Welcome to the April edition of the Userfocus usability newsletter.
- Message from the Editor
- Feature article: Making usability metrics count
- What we're reading
- Upcoming training courses
- User experience quotation of the month
Many years ago, when I was making the transition from working in academia to working in industry, I remember a colleague reminding me before a client meeting to 'speak the language of business'. I've since discovered that what this really meant was that I needed to include a currency symbol somewhere in my sentences. Predictable though it is, focusing on financial measures really is the way to persuade managers to listen to arguments for user experience. So this month, I'm pleased that Philip Hodgson has written an article showing how you can link the numbers from usability tests to the numbers that steer business decisions. I hope you enjoy it.
Something else I'm pleased about is the range of training courses we're able to offer over the next couple of months. As well as yours truly providing training on Web Usability and Web Accessibility, we have Ritch Macefiield running his popular Axure courses, Louise Ferguson running a course on ethnographic research methods and Sue Davis delivering a workshop on writing and editing for the web. I hope to see you at one of these events.
In spite of a proliferation of books, articles and blogs explaining how to measure usability, few companies seem to put their usability metrics to good use. In this article we show how you can link the numbers from usability tests to the numbers that steer business decisions — and in the process, influence your company's business. Read the article in full: Making usability metrics count.
Some interesting usability-related articles that got our attention over the last month:
- When PR / marketing / legal departments go bonkers: web sites that forbid you to link to them.
- Now there's some data to back up the belief that people take more care when answering shorter surveys.
- Communicating user experience with videos. Part 1, Prototyping. Part 2, Concepting. Part 3, Future Scenarios.
- A huge list of Style Guides and UI Guidelines.
- Why you can't do research simply by asking users what they want.
- And just for fun: The best explanation we have seen on the EU Directive on cookies.
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Web Usability: Designing the user experience with David Travis, Apr 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: Designing the user experience.
Axure Essentials with Ritch Macefield, May 9, 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 Axure Prototyping with Ritch Macefield, May 10, London
This course is for those who can already design, specify and generate basic prototypes in Axure RP pro and who now want to learn how to produce complex prototypes by exploiting the advanced features of Axure RP pro. More information about this training course: Advanced Prototyping with Axure.
Web accessibility for developers and designers with David Travis, May 23, London
There is no shortage of information on web accessibility. The difficulty for web developers, marketers and managers is in identifying precisely what they need to change in their web site and how to go about it. This workshop lets you experience how disabled people use the web and shows you how to design and test your site for accessibility. More information about this training course: Web accessibility for developers and designers.
Ethnography and field work with Louise Ferguson, May 27, London
A workshop that shows delegates how to conduct, collect and interpret the data from field research. Unlike theoretical courses, this seminar shows delegates how to practically apply their ethnographic insights to the design of new technology. More information about this training course: Ethnography and field work.
Writing and editing for the web with Sue Davis, June 10, London
A hands-on course that shows delegates how to write and edit content to engage readers from the very first word. Unlike other web writing courses, this workshop is packed with practical activites that help you put what you learn to immediate use. More information about this training course: Writing and editing for the web.
“At first, writing for The New Yorker was very scary to me. I couldn't imagine anything that I would write in that typeface.” — David Sedaris.