Userfocus Usability Newsletter, April 2009

Welcome to the Easter edition of the Userfocus usability newsletter.

Message from the Editor

This month, we've devoted our newsletter to tools that will help you communicate user experience to your colleagues or clients. Our feature article describes some proven techniques for creating a great usability test highlights video. And we've updated our popular stencil for conveying user experience concepts — now you can use it in Visio as well as OmniGraffle.

Feature Article: The rule of 5: How to create a usability test highlights video you can be proud of

There’s no shortage of software that will record videos from usability tests, but how do you put the clips together in a way that will convince management and the design team to take action on your results? Our solution is to use the rule of 5: Create 5 separate highlights videos each focusing on one usability issue, with each issue comprising 5 clips and with each video lasting 5 minutes or less. Read the article in full: The rule of 5: How to create a usability test highlights video you can be proud of

Visio and OmniGraffle stencils for user centred design

Do you need sketches of UX deliverables or UX activities to illustrate proposals or documents? Over 20,000 Mac users have downloaded the OmniGraffle version of these stencils and now we've made them available in Visio for PC users. We've also updated the sketches to include more UX deliverables. Get this resource: Omnigraffle and Visio UX Stencil

Usability Training: Now Booking

Web usability training, May 19-20, 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. Unlike shorter introductory courses, this in-depth workshop covers the entire design and development lifecycle. More information about this training course: Web usability training.

A Practical Guide to Usability Testing, June 25, London

For people in design teams who want to gain confidence in usability testing, “A practical guide to usability testing” is a 1-day workshop that shows delegates how to obtain customer feedback on prototypes and finished products. Unlike lecture-based courses, delegates get practical, hands-on experience moderating and logging usability tests. More information about this training course: A Practical Guide to Usability Testing.

Contextual inquiry: how to plan, execute and analyse a site visit, September 22, London

For people in design teams who need to base their designs on reality, not assumptions, "Contextual inquiry: how to plan, execute and analyse a site visit" is a 1-day seminar that teaches delegates how to get the most from a field visit to a customer location. Unlike academic courses, delegates on this seminar carry out their own study and so learn the practicalities of contextual inquiry on the job. More information about this training course: Contextual inquiry: how to plan, execute and analyse a site visit.

User Experience quotation of the month

"It's a process where they discover the product through constantly creating new iterations. A lot of companies will do six or seven prototypes of a product because each one takes time and money. Apple will do a hundred — that's how many they did of the MacBook. Steve Jobs doesn't wake up one morning and there’s a vision of an iPhone floating in front of his face. He and his team discovered it through this exhaustive process of building prototype after prototype." — Leander Kahney, a journalist who has followed Apple closely.

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