Userfocus Usability Newsletter, August 2008

Welcome to the August edition of the Userfocus usability newsletter.

Message from the Editor

This month we're pleased to announce a major upgrade to our web site. It's been 5 years since we first launched the site and during that time we've grown the scope of our consulting and training services, boosted the number of articles and resources on the site and broadened our readership. We've also observed a change of nomenclature in the industry, as we move our focus from "usability" to "user experience". We wanted to reflect these changes in our new design.

It's been in development for a couple of months and has already undergone a number of iterations after usability tests both with our clients and with regular visitors. Our design goals were to make it easier for visitors to find our consultancy and training services and to help people choose amongst the dozens of articles and resources on the site. At the same time, we needed to maintain the highest levels of usability and accessibility. The latest round of usability testing suggests we're meeting our design goals but we'd love to hear your comments, good or bad. Please let me know what you think by sending comments.

Feature Article: Field visit interviews — from good to great

Our consultant Gret Higgins writes this month's article. As well as being a Chartered Occupational Psychologist, Gret has a background in counselling psychology, which means she's able to provide some fascinating insights into great interviewing techniques.

"Site visits are the best method we have of gaining real insight into the way customers work -- to understand what customers do, rather than what they say they do. But to get the most from a site visit you need to polish your interviewing skills. Great interviewers show 5 characteristics from which we can learn.". Read the article in full: Field visit interviews — from good to great

New eBook: Morae for Usability Practitioners

Targeted at both new and experienced users of Morae, Morae for Usability Practitioners is a step-by-step guide to using Morae to plan, execute and analyse usability tests. Packed with insider tips and expert advice, this guide will help you use Morae to its full potential. Morae for Usability Practitioners

Update to Excel Datalogger

Todd Zazelenchuk has updated the Usability Test Data Logger tool (now at version 5.1). This is a maintenance release that fixes a couple of display glitches. Everyone that uses the Usability Test Data Logger to run usability tests should update to this new version. And if you've not tried the Usability Test Data Logger before give it a spin, it's free! Excel Datalogger

Usability Training: Now Booking

How to carry out an expert review, September 2 2008, 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. Unlike courses in usability testing, this seminar teaches delegates how to find and fix usability problems without involving end users. More information about this training course: Expert Review training.

Web Usability Training, October 7-8 2008, 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.

Intranet Usability, November 4-5 2008, London

For intranet developers who want to help employees find and use content quickly and easily, Intranet Usability  is a 2-day immersion seminar that gives delegates hands-on experience with several usability tools and techniques. Unlike web usability courses, this intranet-specific workshop contains examples of award-winning intranets for delegates to compare their own intranet against. More information about this training course: Intranet Usability training.

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