Userfocus Usability Newsletter, September 2010

Welcome to the September edition of the Userfocus usability newsletter.

Message from the Editor

With people starting University and kids joining a new class or school, September often feels like the beginning of a new year. That makes it a good time to review progress against your career goals and learn something new. So I hope that this month's article whets your appetite for carrying out a field visit if you've not participated in one in the past. Field visits can seem a bit daunting at first, but there are a few things we can learn from highly effective field researchers that will make the process much easier. I hope you enjoy the article.

David Travis

Feature article: The 5 habits of highly effective field researchers

You may not get many chances to visit and observe your customers at their place of work, so you want to make the most of the opportunity. But what's the best way to run a site visit? Highly effective field researchers show 5 specific behaviours. They create a focus question, audio record the sessions, take photographs of the environment, take notes and write up a short summary of the observation immediately. Read the article in full: The 5 habits of highly effective field researchers.

The Fable of the User Centred Designer — Now for iPad!

Our short, free book on the principles of user centred design has now been downloaded by nerly 4,000 people. And now, if you have a shiny new iPad, you can download an epub version and read it in iBooks or an equivalent eBook reader. You can also still get a plain old pdf version in English, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese and Spanish. And did we mention it's free? Read the article in full: The Fable of the User Centred Designer.

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

Axure Essentials, Sept 20, London

This course is for those with little or no previous experience of Axure RP Pro and who what to gain expertise in rapid prototyping. More information about this training course: Axure Essentials.

Advanced Prototyping with Axure, Sept 21, London

For experienced users of Axure RP Pro who want to develop advanced prototypes, this is a 1-day seminar that shows delegates how to prototype rich internet applications (RIAs) and use the advanced features of Axure RP Pro. More information about this training course: Advanced Prototyping with Axure.

Web Usability, Oct 11-12, 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. More information about this training course: Web Usability.

User Experience quotation of the month

"Just because nobody complains doesn't mean all parachutes are perfect." — Benny Hill.

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