Userfocus Usability Newsletter, July 2016

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

Message from the Editor

Other than Brexit and the British political system in crisis, it's been a typically slow news month since our last newsletter. This month I've written about two questions we answer with user research. I still see design teams doing usability tests when they should be doing field visits, and vice versa, so I thought it would be worth establishing why you do each of these research techniques.

David Travis

The two questions we answer with user research

Fundamentally, all user research answers one of two questions: (a) Who are our users and what are they trying to do? (b) Can people use the thing we've designed to solve their problem? You answer the first question with a field visit and you answer the second question with a usability test. Read the article in full: The two questions we answer with user research.

From our archives: Help! What The Beatles can teach us about writing support material

Reading user instructions continues to rank high on people’s lists of ‘activities-to-be-avoided-at-all-possible-costs’. We’ve worked with a number of clients to improve their user support materials and we frequently encounter five common mistakes made by development teams. This work has given us some insight into how best to avoid these problems occurring in the first place. Read the article in full: Help! What The Beatles can teach us about writing support material.

What we’re reading

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

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Upcoming user experience training courses

Foundation Certificate in User Experience, Sep 13-15, 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

"Design is a plan for arranging elements in such a way as best to accomplish a particular purpose." — Charles Eames.

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