Userfocus Usability Newsletter, October 2009

Welcome to the October edition of the Userfocus usability newsletter.

Message from the Editor

This month's article addresses the thorny issue of assigning severity to usability problems. It's easy enough to find a problem in a usability test, but how should you decide if it's more or less important than another usability problem? In my experience, most practitioners use their 'gut feeling' and this can get you into difficulties when the design team asks you to justify your priority level. This month's article describes an alternative approach that is robust, consistent and objective.

I hope you enjoy this month's newsletter.

David Travis

Feature article: How to prioritise usability problems

A typical usability test may return over 100 usability issues. How can you prioritise the issues so that the development team know which ones are the most serious? By asking just 3 questions of any usability problem, we are able to classify its severity as low, medium, serious or critical. Read the article in full: How to prioritise usability problems.

What we're reading

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

Usability Training: Now Booking

Web Usability, October 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.

Intranet Usability, November 24-25, London

For intranet developers who want to help employees find and use content quickly and easily, "Intranet Usability" is a 2-day immersion seminar that gives delegates hands-on experience with several usability tools and techniques. Unlike web usability courses, this intranet-specific workshop contains examples of award-winning intranets for delegates to compare their own intranet against. More information about this training course: Intranet Usability training.

How to carry out a usability expert review, December 10 2009, 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

"Your customers are not you. They don't look like you, they don't think like you, they don't do the things that you do, they don't have your expectations or assumptions. If they did, they wouldn't be your customers; they'd be your competitors." — Mike Kuniavsky.

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