Userfocus Usability Newsletter, October 2017

Welcome to the October edition of the Userfocus usability and user experience newsletter!

Message from the Editor

This month's newsletter is dedicated to the memory of Juicero.

Last month, Juicero (the company that sold a $700 Wi-Fi-enabled juicer), shut down. Juicero 'solved' the problem of chopping vegetables by selling prepackaged, pre-chopped produce in special packs. But despite attracting $120m in venture capital funding, no-one from Juicero did the right kind of research to discover if peeling and chopping vegetables is really a hassle for people. It turns out it isn't — at least, not enough of a hassle to justify buying a minimum of 5 Juicero packs a week at $7-$10 a pack.

The final nail in Juicero's coffin came when reporters at Bloomberg demonstrated that the proprietary juice bags could be just as easily squeezed by hand.

Like boo.com before it — the failed web site that Jakob Nielsen famously described as "one of the very few high-profile sites… that dared violate my design principles" — Juicero will no doubt become a case study on the consequences of ignoring user research.

To help you avoid a Juicero-like disaster, this month's article reviews what 'good' and 'bad' evidence looks like in user research. It's come too late for the folks at Juicero but I hope you're able to apply it in your job.

And if you're working on a new product at the moment and want to avoid a Juicero-like mistake, check out my free online course at the end of this newsletter.

David Travis

User experience research and strength of evidence

The concept of strength of evidence plays an important role in all fields of research, but is seldom discussed in the context of user research. We take a closer look at what it means for user experience research, and suggest a taxonomy of research methods based on the strength of the data they return. Read the article in full: User experience research and strength of evidence.

From our archives: What one UX skill or ability is the most important to master?

User Experience is a multi-disciplinary specialty and that means UX practitioners must master several methods, techniques and skills. Recently — partly as a thought exercise, and partly in an attempt to tap into what might be the essence of user research and design — I wondered if just one skill or ability deserved to stand out from the rest. Here’s how five UX specialists answered that question. Read the article in full: What one UX skill or ability is the most important to master?

What we’re reading

Some interesting usability-related articles that got our attention over the last month:

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User experience training courses

Design successful products that users love

Free online user research lessons. 20 user research workshops to take your business idea from concept to validation.

More information about this training course: Design successful products that users love.

User Experience quotation of the month

"In the quest for creative thinking, research should never be left to someone else, as nothing so stimulates the imagination as the impact of direct experience." — Jerry Hirshberg.

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