After bringing you the first instalment of our summer reading list last week, we’re back today for more. Rounding out our summer reading list are blogs and web magazines from some of the biggest players and most engaging voices in the fields of web design, user experience, communication, marketing, and web development.
Top tip: these sites are best enjoyed in the sunshine, by a pool, or on a beach towel. If you need an offline reader for your phone or tablet, we recommend Instapaper, Safari Reading List or Pocket.
1. A List Apart
Launched almost 20 years ago as a mailing list (and as a website in 1998), A List Apart
has some serious chops. The web magazine bills itself as a source “for people who make websites”, and it stays true to that M.O.
Expect smart, fresh, and well-written articles that focus on the design, development, and best practices of web content and design, as well as some more philosophical articles about the meaning of web content. The writing on A List Apart is charismatic and sharp, and it reads like your favourite magazine.
2. NN Group
Nielson Norman Group’s website
offers up a huge collection of UX-related articles in one place. NN Group has been at the forefront of the UX field for nearly 20 years, and it shows. The articles on the site are thorough, insightful, well researched, and evidence-based. Best of all, they’re really, really smart.
If you love UX with all your heart, or if you need a serious crash course on the ins-and-outs of UX design, this site is the one for you.
3. Specky Boy
is a web magazine that showcases anything and everything related to cool design. If you’re after anything design-related, chances are Specky Boy is covering it: they’ve got articles, tutorials, and tips on everything from UX design, to graphic design, to mobile app design. The site is a great resource for staying up-to-date on the latest design trends and web technology, but they’ve also got some fun general interest reads to distract you (which is what summer is for, after all).
4. Anansi (the Bowen Craggs Blog)
Brought to you by the “online effectiveness experts” at Bowen Craggs, this blog
focuses on delivering up-to-date insights into the world of online communications. Their content includes tips and commentaries that touch on the best (and worst) communications practices from around the web. And with topics ranging from analyses of Apple’s messaging, to defending its encryption policies, to opinion pieces about why Americans make good online citizens, there’s something for everyone whose after some intelligent poolside reading.
5. Smashing Magazine
An online magazine for designers and developers, Smashing Magazine’s posts
cover topics like design, mobile development, graphics, coding, UX design, and WordPress. The site is great for staying in-the-know about design and web development, and the site's writers offer up smart takes on recent news and developments in design.
If you’re a designer or developer looking for some inspiration, it’s worth trawling through their huge archives as well – you’re guaranteed to find something to whet your appetite, and you definitely won’t run out of reading material.
6. User Interface Engineering
, User Interface Engineering’s blog, offers up a great collection of posts about UX design. The articles here are frank and honest, and the content is incredibly helpful (i.e. it can actually help you take actionable steps to improving your site).
UIE is a research, training and consulting firm that specializes in usability, so UX is definitely the focus of the content, but you’ll also find some advice on marketing, communications, and productivity sprinkled in there. Bonus: UIE also has a UX-themed podcast
, just in case you’ve burnt out on summer reading.
7. CMS Wire
is a web magazine that brings you daily updates on the worlds of digital marketing, social business, mobile development, customer experience, information management, and much more. With such a broad range of content, CMS Wire is bound to pique the interest of anyone who works in the online world, and it’s a great for both a daily skim for news updates, and as a source for more in-depth reads and research pieces.
One of Moveable Online’s own business analysts, Simone Abel, has been featured as a writer on CMS Wire, so if you’re looking for a place to start we recommend her article, Your Collaborative Team Building Ingredients.
There you have it – a sampling of our favourite reads from around the web. We think there should be enough good stuff on the list (and in part 1 of the list
) to keep you entertained all summer long, but we’re always on the look out for more poolside entertainment, so let us know what you’ve got on your summer reading list in the comments.