Userfocus Usability Newsletter, October 2010

Welcome to the October edition of the Userfocus usability newsletter.

Message from the Editor

Regular readers of our newsletter will know that there is no shortage of standards in usability, with national, European and international standards groups jockeying alongside trade organisations and even individual manufacturers. "Standards are so much fun," the joke goes, "that everybody wants their own". We could probably say the same thing about "user experience". The term seems to mean different things to different people with everyone claiming ownership of it. This lack of specificity causes real difficulties for organisations wanting to establish their first user experience group. This month's article by Philip Hodgson provides some much needed relief. His conclusion? Focus on the leader and all else will follow. I hope you find it useful.

David Travis

Feature article: How to recruit a UX leader with the X factor

We're increasingly asked by organisations for advice on building a user experience competency. Our advice is to start at the top and get the right person for that first critical leadership role. User experience leaders demonstrate 3 core competencies: they understand research; they follow user experience methods and standards; and they are great communicators. Read the article in full: How to recruit a UX leader with the X factor.

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

Web Usability, Oct 11-12, London

For web designers who want hands-on experience with usability tools and techniques, "Web Usability" is a 2-day immersion seminar that shows delegates how to boost sales and conversion rates, increase usage and improve customer satisfaction. More information about this training course: Web Usability.

Web accessibility for developers and designers, Nov 23, London

For developers and designers who need to create accessible web sites, "Web accessibility for developers and designers" is a 1-day seminar that shows delegates how to design accessible web pages and how to evaluate web pages for accessibility. More information about this training course: Web accessibility for developers and designers.

How to carry out a usability expert review, Dec 8, 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 without testing with end users. More information about this training course: How to carry out a usability expert review.

User Experience quotation of the month

"Imagine a school with children that can read or write, but with teachers who cannot, and you have a metaphor of the Information Age in which we live." — Peter Cochrane.

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