UI/UX Articles and Interesting Tidbits of the Week

Pedro Canhenha
4 min readMay 12, 2024


Here are some interesting finds on UI/UX of the week!


Design Systems. Another interesting article from The Smashing Magazine, this time courtesy of author Michele Williams, focusing on accessibility, but from the perspective of how to conduct research on this topic. The author highlights the challenges surrounding doing this type of research, including the limitations that Figma presents for instance, but also providing a series of recommendations. Amongst those recommendations are: conducting surveys, testing with an equivalent system, building actual rapid prototypes (leveraging out of box products), using the WoZ methodology (Wizard of Oz testing method), to name but a few. Again, these are strategies meant to include the testing of accessibility in the Design Process itself. Worth reading through. Highlight of the article includes:

“For the prototype artifacts, these can range from low- to high-fidelity. For instance, participants without mobility or vision impairments can use paper-and-pencil sketching or whiteboarding. People with somewhat limited mobility may prefer a tablet-based drawing tool, such as using an Apple pencil with an iPad. Participants with visual impairments may prefer more 3-dimensional tools such as craft supplies, modeling clay, and/or cardboard. Or you may find that simply working on a collaborative online document offers the best accessibility as users can engage with their personalized assistive technology to jot down ideas.”


Wizard of Oz Method in UX. Very illustrative article from Sara Ramaswamy and Maria Rosala, both with the Nielsen Norman Group, focused on the WoZ research method, its applicability and the value it can bring to Product Design Journeys. It’s a method that is particularly applicable when testing concepts such as Chatbots, or products that seek real time data. It provides the tester with the illusion that an operation is actually happening, when in reality, there’s a person or a device built by the Research team which enables that illusion to occur. The article provides recommendations on how to build one of these studies and artifacts that are meant to support it. This article is well worth the read. Highlight of the article includes:

“The Wizard of Oz method is used in moderated usability tests. Like in a traditional moderated usability test, a Wizard of Oz study involves a facilitator and a target user. In addition, you need someone to be “the wizard.” This person will select or create responses from the interface. The Wizard of Oz method is similar to testing paper prototypes (where you might have someone play the role of the computer). However, in the Wizard of Oz method, the design can be digital, and the person generating the system response is not visible to the user.”


Key Technologies Fuelling Chatbot Evolution. Great article from The Next Web and author Juras Jursenas on the topic of the technologies that are empowering the evolution of Chatbots. We’ve previously mentioned in this newsletter the advances surrounding Natural Language Processing, but with Chatbots and RAG (Retrieval Augmented Generation), this has had an impact on how Chatbots and their interactions become more pertinent and relevant based on the prompts provided. Additional thoughts captured from the article include the following: “RAG merges generative AI with information retrieval from external sources on the open web. This approach significantly improves contextual understanding, accuracy, and relevance in AI models. Moreover, information in the RAG system’s knowledge base can be dynamically updated, making them highly adaptable and scalable.” This is fascinating and a confirmation on the evolution of the engines powering these types of artifacts. Well worth reading through. Highlight of the article includes:

“Unfortunately, most current chatbots are limited due to their reliance on static training data. Data outputted by these systems can be obsolete, limiting our ability to gain real-time information for our queries. They also struggle with contextual understanding, inaccuracies, handling complex queries, and limited adaptability to our evolving needs. To overcome these issues, advanced techniques like Retrieval-Augmented Generation (RAG) have emerged. By leveraging various external information sources, including real-time data collected from the open web, RAG systems can augment their knowledge base in real time, providing more accurate and contextually relevant responses to users’ queries to enhance their overall performance and adaptability.”