Welcome to the June edition of the Userfocus usability and user experience newsletter!
- Message from the Editor
- What user researchers ought to know about informed consent
- From our archives: How red routes can help you take charge of your product backlog
- What we're reading
- Userfocus presents… Jeff Sauro: Quantifying the User Experience
- Upcoming user experience training courses
- User experience quotation of the month
In a typical month, I train for one week and spend the rest of the time consulting with design teams. I enjoy this combination. The training ensures my consulting is up to date with theory. And the consulting makes sure that my training courses are practical and useful. An example of this is obtaining informed consent from user research participants. The way I see this done in practice falls far short of what user researchers should do in theory. I expand on the reasons why in this month's article.
And while we're on the topic of combining theory and practice' This is your last chance to sign up to hear Jeff Sauro speak about measuring usability in London. There are just 9 tickets left at the standard price. You'll find the link at the end of the newsletter.
Finally, I couldn't send out this newsletter without shoehorning in a reference to the late and great Muhammad Ali. So I've included what is probably his most famous quotation. It's relevance to user experience? "Float like a butterfly" (make it beautiful). "Sting like a bee" (don't forget to deliver on the key tasks).
Gaining informed consent is a cornerstone of the social sciences. But it is sometimes poorly practiced by user researchers. They fail to explain consent properly. They mix up the consent form with a non-disclosure agreement. And they mix up the consent form with the incentive. Improving the way you get consent will also improve the data you collect because participants can be more open and because it makes user researchers more empathic. Read the article in full: What user researchers ought to know about informed consent.
"Design is easy," writes branding expert Marty Neumeier. "All you do is stare at the screen until drops of blood form on your forehead." One element that makes design difficult is a lack of constraints. Focusing on your product's red routes provides the key constraint you need to ship a high value product from version 1. Read the article in full: How red routes can help you take charge of your product backlog.
Some interesting usability-related articles that got our attention over the last month:
- The 10 best free UX e-books.
- Don't design what users want.
- The red X icon on the right hand side of a dialog box? It now means “OK”, not “Cancel”.
- The Internet of Things needs design, not just technology.
- Atlassian’s design personas.
- So many great ideas here for sharing the results of user research #ideasworthstealing
- Free webinars on UX from the User Experience Professionals Association.
- The various types of designer in UK Government — and why “UX designer” isn’t one of them.
- Today’s argument for doing user research: it will help you avoid being publicly shamed, like this.
- Want to really understand your users? Ask for stories to avoid getting a sanitised description of their behaviour.
This is your last chance to sign up for Jeff Sauro's half-day workshop in London. The workshop is for researchers and designers who want to use numbers to inform design and make better decisions about websites, software or mobile apps.
More information about this workshop: Jeff Sauro: Quantifying the User Experience.
Foundation Certificate in User Experience, Sep 13-15, 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.
"Float like a butterfly. Sting like a bee." Muhammad Ali.