Userfocus Usability Newsletter, August 2011

Welcome to the August edition of the Userfocus usability newsletter.

Message from the Editor

User Experience is a multi-disciplinary field, comprising usability engineers, information architects, interaction designers, developers of prototypes and visual designers. It's always surprised me that visual designers tend to be at the end of the pecking order on many projects, as if their role is simply to put the final cherry on the design (a Helvetica cherry, naturally).

In this month's article I look at some ways that visual design has a impact on usability — above and beyond the more well-known effect it has on encouraging people to use an interface. I hope you enjoy it.

David Travis

Feature article: A CRAP way to improve usability

Visual design is often dismissed as eye candy. In fact, we can use four key principles of visual design to create more usable interfaces. These principles are Contrast, Repetition, Alignment and Proximity. Read the article in full: A CRAP way to improve usability.

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.

Resources for user experience designers

If you're interested in learning more about user experience design, you might want to try one of these articles from our archives.

Like these? Want more? See all 23 of our articles on user experience design.

Usability Training: Now Booking

How to carry out a usability expert review, September 19, London.

Learn cost-effective methods to evaluate user interfaces. More information about this training course: How to carry out a usability expert review.

Web Usability: Designing the user experience, October 24-25, London.

A fast-paced, 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: Designing the user experience.

A Practical Guide to Usability Testing, November 21, London.

Learn how to obtain customer feedback on prototypes and finished products. More information about this training course: A Practical Guide to Usability Testing.

User Experience quotation of the month

“The definition of an expert is someone who knows what not to do.” — Charles Willson.

Hungry for more?

Read previous newsletters.

Foundation Certificate in UX

Gain hands-on practice in all the key areas of UX while you prepare for the BCS Foundation Certificate in User Experience. More details

Download the best of Userfocus. For free.

100s of pages of practical advice on user experience, in handy portable form. 'Bright Ideas' eBooks.

Newsletter archive

Look back over previous newsletters in the newsletter archive.

Our services

Let us help you create great customer experiences.

Training courses

Join our community of UX professionals who get their user experience training from Userfocus. See our curriculum.