Welcome to the February edition of the Userfocus usability and user experience newsletter!
- Message from the Editor
- The 4 mistakes you'll make as a usability test moderator
- From our archives: Five kinds of 'alt' text
- What we're reading
- This month's user experience training course
- User experience quotation of the month
Paganists amongst you will know that today, February 1st, is the Imbolc festival. Marking the beginning of Spring, Imbolc celebrates the 'return of the light' as days begin to lengthen.
I like to see this as a metaphor for user research. Activities like field visits and usability tests 'turn on the light': they help design teams discover the people who will be using their product or service. So this month, I've written an article on improving your skills at moderating usability tests. I hope you find it useful.
What are the most common mistakes that test moderators make? I've observed usability tests moderated by consultants, in-house researchers, junior user researchers and experienced practitioners and there are some common mistakes I come across time and again. These mistakes are like a rite of passage on the route to becoming a user researcher, but even experienced practitioners aren't immune from making them. Read the article in full: The 4 mistakes you'll make as a usability test moderator.
There are five different classes of image used on web pages and each class of image requires a different approach to writing the 'alt' attribute. Read the article in full: From our archives: Five kinds of 'alt' text.
Some interesting usability-related articles that got our attention over the last month:
- "Focus on feedback, not criticism" is 1 of 4 tips on running a Design Critique.
- "Most people aren't rigorous about A/B testing' they're just confirming their hypotheses."
- Massive list of UX tools.
- Talking to Humans: Short, practical and free ebook describing how to do user research in discovery.
- A withering review of in-car user interfaces, full of visual examples of bad UIs.
- How to Run an Empathy & User Journey Mapping Workshop.
Foundation Certificate in User Experience, Feb 15-17, London.
Be amongst the first cohort of people to gain the BCS Foundation Certificate in User Experience. You'll gain hands-on practice in all the key areas of UX — from interviewing your users through to prototyping and usability testing your designs — while you prepare for and take the exam.
More information about this training course: Foundation Certificate in User Experience.
"Creativity is just connecting things." Steve Jobs.