Welcome to the July edition of the Userfocus usability newsletter.
- Message from the Editor
- Feature article: The Beginners’ Guide to Benchmarking User Experience
- Tutorial: 5 shortcuts for laying out Axure pages in record time
- What we're reading
- Free User Experience resources and tools
- Upcoming training courses
- User experience quotation of the month
When I was a kid I used to look forward to the Beano's Summer Special. This was a bumper edition of the comic that you could take with you to make your journey to your holiday destination go a little quicker — although I tended to have read all of my Summer Special before my parents had even bundled me into the car for our trip to the caravan site.
Nevertheless, in honour of those Summer Specials, this month we proudly present a Userfocus double issue. It may not have Dennis the Menace and the Bash Street Kids but it does have an article by me on benchmarking user experience and a tutorial from Ritch Macefield on using shortcuts in Axure. I hope you find them useful and, if you're taking a holiday in July, have a great trip.
Here are 6 steps for benchmarking your user experience designs against your client’s business objectives. The same approach works whether your clients are internal to your organisation or external. The approach works for web sites, mobile apps, desktop software, intranets, consumer products, even services. Read the article in full: The Beginners’ Guide to Benchmarking User Experience.
One of the quickest ways to speed up your use of software is to learn shortcuts. Here are 5 little-used shortcuts for Axure that will help you work like an expert. Read the article in full: 5 shortcuts for laying out Axure pages in record time.
Some interesting usability-related articles that got our attention over the last month:
- Good introduction to contextual inquiry.
- Massive glossary of interaction design concepts (PDF, 389 pages)
- "Big data" won't replace field studies because you need empathy to truly understand your users' behaviour.
- Apple's attention to detail: in iOS 6, slider reflections change as you tilt your device.
- User journey modeling is rapidly becoming the new personas.
- Fascinating interview with Jeff Hawkins about the development of the Palm Pilot. Long but required reading. (PDF)
Like these? Want more? Follow us on Twitter.
Did you know that our web site contains lots of free, useful tools and resources for UX practitioners? Here are just a few:
- UX Stencil for Omnigraffle, Visio, Pencil & Keynote
- 247 web usability guidelines
- Guidelines for reviewing consumer research reports
- Usability Test Data Logger tool
- Paper prototyping helper kit
Like these? Want more? See all 17 of our user experience tools and resources.
How to carry out a usability expert review, July 16, London.
Learn how usability experts apply principles and guidelines from psychology and design to evaluate user interfaces. More information about this training course: How to carry out a usability expert review.
Axure Essentials, Sept 10, London.
Learn how to use Axure to build wireframes and generate HTML prototypes. More information about this training course: Axure Essentials.
Advanced Prototyping with Axure, Sept 11, London.
Learn how to prototype rich internet applications (RIAs) and use the advanced features of Axure RP Pro. More information about this training course: Advanced Prototyping with Axure.
The Lean UX Starter Kit, Sept 17, London.
For people in development teams who want to create user-centred products and services, this brand new 1-day workshop shows you how to reduce design risks and and create products that users will love. More information about this training course: The Lean UX Starter Kit.
“Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work properly yet.” — Douglas Adams.