Welcome to the February edition of the Userfocus usability and user experience newsletter!
- Message from the Editor
- What is design ethnography?
- From our archives: Credit-Crunch Usability: 10 ways to maximise your usability budget
- What we're reading
- User experience training courses
- User experience quotation of the month
Welcome to the February edition of our user experience and usability newsletter. In this month's newsletter, we have an article introducing design ethnography, a reprise article on maximising your usability budget and a bunch of links from across the interweb.
A common mistake made by novice researchers is to ask users what they want from a new product or service. Although this seems like the correct way to do user research, in most cases users don't know, don't care or can't articulate what they need. It is the design team's job to establish the underlying problem, identify the best solution and then validate that their solution works. Design ethnography is the first step on that journey. Read the article in full: What is design ethnography?
Being frugal during economic hard times is good business practice. So how can you squeeze your usability budget and still deliver great insights? These 10 suggestions for streamlining your usability efforts explode the myth that usability is expensive and time-consuming. Read the article in full: Credit-Crunch Usability: 10 ways to maximise your usability budget.
Some interesting usability-related articles that got our attention over the last month:
- The Missile False Alarm in Hawaii: "We can talk all day about hindsight, but the human-centered design process in software development is there to provide foresight".
- 5 user research rules of thumb: 1 day of analysis for every day of research; 30% doing research, 70% communicating; don't design for more than 2 weeks without testing; Use more than 3 participants, less than 10; 1 user researcher per team.
- Everything is too complicated: most people have no idea how their gadgets work, and are hopelessly confused by the tech they have.
- "Consumer preference -- including the importance and satisfaction of desired outcomes -- is always changing and highly malleable. This makes it difficult, and perhaps impossible, to measure them reliably."
- We know that drop down menus can cause interaction problems (especially for novice users) so designing your own version of a drop down is a very risky strategy. Indeed, 31% of all custom designed drop-downs have significant usability issues.
- I never had a lot for time for those 'Happy or Not?' buttons used for customer feedback at airports. But I didn't realise the power of analysing the data by time and location.
Foundation Certificate in User Experience, Feb 20-22 2018, London.
In this fun and hands-on training course, you'll practice 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.
Book now to benefit from early bird pricing: Foundation Certificate in User Experience.
Design ethnography: Take control of customer visits and interviews, May 14-15 2018, London.
This 2-day seminar shows delegates how to get the most from a field visit to a customer location. Find out how to select the right users, when you should observe and when you should ask questions, how to collect observational data and how to analyse it to improve your design.
Book now to benefit from early bird pricing: Design ethnography: Take control of customer visits and interviews.
"Tomorrow belongs to those who can hear it coming." David Bowie.