Welcome to the July edition of the Userfocus usability and user experience newsletter!
- Message from the Editor
- Are personas past their prime?
- From our archives: The usability error you don't know you're making
- What we're reading
- Online training in user experience
- User experience quotation of the month
Design teams sometimes tell me that they don't see the point of personas, so this month I've tried to explore why they may not work for every team — and what to do about it. I've also highlighted an article from our archives on speaking the user's language.
I hope you find them useful.
Personas get a mixed reception from design teams, with some questioning their value. A typical criticism is that persona descriptions are superficially elegant but they lack substance. Another criticism is that persona descriptions are too 'final', and hard to update with new data. Adopting a lightweight persona description, such as the 2½D sketch, addresses these issues while retaining the strengths of traditional personas. Read the article in full: Are personas past their prime?.
Failing to speak the user's language is an easy trap to fall into because you may not know the user's vocabulary and because technical terms often become second nature to the design team. As with much of user centred design, the secret lies in getting closer to your users so you can empathise with them. Read the article in full: The usability error you don't know you're making.
Some interesting usability-related articles that got our attention over the last month:
- Some clever interaction techniques that (probably) make form input easier for users. If nothing else, they look good.
- I was looking forward to reading this comic, until I discovered that UX Superheros don't do any user research.
- The qualities that make a great user researcher aren't necessarily the same as the ones that make a great designer.
- Tips for presenting user research at show and tell.
- Windows Update is giving it 108%.
- An accessibility cheatsheet, with examples.
We have three online training courses in user experience. Save money when you purchase them as a bundle.
'A well-designed and humane interface does not need to be split into beginner and expert subsystems.' Jef Raskin