Userfocus Usability Newsletter, April 2016

Welcome to the April edition of the Userfocus usability and user experience newsletter!

Message from the Editor

I was at an industry event this month attended by people who work in software testing. One surprise (for me at least) was that no-one was discussing usability testing of software. As I questioned people, I discovered that involving real users in real test scenarios was entirely absent from their radar. If the attendees had been wearing aviator glasses, padded shoulders and bouffant hair-dos I would have seriously wondered if I had been teleported back to the 1980s.

One problem with surrounding yourself with like-minded people in user research is that you quickly begin to believe that everyone ‘gets it’. This experience was a wake up call for me and I now realise we still have a lot of work to do to sell the benefits of usability. If this kind of thinking is common in your organisation, then you might find this month’s article useful.

David Travis

5 reasons why your first user research activity should be a usability test

A usability test is the wrong research method when you want to discover if there's a real user need for your product; when you want to understand the environment where your system is used; and when you want to find out how people use your product in their daily lives. So why do I almost always recommend a usability test as a team's first user research activity? Read the article in full: 5 reasons why your first user research activity should be a usability test.

From our archives: How to tell managers they're wrong about UX research and still get hired

Heard these before? 'Market research uses hundreds of people. How come you can get answers with just 5?' 'Our product is aimed at everyone, so we can use ourselves as users.' 'Users don't know what they want' 'Apple doesn't do user research so why should we?' 'Our agency does all of this for us.' Here's how to successfully counter each of these objections. Read the article in full: How to tell managers they're wrong about UX research and still get hired.

What we’re reading

Some interesting usability-related articles that got our attention over the last month:

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Userfocus presents… Jeff Sauro: Quantifying the User Experience

This half-day workshop is for researchers and designers who want to use numbers to inform design and make better decisions about websites, software or mobile apps. Early bird tickets nearly sold out.

More information about this workshop: Jeff Sauro: Quantifying the User Experience.

Upcoming user experience training courses

Foundation Certificate in User Experience, May 16-18, London.

Gain the BCS Foundation Certificate in User Experience in this fun and hands-on training course. You'll practice in all the key areas of UX — from interviewing your users through to prototyping and usability testing your designs — while you prepare for and take the exam.

More information about this training course: Foundation Certificate in User Experience.

User Experience quotation of the month

"Be stubborn on vision but flexible on details." — Jeff Bezos.

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Foundation Certificate in UX

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