What are the best academic journals in UX Design and Research? In this article, we share with you a selection of our favourite journals (many of which offer articles in open access).
Scientific articles in UX design and research have less visibility than posts published on Medium or specialized blogs. However, these publications are not limited to theoretical knowledge and very often they provide practical insights on our work as user experience specialists.
These journals also open up the field to other disciplines (especially in the social sciences). They also contribute to the dissemination of knowledge and the sharing of experiences of authors and practitioners active in all areas of user-centered design and user research around the world.
1. Human-Computer Interaction: a reference journal for scientific research in UX design.
The academic journal Human-Computer Interaction is a reference for scientific research in ergonomics.
The articles published explore how users learn and use computer systems. Researchers and professionals in the field will find a wealth of information for understanding the mechanisms of human-computer interaction and improving user experience.
Our opinion? This journal is an essential resource for all those interested in user interface and product design.
2. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies: original research on the theory and practice of innovative interactive systems
The International Journal of Human-Computer Studies provides original research on the whole body of work on the theory and practice of innovative interactive systems. This journal presents itself as “intrinsically interdisciplinary, covering research in computer science, artificial intelligence, psychology, …”.
Despite the depth of the fields covered, the articles are written in a style that is accessible to the greatest number of people and they cover a variety of subjects such as :
- Interface design,
- User experience evaluation,
- User experience evaluation, or
- UX design research methods.
Our opinion? An interdisciplinary scientific journal that publishes work involving psychology, artificial intelligence, accessibility, sociology, and many other social sciences.
3. Advances in Human-Computer Interaction: a highly interdisciplinary journal
Advances in Human-Computer Interaction is an interdisciplinary scientific journal publishing theoretical and practical articles covering a broad spectrum of interactive systems.
This interdisciplinary journal publishes original research in the fields of computer science, engineering, artificial intelligence, psychology, linguistics, and social and systems organisation (and applies these subjects to the design, implementation, application, analysis and evaluation of interactive systems).
Areas covered by the journal include:
- Human-computer interaction,
- Interface design and universal design/access,
- Predictive models and theories of interaction,
- Adaptive and intelligent systems,
- Speech, graphics, haptics and multimodal interaction,
- Natural language systems and methods,
- Mobile, portable and ubiquitous computing systems,
- Computer-mediated communication methods and systems,
- Virtual, mixed and augmented reality interfaces and systems,
- Agent-based interfaces and systems,
- System and user evaluation studies.
How to access the articles? Advances in Human-Computer Interaction is an open access journal. All articles are immediately available for reading and reuse upon publication.
Our opinion? A reference open access journal for UX and Design Thinking practitioners, very (perhaps too?) interdisciplinary.
Consult the open access articles of this journal.
4. Journal of User experience: a scientific journal that is totally free and focused on the field.
The Journal of User Experience is an international peer-reviewed online journal that aims to promote and enhance the practice, research and teaching of user experience design and evaluation (UX Design). The journal is owned by the User Experience Professionals Association (UXPA), an international association founded in 1991 to serve a community of thousands of professionals who research, design and evaluate the user experience (UX) of products and services worldwide.
The aim of the journal is to provide a forum for practitioners and researchers to share :
- Empirical findings,
- Usability case studies (research case studies, not business case studies),
- Opinions and experiences (regarding user experience practice and education)
- Reports on good practice in usability and related areas, such as market research and technical communication.
Our opinion? A scientific journal that is totally free and very field-oriented.
5. Interacting with Computers: a journal that addresses methodological and governance processes in UX
Interacting with Computers is a scientific journal focusing on human-computer interaction (HCI), a discipline in computer, information and design sciences. Established in 1987, Interacting with Computers is an official journal of BCS (a group that aims to guide the information technology sector through its ethical challenges, to support those working in the sector and to ensure that information technology benefits society) and the Interaction specialist group (a community of computer professionals and interaction enthusiasts).
The journal aims to make HCI research results accessible to a wider audience and covers a wide range of topics:
- Human-computer interaction (HCI) theory and design,
- new research paradigms,
- interaction processes and methodology,
- user interface, usability and UX design,
- development tools and techniques,
- empirical evaluations and evaluation strategies,
- new and emerging technologies,
- ubiquitous, ambient and mobile interaction,
- accessibility, user modelling and intelligent systems,
- organisational and societal issues.
Our opinion? This journal is a great discovery. It deals in particular with methodological and governance processes in UX.
Bonus: Interactions Magazine – a magazine to take different, community driven perspective on UX
Interactions Magazine aims to mirror the human-computer interaction (HCI), usability and UX design communities (and beyond). Its pages capture a multiplicity of conversations, collaborations, relationships and new discoveries that focus on how and why we interact with the designed world of technology.
The editorial line is said to lie “between practice and research, with an emphasis on making human-computer interaction research accessible to practitioners and on ensuring that the voice of practitioners is heard by researchers.”
The magazine is published bi-monthly by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), which bills itself as the world’s largest scientific computing and education society.
Our opinion? This magazine takes a different approach in the form of a community and forum that encourages us to take a look at our UX practice.
In conclusion, scientific journals in UX design and research are valuable sources for researchers and professionals in the field. They offer a wealth of theoretical and practical information for improving the user experience.
In this article, we have presented five leading academic journals in UX design, each with its own strengths and specificity. Although these journals have less visibility than blogs specialising in UX research and design, their relevance and rigour are undeniable.
Do not hesitate to refer to them to :
- Improve the quality of your UX design and research practice,
- Keep up to date with the latest trends in user experience design and related fields (such as social sciences),
- Develop your UX skills, and
- Contribute to innovation in the field of UX design and research.
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