I'm not a member of any online UX forum or community (except Twitter, I guess). I was curious: am I missing out? What's out there for the UX professional? Bulletin-boards and forums seem to be passé, so what replaced them?

UX Stack Exchange

It's pretty active and the high calibre of many of the answers makes me think that a good number of serious professionals use it as their way of giving back. It's not a community in the sense of there being general back and forth conversation - the Stack format keeps the focus on questions and answers. What struck me most was the quality of the content - folks are taking the time to go really deep on issues, even making wires and prototypes to demonstrate specific IXD solutions.

Sample threads:

  • Is it bad UX to reload a page during signup?
  • Mobile app: What text in load dialogs?
  • Keyboard hiding lower buttons on small Android screens

(Also for Q and A sites, there's Quora UX... I've shunned Quora for years because of their annoying practice of forcing you to the app but they seem to have toned that down.)

IXDA Discuss

Did I say forums are dead? Clearly I'm wrong, this IXD forum is still going. It doesn't seem to be exactly thriving though - most posts on the front page haven't had any activity in days. Example threads:

  • Looking for an Interaction 15 ticket
  • Do we get carried away by Superficial design? - critique on FITTLE, one of the Ixda Award Finalist.
  • Entering multiple values using code in a single field.

UX Groups on LinkedIn

I don't see LinkedIn as a good place to have a productive conversation; either groups get overtaken by recruiter spam, or members puff themselves up constantly by reposting articles from other sites, or perhaps it's some other airless quality stifles community. There are a bunch of UX-branded groups on LinkedIn, most are open to the public, and some have tens of thousands of users. Example threads:

  • See which design leaders from Capital One, GE, US Digital Service and more are being interviewed at UX Advantage (a repost)
  • Personal call-to-actions (another repost)
  • Cover Letter Feedback (guess what? repost)

Perhaps there are better LinkedIn UX groups - with smaller membership lists and moderation. I haven't found any though.

r/User experience

Reddit ("The front page of the internet") has a board for every topic under the sun, including dozens that relate to design and the web. Reddit's UX group has 2,000 users (with 10 active when I checked). It seems to be most heavily used by people new to the field, looking for career and education advice. So if you are an established UX professional, this Reddit is a good place to come and do a bit of educating.

  • "My New Year's resolution is to get more people started in UX design" — Daily UX Crash Course: #1 of 31 (repost)
  • DAE Wish that sliders and other scalar inputs were precision agnostic?
  • Finding work as an UX Strategist, not UX Designer.

Magazine comment threads

Several of the big UX journals have active communities based around the discussion threads of their articles, even if they don’t have a forum or other community feature. For instance,

Slack?

One more I haven’t checked out: DesignerHangOut on Slack. Now, I like Slack, but still see it (wrongly?) as a chat app - so not sure what that would be like with 2,700 people yapping away.

Therefore

I’m sure there are more specialist conversations going on somewhere - the content strategists probably (hopefully) all take part in an ongoing MUD via telnet or some such (I hope). Maybe they are worth seeking out.

I didn't throw myself into any of UX communities I found, although I did start an account at UX Stack Exchange - they've been a useful resource in the past, and it seems I can make a contribution there. Seems I'm happy with being an occasional contributor rather than needing a full-on community experience.