Welcome to 2016 and to the January edition of the Userfocus usability and user experience newsletter!
- Message from the Editor
- Desk research: the what, why and how
- From our archives: What Russian dolls and Fantastic Voyage can teach us about designing for mobile
- What we're reading
- User experience certification
- User experience quotation of the month
Just before Christmas I was speaking with a user researcher who didn't understand the point or purpose of desk research. This made me realise that (a) many people arrive in the field of user experience without even a rudimentary understanding of the scientific method and (b) there is a whole new seam of articles that I need to mine in 2016. But to start, I thought I would focus on the what, why and how of desk research.
I hope you find it useful.
The 'where' (at your desk) and the 'when' (at the beginning of your project) are easy questions to answer. But what is it, why do you need to to do it, and how should you go about doing desk research to make sure it adds value to your project? Read the article in full: Desk research: the what, why and how.
You can't create a mobile version of a desktop system simply by shrinking the screen. You need to re-conceptualise the application and design for red routes, fat fingers and transient use. Read the article in full: What Russian dolls and Fantastic Voyage can teach us about designing for mobile.
Some interesting usability-related articles that got our attention over the last month:
- I'm not sure a lot of these are new for 2016, but interesting views on the state of UX nonetheless.
- How to interview a designer with a design exercise
- A great story, from 1959, on why you need to prototype to learn faster.
- I like this concept of "Usability Debt" in a product. Even better: apply it to the team.
- From 2012, but still relevant: 'How Yahoo Killed Flickr and Lost the Internet'
- Why you shouldn't bother creating a mobile app.
- User researcher? Here's a fun way to test your observation skills.
Foundation Certificate in User Experience, Feb 15-17, London.
Early bird pricing: Save £300 if you book before Jan 15th.
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.
'Mistakes are the portals of discovery.' James Joyce.