Userfocus Usability Newsletter, September 2012

Welcome to the September edition of the Userfocus usability newsletter.

Message from the Editor

Ah. September. The smell of newly-minted undergraduates.

Autumn may be in the air but we have another bonus Summer special with two articles. The first is by me on dealing with difficult usability test participants. I needed to think about this recently for a training course I was running and thought it might be something of wider interest.

The second article is by Ritch Macefield. Cheekily titled "The Monty Python Guide to User Experience" it brings together all of those UX job titles you've heard and explains where each one fits in.

We also have a companion volume to last month's 'Bright Ideas' eBook. Again, it's a free download. I hope you find it useful.

David Travis

Feature article: Dealing with difficult usability test participants

A common concern of people running usability tests is that sooner or later they’ll run into a difficult participant. Who are these difficult characters and how can we prevent them from being a problem? Read the article in full: Dealing with difficult usability test participants.

Bonus article: The Monty Python guide to user experience design

What's the difference between information architecture, interaction design, visual design and usability engineering? Each of these areas is critical in a design project but that they need to be co-ordinated by a User Experience Designer to ensure the end user's experience is a satisfying one. Read the article in full: The Monty Python guide to user experience design.

Free eBook: Bright Ideas for User Experience Designers

Another gift for newsletter subscribers! Last month we gave you an eBook on User Experience Research, this month we give you one on User Experience Design. Brownie points if you can you guess what we'll be giving away next month. Find out more: Bright Ideas for User Experience Designers.

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.

Calling all Userfocus Alumni

If you've attended one of our training courses, you'll know that I want you to apply what you learnt in your job. For many of our courses, we already provide refresher training — a series of follow up emails to remind you what you learnt. But that doesn't help you apply the skills. People tell us that when they get back to work, they sometimes run up against problems applying the techniques and want help.

If you're a Userfocus Alumnus, then please join our Community of Practice group on Linkedin. Maybe you forgot how to create red routes or personas. Perhaps you need some advice on running an upcoming usability test. Or you might want some advice on analysing your data. Fire away.

Upcoming conferences

Jan Jursa and his team in Berlin are running two conferences in November, one on mobile UX and one on UX in healthcare. We're proud to be a media partner for these events.

  • MobX Conference - Mobile Experience Design & Usability. Nov 15-17 2012: Europe's premier annual conference for Mobile User Experience, small screen Interaction Design and usable interfaces on smart devices.
  • MEDlove - The UX and Healthcare Summit. Nov 22-23 2012: A brand new annual conference for User Experience, Service Design and designing the Health Experience. MEDlove is for all you creative minds out there who deal with Usability, Service Design or innovation in the context of eHealth and Healthcare.

Usability Training: Now Booking

We still have a few places left on these courses but they're going fast…

Axure Essentials, Sept 10, London.

Learn how to use Axure to build wireframes and generate HTML prototypes. More information about this training course: Axure Essentials.

Advanced Prototyping with Axure, Sept 11, London.

Learn how to prototype rich internet applications (RIAs) and use the advanced features of Axure RP Pro. More information about this training course: Advanced Prototyping with Axure.

The Lean UX Starter Kit, Sept 17, London.

For people in development teams who want to create user-centred products and services, this brand new 1-day workshop shows you how to reduce design risks and and create products that users will love. More information about this training course: The Lean UX Starter Kit.

Web Usability: An Introduction to User Experience, Oct 22-23 London.

A fast-paced, hands-on 2-day immersion seminar that shows how the various user experience tools and techniques fit into real-world design and development processes. More information about this training course: Web Usability: An Introduction to User Experience

User Experience quotation of the month

“Customer focus is critical in a world no longer marked by a shortage of goods, but by a shortage of customers.” — Philip Kotler.

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