Userfocus Usability Newsletter, January 2017

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

Message from the Editor

Welcome to 2017 — and to the 11th year of our user experience and usability newsletter. Also launched in 2007 — on this exact day in fact, January 9th — was the iPhone, introduced by Steve Jobs and Apple at Macworld in San Francisco:

Sadly, our newsletter hasn't had quite the same growth in subscribers, but on the plus side we haven't needed to outsource manufacture to China.

(By the way, if you're interested in seeing previous versions of our newsletter, you'll find them all in our newsletter archive).

In this month's "Made in Britain" newsletter, I've written about the 8 competencies of user experience. I hope you find it useful.

David Travis

The 8 competencies of user experience: a tool for assessing and developing UX Practitioners

A UX practitioner demonstrates 8 core competencies: User needs research; Usability evaluation; Information architecture; Interaction design; Visual design; Technical writing; User interface prototyping; and User experience leadership. By assessing each team member's 'signature' in these eight areas, managers can build a fully rounded user experience team. This approach also helps identify the roles for which each team member is most suited alongside areas for individual development. Read the article in full: The 8 competencies of user experience: a tool for assessing and developing UX Practitioners

From our archives: Cheap and free under-the-radar alternatives to field visits

People in small companies or people who work as a "UX team of one" often find it hard to gain commitment to do field research because it's perceived as too expensive or too time consuming. What quick and low-cost alternatives are available? Read the article in full: Cheap and free under-the-radar alternatives to field visits.

What we’re reading

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

Like these? Want more? Follow us on Twitter, Facebook or Google+.

Upcoming user experience training courses

Foundation Certificate in User Experience, Jan 24-26 2017, 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

"If I'd only known being nice to customers was going to work so well, I'd have started many years ago." Michael O'Leary, CEO Ryanair.

Hungry for more?

Read previous newsletters.


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

Download the best of Userfocus. For free.

100s of pages of practical advice on user experience, in handy portable form. 'Bright Ideas' eBooks.

UX newsletter

Every month, we share an in-depth article on user experience with over 10,000 newsletter readers. Want in? Sign up now and download a free guide to usability test moderation.

Newsletter archive

Look back over previous newsletters in the newsletter archive.


Our services

Let us help you create great customer experiences.

Upcoming courses

We run regular training courses in usability and user experience.

Get free email updates

Join the thousands of other people who get their monthly fix of user experience insights from Userfocus and get a free guide to usability test moderation.