Hello and welcome to the Christmas edition of the Userfocus newsletter!
- Message from the Editor
- Feature article: The UX debrief: A tale of two meetings
- Christmas Game: UX Bingo
- Review of the year
- What we're reading
- Online training in user experience
- Upcoming training courses
- User experience quotation of the month
When I was at school in the 1970s, on the last day of Christmas term our teacher allowed us to wear casual clothes and bring in games. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that schools now ban this under some over-zealous interpretation of an arcane EU or health and safety law but I’ve decided to bring it back. So this month I give you permission to dress down over Christmas and I’ve created a fun game titled “UX Bingo”.
In more intelligent news, Philip Hodgson provides a “tale from the trenches” in his description of two UX debrief meetings he held recently that had very different outcomes.
You'll also find a review of the year, plus our regular feature on what we've been reading in UX.
I hope you enjoy the newsletter. Have a great Christmas and New Year and see you in 2014.
UX debrief meetings are sometimes viewed as little more than a way to wrap-up a project. This is a mistake. A UX debrief meeting can accomplish much more than just tie a bow on the project. But it's easier to get a debrief meeting wrong than it is to get it right — as I painfully discovered during the debrief meeting from hell. Read the article in full: The UX debrief: A tale of two meetings.
Do you need a passive-aggressive way to deal with some of the idiotic things people say about user experience? UX BINGO has come to the rescue! Hand out a copy of this card to the design team at the start of the week. The first person to get a complete row, column or diagonal is the winner! Play the game here: UX Bingo.
Despite the recession, this has been one of our most successful years at Userfocus, so I'm sad to see it go. In way of valediction, here’s the stuff we covered in 2013 that you may have missed.
- In January, we provided 10 suggestions to help you make that first all-important contact with users in “I want to speak to my users but they don't want to speak to me”.
- In February, we argued that you can’t create a mobile version of a desktop system simply by shrinking the screen in “What Russian dolls and Fantastic Voyage can teach us about designing for mobile”.
- In March, we continued the mobile theme by describing how you can usability test mobile devices in “Adapting your usability testing practise for mobile”.
- In April, we wrote about speaking the user’s language in “The usability error you don’t know you’re making”.
- In May, we considered the relative strengths and weaknesses of remote usability tests, corporate lab-based tests, contextual usability tests and rented facility tests in “My place or yours? How to decide where to run your next usability test”.
- In June, we pointed out what Gordon Ramsay can teach us about giving feedback to design teams. (It didn't involve swearing).
- In July, our web server crashed which meant that no-one read that month’s article titled “Cheap and free under-the-radar alternatives to field visits”.
- In August, we described 10 critical thinking tools that to flag concerns about UX projects in “How Carl Sagan's Baloney Detection Kit can help save your project (and maybe your company)”.
- In September, we introduced the idea of the 1-page usability test plan for agile projects.
- In October, we posed the question: “Does your company deliver a superior customer experience?” Nobody answered, so we took your silence as consent.
- And then last month we described how to wow us with your UX portfolio.
And a common theme in the newsletter throughout the year was the launch of our online training courses in user experience. We launched our first course in January, and in March I set a target of gaining 1,105 students by World Usability day. I'm pleased to say we met and exceeded that target: right now we have over 2,600 students studying UX with us. We've now built on that success and have published two more training courses online. You can find links to these below: I'd love you to join us.
And now onwards and upwards into 2014!
Some interesting usability-related articles that got our attention over the last month:
- When flat design falls flat. Digested read: iOS7 bad, Gmail good.
- Banking websites score lowest for usability and conversions across all industries.
- A fabulous collection of free resources for interviewing users.
- "UX designer" and "UI developer" are 2 of the 10 fastest growing job titles of the last 5 years.
- An interesting solution to that thorny issue of putting labels inside form fields.
Like these? Want more? Follow us on Twitter.
We have three online training courses in user experience. They are priced at $199 but newsletter subscribers can save $50 on each one by using these links:
- User Experience: The Ultimate Guide to Usability. Normal price: $199. Price for newsletter subscribers: $149 with coupon code SUBSCRIBER.
- How to carry out a usability expert review. Normal price: $199. Price for newsletter subscribers: $149 with coupon code SUBSCRIBER.
- Usability Testing Bootcamp. Normal price: $199. Price for newsletter subscribers: $149 with coupon code SUBSCRIBER.
Consultancy Skills for User Experience Professionals, Dec 2, London. TODAY!
For internal or external consultants who need to market usability, this is a 1-day seminar that shows delegates how to market and deliver user centred design projects to managers and budget holders. More information about this training course: Consultancy Skills for User Experience Professionals.
Web Usability: An Introduction to User Experience, Jan 20-21, London. 8 PLACES LEFT.
A fast-paced, 2-day immersion seminar that shows delegates how to boost sales and conversion rates, increase usage and improve customer satisfaction. More information about this training course: Web Usability: An Introduction to User Experience.
“We want to make money when people use our devices, not when they buy our devices. If someone buys one of our devices and puts it in a desk drawer and never uses it, we don't deserve to make any money.” — Jeff Bezos.
Hungry for more?
Foundation Certificate in UX
Gain hands-on practice in all the key areas of UX while you prepare for the BCS Foundation Certificate in User Experience. More details
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