Userfocus Usability Newsletter, August 2017

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

Message from the Editor

I was a child in the sixties, when a toothbrush was a piece of plastic with bristles on the end and when a telephone was hard-wired into a socket in the hallway. If I could travel back in time and tell my younger self that one day my toothbrush would communicate with my phone, I would not have been able to understand that sentence in any meaningful way.

Yet that time has come. I have an app on my iPhone that connects to my toothbrush and tells me for how long I've been brushing my teeth and gives me tips on better brushing.

The irony is that I've not used the app since its first outing. Now it languishes with the dozens of other apps on my phone that got one chance to prove they were useful, and failed.

I came across a study by Gartner that claims just one in ten thousand mobile apps are considered a financial success. You can boost those chances significantly by applying strategic thinking in user experience. If you work in product design and want to take a business idea from concept to validation, I've just created a free e-mail course on UX strategy. You can sign up for the course at and I've reproduced one of the 20 lessons as this month's article. I hope you find it useful.

David Travis

User Journey Mapping

This workshop is one of 20 UX Strategy Workshops to take your business idea from concept to validation. In this workshop, we create a user journey map from data collected during field visits. A user journey map describes the entire user experience when people are achieving their goals. It's the first step in coming up with design solutions that are truly innovative. Read the article in full: User Journey Mapping.

From our archives: 5 provocative views on usability testing

In this article, I argue that these 5 common beliefs about usability testing are false: 'Remote, unmoderated testing is as reliable as lab-based testing'; 'Report only the 3-5 most serious problems to the client.'; 'One-off usability tests are still useful'; 'Users have valuable insight into why they struggle'; 'If you've found 90 serious or critical problems in a usability test, you shouldn't report them all in the usability test report'. Read the article in full: 5 provocative views on usability testing.

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, Oct 10-12 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.

3 places left.

More information about this training course: Foundation Certificate in User Experience.

User Experience quotation of the month

"Nothing ever becomes real till it is experienced. Even a proverb is no proverb to you till your life has illustrated it." John Keats.

Hungry for more?

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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

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