Welcome to the June edition of the Userfocus usability newsletter.
- Message from the Editor
- Feature article: Web survey design step-by-step
- What we're reading
- Upcoming training courses
- User experience quotation of the month
If your in-box is anything like mine, in a typical month you'll receive 20 or so requests to respond to a survey. My opinion has recently been sought on the purchase process at an e-commerce store, on my voting intentions, and on where I'd like to go on holiday next year. Curiously, web surveys are often overlooked as a user experience tool. It's true that surveys, unlike usability tests, measure what people say (rather than what they do). But surveys still have a role to play in our field. For example, we recently carried out a large survey for a client as a precursor to developing personas. The survey helped us identify the main categories of end users, which helped us make sure we involved the right people in our in-depth interviews. In this month's article, I describe how to carry out a web survey and get useful results. I hope you find it useful.
In between filling out surveys, we're also entering a busy time with our training courses. We have 5 different courses lined up over a space of 4 weeks, covering web usability, intranet usability, user experience strategy, and prototyping with Axure. You'll find more details below. I hope to see you on one of them in London.
Many people think that the key to great web surveys is to craft good questions. Creating good questions is important but this is really just a small part of the battle. To design great web surveys you need to follow 6 steps. Following these steps will help you get the valid and accurate data you need to drive commercial business decisions. Read the article in full: Creative ways to solve usability problems.
Some interesting usability-related articles that got our attention over the last month:
- An almost-free, mobile phone usability testing rig for video-ing test sessions.
- A presentation tour-de-force from Jared Spool, deconstructing Amazon's usability strengths.
- User experience designers show how they'd overhaul Facebook's obtuse privacy settings interface if given the chance.
- Concise summary of psychological principles that every user experience designer should know.
- A detailed, thought-provoking article on the future of search — required reading for all information architects.
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Web Usability, June 16-17, London
For web designers who want hands-on experience with usability tools and techniques, "Web Usability" is a 2-day immersion seminar that shows delegates how to boost sales and conversion rates, increase usage and improve customer satisfaction. More information about this training course: Web Usability.
Axure Essentials, June 21, London
For new users of Axure RP Pro who want to create interactive prototypes, "Axure Essentials" is a 1-day seminar that shows delegates how to build wireframes and generate HTML prototypes. his training is designed for those who have little or no knowledge of Axure RP Pro who want to take their first steps in creating prototypes (wireframes). More information about this training course: Axure Essentials.
Advanced Prototyping with Axure, June 22, London
For experienced users of Axure RP Pro who want to develop advanced prototypes, "Advanced Prototyping with Axure" is a 1-day seminar that shows delegates 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.
Repositioning User Experience as a Strategic Process, July 8, London
For managers or advocates charged with championing user-centred design processes, "Repositioning User Experience as a Strategic Process" is a 1-day workshop that shows delegates how to think strategically about user centred design. More information about this training course: Repositioning User Experience as a Strategic Process.
Intranet Usability, July 14-15, London
For intranet developers who want to help employees find and use content quickly and easily, 'Intranet Usability' is a 2-day immersion seminar that contains examples of award-winning intranets for delegates to compare their own intranet against. More information about this training course: Intranet Usability.
"Where observation is concerned, chance favours only the prepared mind." — Louis Pasteur.