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Writing for UXmatters

Contact Us
If you want to contribute an article, review, or column to UXmatters, please contact us at:

If you have strong writing skills and are an expert in user experience (UX) strategy or management, any aspect of UX design—including interaction design, industrial design, information architecture, information design, or visual design—any type of user research—from generative field research to usability—or user assistance, we welcome you to contribute to UXmatters. We want to work with authors who are doing innovative work in their fields, think deeply about user experience matters, have new ideas to share, and want to engender discussion within the user experience 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
  • write a feature article about any topic relating to user experience
  • interview pioneers and innovators in user experience
  • review products and services that are of interest to UX professionals

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 or controversial book, please write a review for UXmatters! We always need people to write reviews.

Topics for Columns

Possible topics for new columns on UXmatters include any topic that would be of interest to UX professionals—for example:

  • interaction design
  • industrial design
  • information architecture
  • visual design
  • brand experience
  • UX for new technologies
  • consulting in UX
  • really the possibilities are limitless here…

Topics for Features

Possible topics for features for publication on UXmatters include a broad spectrum of topics relating to user experience—for example:

  • user experience specialties or professions
  • the business of user experience
  • digital product design
  • the process and techniques of user-centered design
  • user experience work products, or deliverables
  • patterns, principles, 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 user experience design
  • profiles of people in user experience
  • interviews of pioneers and innovators in user experience

Topics for Reviews

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

  • hardware products
  • software products
  • Web sites
  • books
  • services
  • conferences
  • tutorials

Submitting a Column Proposal

If you’re interested in contributing a column to UXmatters, focusing on a specific area of expertise in user experience, please submit a column proposal that

  • describes your ideas for the focus, theme, and branding for your column
  • tells us about your expertise in its subject matter
  • demonstrates your writing ability
  • describes why your column will be of interest to the UX community
  • 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, email address, instant messenger user names, and telephone numbers

Do not include any attachments. Please send your column proposal to .

Once our editors have reviewed your column proposal, they will decide whether to publish your column on UXmatters and 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
  • perhaps refine the column’s focus to ensure it fits within the context of UXmatters and meets the needs of our audience
  • determine the frequency with which your column will appear on UXmatters
  • add its draft and publication dates to our editorial calendar

Submitting an Article Proposal

If you want to contribute an article to UXmatters, please submit a proposal, briefly outlining your idea for a feature, interview, or review. If UXmatters accepts your article proposal, you’ll work with one of our editors to develop your article concept, so it’s best not to send a complete draft of your article initially. However, we’re also willing to consider complete drafts for publication.

Your proposal should

  • inform us about the expertise you bring to your subject matter
  • clearly summarize your article’s content, covering the key points you want to communicate
  • demonstrate your writing ability
  • describe why your article’s content will be of interest to the UX community

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, email address, instant messenger user names, and telephone numbers

Send your article proposal to .

Once our editors have reviewed your article proposal, they’ll decide whether to publish your article on UXmatters and inform you of their decision. If our editors accept your proposal, they will work with you to

  • refine the article’s focus to ensure it meets the needs of our audience
  • add its draft and publication dates to our editorial calendar

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

Submitting a Draft

UXmatters Guidelines for Style and Usage
When writing an article for UXmatters, please follow our guidelines.

Articles and columns on UXmatters typically range from 1000 to 3000 words in length—though we also accept longer articles. Our articles use clear, accessible language and are in American English. They should have neither an academic nor an overly conversational tone. When writing for UXmatters, follow the guidelines in our UXmatters Guidelines for Style and Usage. (Our guidelines are a work in progress, so if you have any specific questions, please let us know, and we’ll answer them and add the information to the guidelines.)

Be sure to include the following in your draft: a title, your byline, section headings, and, for any figures or tables, figure or table references and figure or table captions. Please check your spelling before submitting your draft. Save your draft as a Word document, using the following file-naming convention:

[YourName]_[AbbreviatedTitle].doc

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

[YourName]_[ColumnTitle]_[MM/YY].doc

UXmatters accepts only complete drafts of articles, including a zipped folder containing any images or HTML files for tables. When submitting your complete draft of an article to UXmatters, please send it to .

Your Author Profile

If this is your first time writing for UXmatters or you want to update your profile, please include your author profile at the end of your draft. For examples of other authors’ profiles, see our Authors section.

Send us a closeup photo of yourself that’s 120 pixels in width for inclusion in your profile.

Your author profile should follow this format:

[Your Name]

[Title] at [Company Name], [City State/Province Country]

Note—If you own your own company, provide its Web address. Your company name will link to your Web site.

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

The title your blog, if you have one.

Note—Provide the Web address for your blog. Your blog’s title will link to your blog.

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

Note—Indicate your primary specialties. While providing just one or two specialties is best, you can list up to five from the following list of specialties:

  • Accessibility
  • Brand Strategy
  • Consulting—We include this specialty for all consultants.
  • Human Factors
  • Industrial Design
  • Information Architecture
  • Information Design
  • Interaction Design
  • Usability
  • User Assistance
  • User Interface Design
  • User Research
  • UX Design
  • UX Development
  • UX Management
  • UX Strategy
  • Visual Design

If the listed specialties don’t cover your primary specialty, you can request that we add a new specialty to the list.

Image Requirements

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

  • Acceptable file formats include GIF, JPEG, and PNG.
  • Images for publication on UXmatters can have a maximum width of 474 pixels. If necessary, reduce screenshots or other images to this width.
  • In addition to any reduced images, please send us your full-sized images. In some cases, we may decide to link to a full-sized image.
  • Generally, screenshots should have a uniform width of 474 pixels—so they are as large and show as much detail as possible—unless showing them at their actual size requires them to have a narrower width.
  • If it’s important that details in a screenshot be clearly visible, consider showing a blowup of just part of a screen at its actual size.
  • Generally, do not include borders around images.
  • Never include extra whitespace within surrounding an image. Images are left aligned and our CSS provides the proper spacing above and below them, so if there were extra whitespace within an image, it would throw the alignment and spacing off. Plus, adding that extra whitespace would reduce the size of the content in images unnecessarily.

Use a file-name format that ensures we can associate your image files with your article, as follows:

[AbbreviatedTitle]_fig[#].[gif/jpg/png]

Video Requirements

If you want to embed a video from YouTube or some other site in an article, please provide the embed code in a separate Word document. If you’re including multiple videos in an article, please indicate the figure number for each video preceding its embed code. Videos should have a uniform width, if possible. Their maximum width is 474 pixels. If you want a video to be exactly 474 pixels in width, you’ll need to modify both instances of the 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 an 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 these dimensions when modifying the width and height of the video 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. Full-width tables can expand to fill the available width on a page, but should display well at a width of 474 pixels.

Tip—Here’s an example of what we mean by 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>

Use the following file-name format for such HTML files:

[AbbreviatedTitle]_table[#].htm

Working with UXmatters Editors

Once our editors accept your proposal for a column or article, they’ll work with you to establish your 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 completed a draft of your article, it will go through one or two cycles of developmental and copyediting, then revision. 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 our authors and our editors. During editing, your editor may refer you to specific guidelines in our UXmatters Guidelines for Style and Usage.

Important—Throughout all editing cycles, use Word and please keep Track Changes turned on. Your editor will accept all changes once a draft is final. If you find all of the change-tracking visually confusing, it’s okay to select specific passages and accept changes. However, we need to track the history of changes on which there is not yet agreement, so please do not reject changes; revise them instead.

Your editor will return edited drafts to you, using the following file-naming convention:

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

If there are subsequent 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. Your editor will add or increment the version number following his or her name when doing 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 detailed profile of the author and links to the author’s Web sites and publications. UXmatters will make updates to the Web page of any active author at the authors’ request. For authors who 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 on only 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 home page 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 is a link to the original article on UXmatters and UXmatters is a link to the UXmatters home page (http://www.uxmatters.com).