Userfocus Usability Newsletter, December 2008

Welcome to the December edition of the Userfocus usability newsletter.

Message from the Editor

This month's newsletter has a definite seasonal feel to it.

With e-tailers feeling the effects of the credit crunch, our feature article contains a set of nine guidelines for optimising an e-commerce checkout. Written by Phillip Gardiner — a man who has observed more e-commerce usability tests than most of us have had hot turkey dinners — the article contains just what you need to run a healthcheck on your e-commerce checkout.

We're also featuring massive discounts on two of our popular eBooks, "Morae for Usability Practitioners" and the "Usability Test Plan Toolkit". For this month only, both books are on sale to newsletter subscribers for £9 each — a saving of over 75%.

We also have news of three upcoming courses in 2009, including a new course on web survey design.

Finally, I'd like to wish you the complements of the season and I hope you have a peaceful and prosperous new year.

Feature Article: Shopping basket usability: Nine tests for a usable checkout

With consumer budgets tightening, retailers need to fix every potential leak in their e-commerce site. Many sites lose customers during the series of screens that appear after the customer clicks the checkout button. We've observed hundreds of e-commerce sessions in our usability labs and the best performing sites demonstrate these 9 features. Read the article in full: Nine tests for a usable checkout

Christmas discounts on eBooks for newsletter subscribers

Usability Test Plan Toolkit

As well as people new to usability, the usability test plan toolkit will benefit experienced usability professionals who want to sanity-check their self-taught methods against international best practice. The Test Plan Toolkit includes fully editable Microsoft Word templates, including:

  • A usability test recruitment screener.
  • A statement of informed consent.
  • Instructions for observers in a usability test.
  • A discussion guide for a usability test.
  • Two usability test questionnaires.
  • A usability test data logging sheet.
  • We even include sample letters to participants for you to send out before and after the usability test sessions!

Normally £55, newsletter subscribers can buy this eBook for just £9.

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 3 to plan, execute and analyse usability tests. Packed with insider tips and expert advice, this guide will show you how to use Morae to its full potential. This detailed, easy-to-read, structured guide to Techsmith's Morae 3 includes:

  • Expert tips on issues like how to moderate and log simultaneously.
  • Warnings about usability "gotchas" that can cause you to lose your recording.
  • How to use Morae in various testing scenarios like a portable test lab and a multi-room setup.
  • How to use the "AutoPilot" feature to run unmoderated usability tests.
  • Step-by-step walkthroughs to teach yourself about Morae's key functions.
  • Exercises and activities that you can carry out to learn the program.
  • Checklists that you can use to confirm you're using Morae to its full potential.

Normally £35, newsletter subscribers can buy this eBook for just £9.

Usability Training: Now Booking

Web Usability Training, January 27-28 2009, 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.

How to carry out a usability expert review, February 17 2009, 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.

How to design and implement web surveys, March 10 2009, London

For user experience researchers who create web-based questionnaires, "How to design and implement web surveys" is a 1-day seminar that shows delegates how to create and analyse valid and reliable web surveys. Unlike standard courses on questionnaire design, this seminar shows delegates how to avoid the specific bloopers, biasses and pitfalls that bedevil most web surveys. More information about this training course: Web survey training.

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