Userfocus Usability Newsletter, February 2012

Welcome to the February edition of the Userfocus usability newsletter.

Message from the Editor

I ran a training course a few weeks back in London and we had some people on the course that were just making the transition from a previous career to a new career in user experience. We had a few discussions on the course about the technical skills needed to make it as a UX practitioner. On the journey home, I thought about this some more and realised that if we're discussing this on a training course, then newsletter readers might be interested in the topic too. So this month I've written about the skills needed to make it as a UX practitioner — but, as the title of the article suggests, they're probably not what you think.

I hope you enjoy the article.

David Travis

Feature article: What makes a great UX practitioner? Hint: It's not what you think

Most of the work on user experience (UX) competency focuses on an individual’s ability to show evidence of technical skills. But technical skill is just one sphere of expertise required by UX practitioners. A fully-rounded UX practitioner also needs competence in two additional spheres of practice: process and marketing. Read the article in full: What makes a great UX practitioner? Hint: It's not what you think.

Update to Morae for Usability Practitioners

We've just updated our practical guide to using Morae for usability testing. As well as adding a quiz so you can test your own knowledge of the software, we've created an epub version (so you can read it on your iPhone, iPad or most other eBook readers).

If you bought our Morae eBook in the past, you'll already have received a message from me with a download link. If you'd like to buy a copy, you can find out more here: Morae for Usability Practitioners.

Case study: Testing navigation in an intranet with half-a-million pages

RBS has over 150,000 employees and the design team had embarked on a major overhaul of their intranet, which contained around half a million pages. The design team wanted to check if staff could find important content in the new structure, which had close to 1000 nodes. The bank wanted to make sure that we canvassed opinions from employees in several countries, including the US, the UK and India. Read the case study in full: Testing navigation in an intranet with half-a-million pages.

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 researchers

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

Like these? Want more? See all 36 of our articles on user experience research.

Usability Training: Now Booking

Axure Essentials, February 20, London.

This training is designed for people who are starting out with Axure RP Pro and who want to take their first steps in creating prototypes. More information about this training course: Axure Essentials.

Advanced Prototyping with Axure, February 21, London.

Learn how to produce complex prototypes in Axure by exploiting the advanced features of Axure RP Pro. More information about this training course: Advanced Prototyping with Axure.

Prototyping mobile interfaces with Axure, February 22, London.

Learn how to use Axure to develop interactive prototypes for mobile apps and mobile friendly web sites. More information about this training course: Prototyping mobile interfaces with Axure.

Morae Essentials, March 19, London.

For new users of Techsmith's Morae who want to run a usability test, this seminar shows you how to set up, observe, log and analyse a usability test with Morae. More information about this training course: Morae Essentials.

How to carry out a usability expert review, April 23, London.

A fast-paced, 1-day seminar that teaches you cost-effective methods to evaluate designs. Unlike courses in usability testing, this seminar teaches you how to find and fix usability problems without involving end users. More information about this training course: How to carry out a usability expert review.

User Experience quotation of the month

“I cannot imagine any condition which would cause this ship to founder. Modern shipbuilding has gone beyond that.” — Edward John Smith (Captain of Titanic).

Hungry for more?

Read previous newsletters.


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

Oct 20, London: Learn how to get the most from a field visit to a customer location. More details

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