it. And when you write for A List Apart, you never write alone: our industry-leading editors, technical editors, and copy editors are ready to help you polish your best idea from good to great. Come share with us!

No More FAQs: Create Purposeful Information for a More Effective User Experience

Putting the right information in the right place to best support user (and company) goals requires carefully targeted content and good information architecture (IA) … and definitely no FAQs! However attractive the FAQ “solution” might seem at times, using it makes information hard to find, access and maintain, and generally hinders task completion. Discussing the limitations of—and alternatives to—FAQs, Lisa Wright is on a mission to banish them forever, or at the very least make them more effective if you have to include them.

How the Sausage Gets Made: The Hidden Work of Content

Making great content is the messy part of our design and development process that we often overlook and underestimate. Through an Emmy award-winning experience, Caroline Roberts shares helpful tools and tips to help you get the whole team on board, improve your process, and make the best content sausage you possibly can.

New A List Apart wants you!

As A List Apart approaches its 20th anniversary—a milestone in independent, web-based publishing—we’re once again reimagining the magazine. We want your feedback. And most of all, we want you. We’re getting rid of advertisers and digging back to our roots: community-based, community-built, and determinedly non-commercial. Find out how you can help!

Gaming the System…and Winning

Go ahead. Game it up. Set that corporate website abuzz with rewards and badges and magic codes. Just don’t be surprised, says user interface specialist Graham Herrli, when the site’s primary users balk at your efforts. Before incorporating cool, hip game elements, he says, it’s important to know your target. Who are they? What are their time constraints? What motivates them?

Awaken the Champion A/B Tester Within

Athletes capture and analyze data to optimize their performance. A/B testing can produce winners the same way: with data that goes beyond best guesses via behavioral analysis to extract deeper insights.