Userfocus Usability Newsletter, January 2010

Welcome to the January edition of the Userfocus usability newsletter.

Message from the Editor

I regularly get emails from people wanting advice on making a career in user experience. A typical correspondent asks me to recommend a course or suggest an employer, but my usual advice is to develop a passion for user experience. Passion provides a focus to your career, prevents you from giving up on difficult challenges, and inspires others. Whether you're just starting out in user experience or you're a seasoned professional, it's never too late to find your passion. So this month, in keeping with the new year resolution theme, I've put together a list of 12 ideas to help you find that passion and boost your career.

Enjoy the newsletter.

David Travis

Feature article: 12 ways to turbocharge your usability career

Do you spend so much time firefighting that you forget to think about your career? January is as good a time as any to think about improving your career prospects so here are some tips to help you get more from your job — or even get a better job. Presented as 12 bite-sized, monthly activities, do just one a month and watch your career take off this year. Read the article in full: 12 ways to turbocharge your usability career.

What we're reading

Some interesting usability-related articles that got our attention over the last month:

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Usability Training: Now Booking

Web Usability, January 20-21, 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.

A Practical Guide to Usability Testing, February 18, London

For people in design teams who want to gain confidence in usability testing, "A practical guide to usability testing" is a 1-day workshop that shows delegates how to obtain customer feedback on prototypes and finished products. Unlike lecture-based courses, delegates get practical, hands-on experience moderating and logging usability tests. More information about this training course: Usability testing training.

How to carry out a usability expert review, March 16, 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.

User Experience quotation of the month

"If you know a thing only qualitatively, you know it no more than vaguely. If you know it quantitatively — grasping some numerical measure that distinguishes it from an infinite number of other possibilities — you are beginning to know it deeply. You comprehend some of its beauty and you gain access to its power and the understanding it provides." — Carl Sagan.

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