Userfocus Usability Newsletter, May 2009

Welcome to the May edition of the Userfocus usability newsletter.

Message from the Editor

I moderated my first usability test about 20 years ago — and made a real hash of it. With a background in psychology, my focus was on collecting robust data and avoiding any hint of bias in the instructions. As a consequence, my first participant was very anxious and her anxiety manifested itself as silence and timidity. Because I was anxious myself, I missed these signals and put the paucity of findings down to having a difficult participant. If I'd had Gret Higgins' article to hand, my first experience of usability test moderation would have been a lot better. It's vital reading for both new and experienced moderators. I'm sure you'll enjoy it.

Feature Article: What every usability test moderator ought to know about good listening

Moderation seems effortless but there's a lot more to good listening than opening your ears. Here are 15 suggestions to improve your own listening skills. Read the article in full: What every usability test moderator ought to know about good listening.

Usability Training: Now Booking

We have usability training courses coming up in London and Chicago.

Web usability training, May 19-20, 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.

Morae Essentials, June 10, Chicago

For new users of Techsmith's Morae who want to run a usability test, "Morae Essentials" is a 1-day seminar that shows delegates how to set up, observe, log and analyze a usability test with Morae. More information about this training course (via Blueprint Usability): Morae Essentials.

A Practical Guide to Usability Testing, June 25, 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: A Practical Guide to Usability Testing.

User Experience quotation of the month

"If I had asked my customers what they wanted, they would have asked for a faster horse." — Henry Ford.

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