UXPA Publications: User Experience Magazine

Editorial Guidelines

User Experience welcomes the contribution of articles on the theory and practice of usability as well as general survey articles, reports of research in progress and reviews of recently published books. We also welcome brief reports on interesting products, web sites, books, conferences, and industry news.

In selecting articles for publication, we give preference to those that are well-written, well-organized and have broad appeal and applicability to the User Experience audience. User Experience publishes original articles that are reasonably self-contained and aimed at a broad spectrum of the usability field.

Manuscripts are considered appropriate for our readership if they:

  • discuss strategic or practical issues in usability and the user experience
  • discuss the economic impact of usability; present techniques or methodology appropriate to practitioners and other interested parties
  • present case studies of interest; review products and books of interest to our readership
  • discuss the history of usability and user experience engineering
  • evaluate economic, social, political and technological trends and forces.

We particularly encourage submissions reflecting original analysis supported by well-researched examples and case studies.

We do not generally accept articles that have been published elsewhere in whole or in part. However, in some cases User Experience may publish excerpts from important books authored by, or of special significance to, our members.

User Experience Style

User Experience is a forum for sharing ideas and experiences; it is not an academic or technical journal. The style of User Experience is not academic.

First drafts must be accurate and read well. Articles that do not meet the our stylistic criteria will be edited or returned to the author for rework.

  • Emphasis on "real people, real problems, real solutions."
  • Style is informal and energetic.
  • We assume that our readers have a moderate level of technical understanding, but articles should avoid technical jargon and should be accessible to inform readers who work outside the particular subject area.
  • Write everything in a consistent tense, as appropriate to the topic.
  • Write in the active voice.
  • Anecdotes are entirely appropriate. They provide a human context to your research and provide a vehicle that holds the reader's interest.

Remember that the User Experience audience is multidisciplinary. Readers must first learn the context of your subject before they can understand how your work affects practice or changes the field.

Finally, be sure to place your article into a broader context. Emphasize the implications of your research and the new issues that might arise from your research.

Regular Features
User Experience has a rotating series of columns which appear in various intervals. Typical topic areas may include:

  • Usability in Practice
  • Applied Research
  • Products that Changed the World
  • Usability for Children
  • Essays (The View from Here)
  • News
  • Workshop, symposium, and conference summaries
  • Book reviews
  • Editorials
  • Letters to the editor
  • Forum discussions
  • Calendar of events
  • Reviews of recently published books

Book Review Guidelines

If you are interested in reviewing a book for User Experience please download and read:

Microsoft Word file Book Review Guidelines

Acrobat PDF  file Book Review Guidelines


Submitting an Article

All submissions to User Experience are assigned to a member of the editorial board for review and support through the article acceptance process. The decision to publish or decline submission is made by the assigned editor and the editorial board. We ask writers who would like to publish in User Experience to submit written queries to ux@upassoc.org. Prospective User Experience writers should familiarize themselves with recent issues of the magazine.

Articles are typically between 1500 and 2000 words, or 2-4 pages. Single page pieces can be as short as 700 words. We will work with authors to shorten longer manuscripts, when necessary.


Proposal Guidelines

Before submitting a manuscript, please send us a proposal explaining your article idea, including:

  1. A one- or two-paragraph summary of your idea. If the article idea is accepted, this will become the introduction.
  2. An outline for the article. This need not be detailed, but it is a chance to show us how you see the article making its major points.
  3. A statement of your background. Explain in brief how the article ties in with your experience and expertise.

Manuscript Guidelines

After your article idea is accepted, prepare and submit your manuscript to your assigned editor as a as Microsoft Word file (version 6.0 or later) or "RTF" file.

Microsoft Word file Download the UX manuscript template (updated March 2013)

  • Tables should be inserted within the text as close as possible to the point at which they are referenced.
  • Charts, diagrams, figures, and photographs can be embedded in the document with their captions, but the originals must also be sent with the manuscript as clearly named, separate files. Picture quality should be at least 300 dpi and the pictures should be in JPG or TIFF format.

To accompany your article, we will need:

Direct all communication relating to articles to your assigned editor.


Manuscript style

  • The title of the article should be concise and informative. Note: The editors reserve the option to change all titles and headings to match User Experience style and the particular issue in which the article will appear.
  • A brief introduction should indicate the broad significance of the article. The whole text should be intelligible to readers in various disciplines. Technical terms should be defined the first time they are used.
  • Manuscripts should be written in an informal, magazine style, rather than as formal scientific/academic articles.
  • Use headings to separate major sections of your article, but use them judiciously. Too many headings distract the reader. Because we are not an academic journal, we do not use footnotes. Instead, work the reference into the text of the article. For example, instead of "recently Jones (1) suggested that…" use "in her book, Usability is Fun, Sara Jones suggested that…" However, if you provide them, we may include a list of references "for further reading" either in the magazine or on the UXPA web site.
  • Company references. If the article is reporting on research done under the auspices of your company, you may refer to the company name once within the article. So as not to promote any particular company, such articles and references are limited to one within a four-issue time span.



When authors have graphic images and photos for inclusion in the article, they must be of high quality and the author must be able to document ownership and clearance for publication. Please include the artist's or photographer's full name so that we can provide the appropriate credit. We do not encourage authors to supply "decorative" art since that is done by our design team.


We ask that authors assign copyright to the UXPA, and the UXPA will permit you to make copies whenever you so request. Microsoft Word fileUXPA Publications Permission and Release Form

Usability Resources UPA Store UPA Chapters UPA Projects UPA Publications Conferences and Events Membership and Directories About UPA