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WRITING FOR UXMATTERS

If you have strong writing skills and are an expert in UX strategy or leadership, any aspect of UX design—including interaction design, information architecture, information design, visual design, or service design—any type of user research—from generative field research to usability testing—product management, front-end development, or user assistance, we welcome you to contribute to UXmatters. We want to work with authors who are doing innovative work in their field, think deeply about user experience matters, have new ideas to share, and want to engender discussion within the UX community. There are many kinds of articles that are of interest to our community of readers. For example, you could:

  • write a column about some particular aspect of user experience, product management, or front-end development
  • write a feature article about any topic relating to User Experience, Product Management, or Front-End Development
  • interview a pioneer or innovator in the field of User Experience, Product Management, or Front-End Development
  • review products and services that are of interest to UX professionals, product managers, or front-end developers

Thanks for your interest in writing for UXmatters!

If you’re planning to attend a conference and would like to write a review, please get in touch with us! If you’ve just read a great book—or perhaps a controversial one—please write a review for UXmatters! We always need people to write reviews and interviews.

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Topics to Write About

UXmatters publishes columns, features, and reviews. Here are some examples of topics you could write about.

Topics for Columns

Possible topics for new columns on UXmatters include any that would be of interest to UX professionals, product managers, or front-end developers, including the following:

  • UX strategy
  • UX leadership
  • UX design
  • mobile UX design
  • interaction design
  • industrial design
  • information architecture
  • visual interface design
  • new technologies’ user experiences
  • consulting in User Experience
  • product management
  • front-end development
  • really the possibilities are limitless here…

Topics for Features

Features on UXmatters include a broad spectrum of topics relating to User Experience, Product Management, and Front-End Development—for example:

  • professions relating to User Experience, Product Management, or Front-End Development
  • best practices, processes, methods, or deliverables for
    • any aspect of UX design—including interaction design, information architecture, and visual interface design
    • user research
    • user-centered design
    • usability testing
    • product management
    • front-end development
  • defining product requirements, or code samples
  • writing front-end code, including code samples
  • design principles, patterns, standards, and guidelines
  • design philosophy
  • how to’s for specific approaches to user-centered design, user research, or usability
  • research findings that have practical applications in UX design
  • Lean UX, Lean Startup, or agile development
  • the business of consulting
  • profiles of interviews of thought leaders, pioneers, or innovators in User Experience, Product Management, or Front-End Development

Topics for Reviews

UXmatters publishes reviews of products and services for UX professionals, including:

  • hardware products
  • software products
  • Web applications
  • Web sites
  • mobile applications
  • books
  • services
  • conferences
  • courses
  • tutorials

Submitting Proposals

UXmatters accepts proposals for columns and features.

Column Proposals

If you’re interested in contributing a column to UXmatters on a regular basis, focusing on a specific area of expertise in User Experience, Product Management, or Front-End Development, please submit a column proposal that:

  • communicates the idea for your column—including the column’s concept and focus
  • describes the branding for your column—including the imagery to use in your column logo and the column’s title and tagline
  • tells us about your subject-matter expertise
  • demonstrates your writing ability
  • explains why your column would be of interest to UXmatters readers
  • proposes the frequency of your column—monthly, bimonthly, or quarterly

Please provide the following in the body of a plain-text email message:

  • your column proposal
  • if this is your first time writing for UXmatters, your profile
  • your complete contact information—including your mailing address, work and personal email addresses, Skype user name, and telephone numbers

Do notinclude any attachments. Please send your column proposal to .

Our editors will review your column proposal and decide whether to publish your column on UXmatters, then inform you of their decision. If our editors accept your proposal, they will work with you to:

  • develop the concept and branding for your column
  • refine your column’s area of focus to differentiate it from other columns on UXmatters and ensure it meets the needs of our audience, if necessary
  • determine the frequency with which your column will appear on UXmatters
  • add your draft and publication dates to our editorial calendar
  • edit your drafts

Feature Proposals

If you want to contribute an article to UXmatters, please submit a proposal, briefly outlining your idea for a feature, interview, or review. It’s usually best to submit a proposal initially rather than a complete draft because our editors will work with you to develop your article concept. However, we are willing to consider complete drafts for publication. Your proposal should briefly:

  • inform us about the expertise you bring to your subject matter
  • clearly communicate your article concept
  • summarize your article’s content, outlining the key points you want to communicate
  • demonstrate your writing ability
  • describe why your article would be of interest to UXmatters readers

Please provide the following in the body of a plain-text email message:

  • your article proposal
  • if this is your first time writing for UXmatters, your profile
  • your complete contact information—including your mailing address, work and personal email addresses, Skype user name, and telephone numbers

Send your article proposal to .

Our editors will review your article proposal and decide whether to publish your article on UXmatters, then inform you of their decision. If our editors accept your proposal, they will work with you to:

  • refine your article’s focus to ensure that it meets the needs of our audience, if necessary
  • add your draft-due date to our editorial calendar
  • edit your draft and schedule it for publication

NoteUXmatters does not accept submissions of content that has previously been published elsewhere.

Submitting a Draft

Articles and columns on UXmatters typically range from 1200 to 2400 words in length. However, we do accept longer articles. The minimum length is 1000 words. Our articles use clear, accessible language and are in American English. They should have neither an academic nor an overly conversational tone. If you have any specific questions about style, please let us know, and we’ll add the information to our guidelines.

Submit your draft as a Microsoft Word document. Be sure to include the following in your draft: a title, your byline, and section headings. If your article includes any figures or tables, include a figure or table reference in the preceding paragraph and a figure or table caption immediately preceding each figure or table, respectively. Please check your spelling before submitting your draft. Save your draft using the following file-naming convention:

[YourName]_[Abbreviated-title].doc

Alternatively, for a column draft, your file name can follow this format:

[Your-name]_[Column-title]_[MM-YYYY].doc

UXmatters accepts only complete drafts of articles. Please send us a zipped folder containing your Word document, image files for your headshot and any figures, and any HTML files for tables. When submitting your draft to UXmatters, please send it to .

Your Author Profile

The first time you write an article for UXmatters—or if you want to update your profile—please include your author profile at the end of your draft. Be sure to include a 170x170-pixel headshot of yourself for inclusion in your profile. For examples of other authors’ profiles, see our Authors section.

Format for Your Author Profile

Your author profile should follow this format:

[Your Name]

[Title] at [Company Name]

[City], [State/Province], [Country]

[Your profile content, which should summarize your qualifications and experience in a single paragraph.]

Read [Your first name]’s blog, [Title of your blog, if you have one].

Connect with [Your first name] on LinkedIn.

Follow [Your first name] on Twitter.

Specialties: [Specialty 1] | [Specialty 2] | [Specialty 3]

Links to Web pagesIf you own the company for which you work, provide its Web address, and we’ll link your company name to your Web site. If you have a blog, provide its Web address, and we’ll link your blog’s title to your blog. Please provide the Web addresses for your LinkedIn and Twitter pages.

Specialties—Indicate your specialties. Providing just one to three specialties is best, but you can list up to five specialties from the following list:

  • Academic Research
  • Accessibility
  • Brand Strategy
  • Business Leadership
  • Business Strategy
  • Consulting—We include this specialty for all consultants.
  • Content Strategy
  • Decision Architecture
  • Front-End Development
  • Human Factors
  • Industrial Design
  • Information Architecture
  • Information Design
  • Interaction Design
  • Product Management
  • Service Design
  • Usability
  • User Assistance
  • User Interface Design
  • User Research
  • UX Design
  • UX Education & Training
  • UX Leadership
  • UX Strategy
  • Visual Design
  • Writing / Editing

If the listed specialties don’t include your primary specialty, you can request that we add a new specialty to the list, and we’ll consider adding it.

Image Requirements

Please provide production-quality images for all of the figures in your article in the zipped folder containing all of your files. Your images should follow these requirements:

  • Acceptable file formats for images include GIF, JPEG, and PNG.
  • Most images for publication on UXmatters should be 474 pixels in width.
  • Generally, screenshots should have a uniform width of 474 pixels.
  • Screenshots of mobile devices should have a width of 240 pixels.
  • In most cases, you should reduce screenshots to one of these widths or crop them to focus on a specific area of interest rather than showing an entire Web page or application.
  • If the clarity and usefulness of an image would be significantly greater if the image were larger, we will consider publishing a larger image. A good example of such a case would be a figure showing a deliverable that includes text that should be legible.
  • We now publish hero images on UXmatters, which should have a width 1,478 pixels. This is the maximum width for any image on UXmatters.
  • If you choose to submit one or more large images with your draft, please also include a smaller version of each of them that is 474 pixels in width.
  • In addition to any reduced images that are 474 pixels in width, please send us your full-sized images, in case we need to create a higher-quality image.
  • If it’s important that details in a screenshot be clearly visible, consider showing a blowup of just that part of a screen at its actual size.
  • Do not include borders around images.
  • Use a file-name format for images that ensures we can easily associate your image files with your article and the figures within it, for example:
    [AbbreviatedTitle]_fig[#].[gif/jpg/png]

Video Requirements

If you want to embed a video from YouTube, Vimeo, or some other site in an article, please insert the embed code at the appropriate point within your Word document. Provide a figure number and caption preceding each video’s embed code. Include the Web address for the video, following the caption.

Videos should have a uniform width of 474 pixels. For a video to be exactly 474 pixels in width, you must modify all instances of its width and height in the embed code to the proper dimensions.

Tip—To determine the proper height for a video when changing its width to 474 pixels, in Photoshop, create a new image with the same width and height as the video’s original dimensions, then resize the image by clicking Image > Image Size, selecting Constrain Proportions, and changing the width to 474 pixels. Photoshop will change the height proportionally. Use this height when modifying the video’s height in the embed code.

Table Requirements

Please provide clean HTML code, with no formatting, for any tables in an article. Use Dreamweaver or another HTML or text editor to produce the table code. (Word is not capable of producing clean HTML code, so we cannot use HTML tables generated by Word.)

Use a file-name format for such HTML files that ensures we can easily associate those files with your article, for example: [AbbreviatedTitle]_table[#].htm

Here is an example of clean HTML code:

<table border="0" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0">
<tr>
<th>Table Head</th>
<th>Table Head</th>
<th>Table Head</th>
</tr>
<tr>
<td><p>Table data</p></td>
<td><p>Table data</p></td>
<td><p>Table data</p></td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td><p>Table data</p></td>
<td><p>Table data</p></td>
<td><p>Table data</p></td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td><p>Table data</p></td>
<td><p>Table data</p></td>
<td><p>Table data</p></td>
</tr>
</table>

Working with UXmatters Editors

Our editors work collaboratively with you to ensure your article is clear, coherent, concise, and cogent. Our goal is to make your article as good as it can possibly be and ensure the mutual satisfaction of author and editor.

Once our editors accept your proposal for a column or article, they’ll work with you to set a deadline for submitting your draft and schedule your article for publication on UXmatters. Before you begin writing, if necessary, you can work with a developmental editor to refine your proposal. Once you’ve submitted a complete draft of your article, it will go through one or two cycles of developmental / copyediting. After each round of editing before production begins, you’ll have the opportunity to make any revisions that are necessary. Please try to avoid adding large amounts of new content at this stage. During editing, your editor may refer you to specific guidelines in our UXmatters Guidelines for Style and Usage. The reason for many of the edits your editor makes is conformance to these guidelines.

Important—Use Microsoft Word and be sure to keep Track Changes turned on throughout all editing cycles. Your editor will accept all changes once the draft is final. However, if you find all of the tracked changes visually confusing, it’s okay to accept all changes before you start making your revisions. But we need to be able to track the history of changes on which there is not yet agreement, so please do not reject any changes; revise them instead.

Your editor will return the edited draft of your article to you for your review, using the following file-naming convention:

[YourName]_[AbbreviatedTitle]_[Editor’sName].doc

If there are subsequent changes to drafts, we need to track both author and editor version numbers in file names, as follows:

[YourName#]_[Title]_[MM/YY]_[Editor’sName#].doc

For each of your subsequent drafts, add or increment the version number following your name. Editors add or increment the version number following their name for each round of edits.

What UXmatters Will Do for You

While contributing authors receive no compensation for the articles they submit to UXmatters, each author has a Web page on the UXmatters site that includes a photo and a detailed profile of the author and links to the author’s Web sites and columns or articles on UXmatters. Our editors make updates to an author’s page at the author’s request. For authors who own their own companies or are principals in UX consultancies, UXmatters provides links to their companies.

Copyrights & Republication

For each feature article, column, interview, or review an author contributes to UXmatters, the author and UXmatters hold a joint copyright, with all rights reserved. Once UXmatters accepts an article submission for publication, that joint copyright is in force and the author may neither retract the article nor submit the article for publication elsewhere without UXmatters express permission. Once the article appears on the UXmatters Web site, the author agrees not to publish the content elsewhere for one month following its date of publication on UXmatters.

Subsequently, without approval, the author may republish the content of an article only on his or her own personal or professional Web site. Republication elsewhere requires the approval of the UXmatters Editor in Chief. When republishing content from UXmatters in English, the author or publisher must provide a link to the UXmatters homepage in the following format:

Originally published on UXmatters, [Month DD, YYYY]

Republication in languages other than English requires that the publisher also provide a link to the original article on the UXmatters Web site. The publisher should translate an attribution in the following format into the language in which the article translation appears:

Originally published as “[Title in English],” by [Author’s Name], on UXmatters, [Month DD, YYYY]

In this case, the article title should be a link to the original article on the UXmatters site and UXmatters should be a link to the UXmatters homepage—that is, http://www.uxmatters.com.

New on UXmatters