Welcome to the November edition of the Userfocus usability and user experience newsletter!
- Message from the Editor
- Feature article: 60 ways to understand user needs that aren't focus groups or surveys
- Introduction to ISO 9241 - Free update
- What we're reading
- Upcoming training courses
- User experience quotation of the month
This month, I sat down to write Part 2 of an article I wrote back in June. That first article was optimistically titled "Eliciting user goals — Part 1" and every time I scrolled past it on the article index page, I had this uncomfortable feeling that someone, somewhere was reloading the page, waiting for a Part 2 that never came.
"Come on Travis!" this imaginary person said, tapping her watch. "Where's Part 2, eh?"
The reality of course is that no-one really cares, but it keeps me motivated.
Anyway, as I sat down to write Part 2, I realised that there are in fact dozens of user research techniques that I could write about. So instead of a Part 2, I elected to create a whole new article titled "60 ways to understand user needs that aren't focus groups or surveys".
I hope you find it useful.
People new to user research often think of surveys and focus groups as the main ways to get insights into customer needs. Here are 60 alternative ideas you might want to try. Read the article in full: 60 ways to understand user needs that aren't focus groups or surveys.
We've recently updated our eBook on the multi-part usability standard, ISO 9241. (We used to call this the "Bluffers' Guide to ISO 9241" but after we had our knuckles rapped by the firm that owns the copyright on "Bluffers Guides", we changed the title). Updates are free to registered users and if you've purchased this eBook in the past, you should have received an email with a download link. If you'd like to buy a copy, it's '9. More details: ISO 9241 for Beginners.
Some interesting usability-related articles that got our attention over the last month:
- User researchers: if you read nothing else, read this. You'll learn why you can't just ask users what they want.
- (Free) Guide to UX Design Process & Documentation (pdf, requires sign up)
- Surely, the definitive collection of design principles. 58 sets and counting.
- What are common mistakes user experience designers make? (More likely mistakes made by novice UXDs, but interesting)
- Form Usability: The pitfalls of inline accordion and tab designs
- 24 free eBooks on UX and Interface Design. While you're at it, download these too.
- The etymology of 'log in' stems from a hunk of wood being thrown off a ship.
- Some great tips here on making UX and usability testing play nicely with agile.
- 100+ tools for UX designers.
User experience: The ultimate guide to usability
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Web Usability: An Introduction to User Experience. Jan 12-13th, London.
For web designers who want hands-on practice with user experience tools and techniques, this is a fast-paced, 2-day immersion seminar that will show you how to boost sales and conversion rates, increase usage and improve customer satisfaction.
“User researcher's fallacy: 'My job is to learn about users'. Truth: 'My job is to help my team learn about users'.” — Caroline Jarrett.