Userfocus Usability Newsletter, July 2015

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

Message from the Editor

Design teams sometimes tell me that they don't see the point of personas, so this month I've tried to explore why they may not work for every team — and what to do about it. I've also highlighted an article from our archives on speaking the user's language.

I hope you find them useful.

David Travis

Are personas past their prime?

Personas get a mixed reception from design teams, with some questioning their value. A typical criticism is that persona descriptions are superficially elegant but they lack substance. Another criticism is that persona descriptions are too 'final', and hard to update with new data. Adopting a lightweight persona description, such as the 2½D sketch, addresses these issues while retaining the strengths of traditional personas. Read the article in full: Are personas past their prime?.

From our archives: The usability error you don't know you're making

Failing to speak the user's language is an easy trap to fall into because you may not know the user's vocabulary and because technical terms often become second nature to the design team. As with much of user centred design, the secret lies in getting closer to your users so you can empathise with them. Read the article in full: The usability error you don't know you're making.

What we’re reading

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

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User Experience quotation of the month

'A well-designed and humane interface does not need to be split into beginner and expert subsystems.' Jef Raskin

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