Welcome to the January edition of the Userfocus usability and user experience newsletter!
- Message from the Editor
- The 8 competencies of user experience: a tool for assessing and developing UX Practitioners
- From our archives: Cheap and free under-the-radar alternatives to field visits
- What we're reading
- Upcoming user experience training courses
- User experience quotation of the month
Welcome to 2017 — and to the 11th year of our user experience and usability newsletter. Also launched in 2007 — on this exact day in fact, January 9th — was the iPhone, introduced by Steve Jobs and Apple at Macworld in San Francisco:
Sadly, our newsletter hasn't had quite the same growth in subscribers, but on the plus side we haven't needed to outsource manufacture to China.
(By the way, if you're interested in seeing previous versions of our newsletter, you'll find them all in our newsletter archive).
In this month's "Made in Britain" newsletter, I've written about the 8 competencies of user experience. I hope you find it useful.
A UX practitioner demonstrates 8 core competencies: User needs research; Usability evaluation; Information architecture; Interaction design; Visual design; Technical writing; User interface prototyping; and User experience leadership. By assessing each team member's 'signature' in these eight areas, managers can build a fully rounded user experience team. This approach also helps identify the roles for which each team member is most suited alongside areas for individual development. Read the article in full: The 8 competencies of user experience: a tool for assessing and developing UX Practitioners
People in small companies or people who work as a "UX team of one" often find it hard to gain commitment to do field research because it's perceived as too expensive or too time consuming. What quick and low-cost alternatives are available? Read the article in full: Cheap and free under-the-radar alternatives to field visits.
Some interesting usability-related articles that got our attention over the last month:
- Didn’t get that chocolate advent calendar this year? Try @uxmastery’s version instead.
- Recent HBR article on ‘Jobs to Be Done’ by Clayton Christensen.
- Always use standard UI controls unless you have good evidence to change them. This is what good evidence looks like.
- Why are we always measuring our own performance (like delivery dates) instead of our customers' performance?
- A primer on the peak-end rule and how to use it to improve your customer experience.
- How difficult can it be to cancel your Spotify subscription?
- What design sprints are good for — and not good for.
- What you need to know when designing, developing for, and testing your sites with screen readers.
Foundation Certificate in User Experience, Jan 24-26 2017, London.
Gain the BCS Foundation Certificate in User Experience in this fun and hands-on training course. You'll 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.
"If I'd only known being nice to customers was going to work so well, I'd have started many years ago." Michael O'Leary, CEO Ryanair.