Userfocus Usability Newsletter, September 2016

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

Message from the Editor

I think it's in the nature of people who work in user experience to go searching for new tools, methods and techniques. Something that will allow us to provide a different kind of insight — or provide the same insight more quickly or in a more engaging form. But sometimes the best approach is to stop looking outwards and start looking inwards. This month I've written about the importance of self reflection for user researchers. although I could have written a very similar article for UX designers or someone in a UX leadership position. I hope you find it useful.

David Travis

The Reflective User Researcher

Hands-on practice, although important, does not necessarily lead to expertise. The best user researchers analyse their work, deliberately and consciously. By reflecting on a user research activity, they are able to increase the learning from a situation, identify their personal and professional strengths and find areas for improvement and training. Read the article in full: The Reflective User Researcher.

From our archives: What car park payment machines can teach us about usability

Car park payment machines provide an every-day example of poor usability. They teach us that technology should not drive design, that less important tasks should not dominate the user interface and that usability is more than visual design. They also teach us that usability doesn’t always matter in design, the best user interface is no interface and that usability is a differentiator only when customers have a choice. Read the article in full: What car park payment machines can teach us about usability.

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, Jan 24-26 2017, 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

"Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.." — Winston Churchill.

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