Userfocus Usability Newsletter, February 2010

Welcome to the February edition of the Userfocus usability newsletter.

Message from the Editor

The big user experience story of last month was of course the launch of Apple's iPad. This looks like being Apple's "Marmite" product, with commentators either loving it or hating it. Whether you're in the "love it" or "hate it" camp, there is no denying that it will be interesting to see how the introduction of the iPad affects the way we design interfaces for our clients. Prototyping suddenly got a lot more interesting.

On that note, if you prototype interfaces as part of your job, check out our two training courses in Axure to be held in London in March: we have courses for both new and experienced users.

This month's article describes some simple research methods you can use to inform the information architecture for your user interface. I hope you find it interesting and useful. Maybe these techniques will help you design the next breakthrough product.

David Travis

Feature article: Card Games for Information Architects

This article reviews 6 simple but powerful research techniques you can use to improve the information architecture of your product or web site. None of these activities requires a computer. You simply need a bunch of cards, a participant and a desk. Read the article in full: Card Games for Information Architects.

What we're reading

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

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Usability Training: Now Booking

A Practical Guide to Usability Testing, February 18, London

For people in design teams who want to gain confidence in usability testing, "A practical guide to usability testing" is a 1-day workshop that shows delegates how to obtain customer feedback on prototypes and finished products. Unlike lecture-based courses, delegates get practical, hands-on experience moderating and logging usability tests. More information about this training course: Usability testing training.

How to carry out a usability expert review, March 16, London

For people in design teams who need to spot usability problems in prototypes and finished products, "How to carry out a usability expert review" is a 1-day seminar that teaches delegates cost-effective methods to evaluate designs. Unlike courses in usability testing, this seminar teaches delegates how to find and fix usability problems without involving end users. More information about this training course: Expert review training.

Axure Essentials, March 22, London

For new users of Axure RP Pro who want to create interactive prototypes, "Axure Essentials" is a 1-day seminar that shows delegates how to build wireframes and generate HTML prototypes. his training is designed for those who have little or no knowledge of Axure RP Pro who want to take their first steps in creating prototypes (wireframes). More information about this training course: Axure Essentials.

Advanced Prototyping with Axure, March 23, London

For experienced users of Axure RP Pro who want to develop advanced prototypes, "Advanced Prototyping with Axure" is a 1-day seminar that shows delegates how to prototype rich internet applications (RIAs) and use the advanced features of Axure RP Pro. More information about this training course: Advanced Prototyping with Axure.

User Experience quotation of the month

"I made up my mind that I would never try to reform man — thatís much too difficult. What I would do was to try to modify the environment in such a way as to get man moving in preferred directions." — R. Buckminster Fuller.

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