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.

Hungry for more?

Read previous newsletters.

Foundation Certificate in UX

Gain hands-on practice in all the key areas of UX while you prepare for the BCS Foundation Certificate in User Experience. More details

Download the best of Userfocus. For free.

100s of pages of practical advice on user experience, in handy portable form. 'Bright Ideas' eBooks.

UX newsletter

Every month, we share an in-depth article on user experience with over 10,000 newsletter readers. Want in? Sign up now and download a free guide to usability test moderation.

Newsletter archive

Look back over previous newsletters in the newsletter archive.

Our services

Let us help you create great customer experiences.

Upcoming courses

We run regular training courses in usability and user experience.

Get free email updates

Join the thousands of other people who get their monthly fix of user experience insights from Userfocus and get a free guide to usability test moderation.