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.

Help! We (Think We) Need to Hire a Content Strategist

Managers beginning active searches for content specialists frequently have little understanding of what their companies need beyond a title, cautions Jennifer Bassett. Hiring managers at agencies, brands, and startups would do well to hire based on the type of work they want to focus on. And if they’re not sure what type of work that is, talking with a real live content strategist is an excellent place to start.

Resurrecting Dead Personas

You spent a lot of time and money putting a human face on your market research. You created a dream-user and pledged to design with this persona in mind. But something happened. Now, your user persona is dying a lingering death. Meg Dickey-Kurdziolek explains that user personas—those darlings of user-centered design—require care and feeding to remain vital, and valid.

Help One of Our Own: Carolyn Wood

Selfless editor and colleague Carolyn Wood has run into a medical emergency and needs the community’s help. Over the years, she has given us immense gifts without ever asking for anything in return. Let’s pull together and give back.