Welcome to the March edition of the Userfocus usability and user experience newsletter!
- Message from the Editor
- Keeping Yourself out of the Story: Controlling Experimenter Effects
- 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
Running design experiments (as opposed to designers 'listening to their gut') is rapidly becoming the new black. We've been promoting this idea since Userfocus's inception 15 years ago, but if you've not been listening then this month's newsletter is for you.
We have an article by Philip Hodgson on controling bias in design experiments. Philip has a great way of communicating complex ideas simply and I always feel a little more intelligent after I've read one of his pieces. I hope you find it useful too.
And we're also announcing an event in June where Jeff Sauro will talk about measuring user experience. There may be a handful of people in the world who know as much as Jeff about this topic, but I doubt there's anyone who knows more. We're keen to open this up to as many people as possible so we've deliberately kept ticket prices low. I hope you'll join us!
We take a look at some subtle yet pervasive experimenter effects, at ways they can bias the outcome of a design experiment, and at what we can do to control their influence. Read the article in full: Keeping Yourself out of the Story: Controlling Experimenter Effects.
'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: From our archives: 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:
- Design projects that neglect user research fail because of a lack of shared knowledge not a lack of data.
- Pretty much everything ever written on UI style guides, all on one page.
- Psychology students: Consider UX as your future job.
- 35 free books on UX.
- (Another) comprehensive list of UX resources, courses and tools.
- McDonalds Kiosks: UX Disaster.
- What makes the perfect usability lab? A checklist from 3 perspectives: participants, researchers and stakeholders.
This half-day workshop is for researchers and designers who want to use numbers to inform design and make better decisions about websites, software or mobile apps. Ticket prices from £150.
More information about this workshop: Jeff Sauro: Quantifying the User Experience.
Foundation Certificate in User Experience, May 16-18, 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.
"The thing with hi-tech is that you always end up using scissors." David Hockney.