Not every person uses the internet in the same way. As our technology improves, more people who were previously excluded from conversations can now use their spending power to support things that mean something to them. Designers also have learned over time that many accessible changes to design to make a better experience for everyone. This has led to a special annual event that I believe more authors should pay attention to, UXmas.
What is UXmas?
UXmas is a virtual advent calendar made by user experience designers (UX designers) to teach other designers about various aspects of user experience design. These articles span from software that these designers used to design to how to design in a trauma informed way to common pitfalls with design that make something less accessible. They put a blog post out every day from December 1st to December 24th on leanuxmas.com. Entries dating back to 2014 are available to read if you want to delve deeper into the topic than a single blog post per day.
Why should authors care?
If you asked the average author about UXmas, most would have no idea what you were talking about. However, like developers and designers, authors create something that is experienced by another person and try to market their work online. Whether you want to make your book more accessible to your readers or you want to reach the over $1 billion in spending power the disabled market has per year, knowing about how to make better experiences is important. I encourage every writer to read and learn more about experience design.
How can you adapt ideas to your platform and writing?
Some of the blog posts can skew into development and user experience design tools and workflows. As an author, you may feel that those posts don’t apply and serve no purpose for you. However, often these blog posts can serve as an excellent tool to look over our own tools and workflows. As writers we can get so into the idea that we just need our brains and our words and we are prepared to sell a million books. There is a lot more to writing than just putting words on a page. Whether we are managing our social media accounts, marketing our book, or even looking for better ways to get words on the page, learning from UX designers will benefit our craft and help us succeed.