Userfocus Usability Newsletter, May 2016

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

Message from the Editor

I've been working with a client in Singapore for the last few weeks. I'm sure you've heard the narrative before: it's clean, it's safe and it's high tech. But I made two observations that surprised me.

First, the Singaporean is obsessed with selfies. And I mean obsessed. Although the selfie is a worldwide phenomenon, it has reached it's apotheosis in Singapore. Wherever you are in Singapore, if there are more than 10 people, at least five of them will be mugging for the camera. Walking around town becomes an obstacle course in dodging selfie sticks. I've lost count of the number of pictures that I've inadvertently photo bombed over the last fortnight. 

Second, despite it's high tech reputation, most firms in Singapore still appear to be pretty much in the dark ages when it comes to doing user research. I gave a Q&A session at IXDA Singapore and most of the questions were of the form: "I want to do user research but my managers / design team won't invest in it / don't appreciate it". User research (and it's corollary: realising you are not the user) is Step 1 in moving up the UX maturity ladder. Mind you, a quick and not-very-random poll I did of fellow user researchers showed that this situation isn't limited to Singapore. So it looks like we have a lot more work to do.

This month's article is by Jeff Sauro on the System Usability Scale. If you'd like to hear Jeff talk about this tool, and a lot more, jump to the end of this newsletter where you can find out about a special event we have scheduled with Jeff in London on June 15th.

David Travis

Measuring Usability With The System Usability Scale (SUS)

It is the 30th anniversary of the creation of the most used questionnaire for measuring perceptions of usability. The System Usability Scale (SUS) was released into this world by John Brooke in 1986. It has become an industry standard with references in over 600 publications. Read the article in full: Measuring Usability With The System Usability Scale (SUS).

From our archives: The three lenses of usability evaluation

Over the last few months, Iíve worked with three clients who have each adopted a different approach to usability evaluation. These approaches are like different lenses used to observe the customer experience. No single approach is adequate on its own, but in combination the three approaches form a powerful strategy. Read the article in full: The three lenses of usability evaluation.

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+.

Userfocus presents… Jeff Sauro: Quantifying the User Experience

This half-day 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, May 16-18, 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 ó from interviewing your users through to prototyping and usability testing your designs ó while you prepare for and take the exam. 3 places left.

More information about this training course: Foundation Certificate in User Experience.

User Experience quotation of the month

"Donít find customers for your products, find products for your customers." ó Seth Godin.

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.