Jodie Locklear

8 Apps To Keep You In The Know While Learning UX!

With literally thousands of apps on the market we find ourselves in a sea of choices. From apps to entertain, shop, or keep in touch with friends and family – as they say: “there’s an app for that”.

A couple of months ago I set out to find apps to help me learn UX, connect to the UX community, inspire, and keep up-to-date. A few have gone by way of the virtual trashcan, but I’ve come to love 8 apps that I use pretty much on a daily basis. Best of all – most of them are free! Here they are in no particular order:

UX Daily

In a market place of hundreds of thousands of apps, I found it surprising that there are very few that are UX specific. UX Daily, by German marketing/design agency Kuehlhaus AG, is the only UX specific app that makes my list. It’s a one-stop shop for staying up to date with the following feeds:

Konigi – News, resources, and tools for interface designers.

IA TV – Information Architecture Television.

Inspire UX – Catriona Cornett’s UX blog.

Wireframes & Usability – Prototyping in Pidoco blog.

Adaptive Path – Adaptive Path’s Blog.

UX Booth – User experience and usability blog.

UXmatters – Insights and inspirations from the UX community.

Nick Finch – Blog

The Hot Strudel – German UX blog.

Wireframes Magazine – Wireframes blog.

Why I love it – It puts 10 of the top UX blogs at your fingertips in one convenient place. Although I can’t read the one in German, so make that 9 for me!
Market – iOS & Android
Cost – free

Flipboard

Rightfully named one of the Top 50 Innovations by Time Magazine, Flipboard allows you to create your own magazine based on the topics that interest you most. You can integrate your favorite social feeds like Twitter and Facebook, but there is also a VAST collection of blogs, magazines, and feeds related to everything from design, technology, art, and TOO many more topics to mention – all waiting to be customized into your own personal magazine.

Why I love it – Its “flip style” interface is simple, intuitive, fun, and beautiful. It connects you to so many awesome sources of information – you feel smarter every time you use it.
Market – iOS. They are currently working on an Android version.
Cost – free

Flud News

If Flipboard and Facebook got together and had a baby, Flud News is what you would get. It’s similar to Flipboard, in that you choose the topics that interest you most, but like Pinterest and Facebook, it has a social side that allows you to share your favorite news with friends.

Why I love it – Like Flipboard, its interface is simple, clean, and intuitive. It allows you to stay connected to all your favorite sources of news and information. It’s a great Flipboard alternative for those who need an Android option.
Market – iOS & Android
Cost – free

Twitter

While Twitter may be best known for keeping up with popular culture, I have also discovered it has a huge UX community. I always find a just tweeted UX article of interest to read.  I’ve found UX experts to follow as well as a few people that are new and learning UX like me. In addition, it’s been great for tweeting my own new posts and referring readers back to my blog.

Why I love it – The list-like quality of tweets and the ability to quickly scan them for titles that catch my eye.
Market – iOS & Android
Cost – free

Evernote

Got a list of UX books you want to read? Need a place to jot down all those great blog ideas? Tired of searching through page after page of your pictures to find that one that reminds you of that cool thing you wanted to remember?

Keep track of all that and more in Evernote. Record notes, add pictures, and keep track of as many lists as you want. Add tags and categorize your notes to easily find what you are looking for later. It also has a synching feature, so notes created on your computer are available on your phone, tablet, and vice versa.

Why I love it – It’s easy and all my lists are now in one place. No more little sticky notes left everywhere or little pieces of paper that get lost in your wallet or purse.
Market – iOS & Android
Cost – free

 

iStudiez Pro

This is an app created for students to keep track of their classes, schedules, and assignments. While I am not in college, or what you would consider a typical student, I’m starting a HCI class online this week and doing some ongoing self-directed independent study.  This app is both a calendar and planner. It allows you to structure your time, manage assignments that need to be completed, and set reminders. It automatically syncs to iCal so whether I’m on my laptop or iPhone I have access to my assignments and deadlines.

Why I love it – It allows me to keep track of everything I’m learning in one place and because it syncs with iCal – reminders are on my phone and computer.
Market – iOS
Cost – $2.99

 

WordPress.com

I’m a new blogger and although I don’t have experience using any other blogging platforms, I think WordPress.com has to be among the best. The WordPress.com app makes it easy to add a new post or review your blog stats on the go. However, what I find myself using it for the most is reading and staying current with the UX community. The WordPress.com Reader feature allows you to search, find WordPress.com blogs by keyword, and create your own categories to reference later.

Why I love it – The Reader feature makes me feel like I have my own little blog library with me at all times.
Market – iOS & Android
Cost – free

 

Pocket

Formerly Read it Later, Pocket has been coined the “DVR for the web”. Pocket allows you to save websites, articles, videos, and virtually anything you find online to access and read later. It’s integrated into 300 plus applications like Twitter, and Flipboard. It’s accessible on various platforms like your computer, phone, and tablet. Saving something to view later is as easy as putting it in your pocket. Not much else to say about this app other than get it, it will quickly become your best friend.

Why I love it – Simple to read, the interface is pleasing to the eyes, and saved articles can read online or OFF!
Market – iOS & Android
Cost – free

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This entry was published on May 26, 2012 at 7:31 pm. It’s filed under UX Transition Mission and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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