Userfocus Usability Newsletter, June 2016

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

Message from the Editor

In a typical month, I train for one week and spend the rest of the time consulting with design teams. I enjoy this combination. The training ensures my consulting is up to date with theory. And the consulting makes sure that my training courses are practical and useful. An example of this is obtaining informed consent from user research participants. The way I see this done in practice falls far short of what user researchers should do in theory. I expand on the reasons why in this month’s article.

And while we’re on the topic of combining theory and practice… This is your last chance to sign up to hear Jeff Sauro speak about measuring usability in London. There are just 9 tickets left at the standard price. You’ll find the link at the end of the newsletter.

Finally, I couldn't send out this newsletter without shoehorning in a reference to the late and great Muhammad Ali. So I’ve included what is probably his most famous quotation. It's relevance to user experience? "Float like a butterfly" (make it beautiful). "Sting like a bee" (don’t forget to deliver on the key tasks).

David Travis

What user researchers ought to know about informed consent

Gaining informed consent is a cornerstone of the social sciences. But it is sometimes poorly practiced by user researchers. They fail to explain consent properly. They mix up the consent form with a non-disclosure agreement. And they mix up the consent form with the incentive. Improving the way you get consent will also improve the data you collect because participants can be more open and because it makes user researchers more empathic. Read the article in full: What user researchers ought to know about informed consent.

From our archives: How red routes can help you take charge of your product backlog

"Design is easy," writes branding expert Marty Neumeier. "All you do is stare at the screen until drops of blood form on your forehead." One element that makes design difficult is a lack of constraints. Focusing on your product's red routes provides the key constraint you need to ship a high value product from version 1. Read the article in full: How red routes can help you take charge of your product backlog.

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 is your last chance to sign up for Jeff Sauro's half-day workshop in London. The workshop is for researchers and designers who want to use numbers to inform design and make better decisions about websites, software or mobile apps.

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

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

"Float like a butterfly. Sting like a bee." — Muhammad Ali.

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Foundation Certificate in UX

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