New issue of Usability News available

Usability News - Feb 2005

Usability News has tons of really useful info for folks who care about usability — and if you are at all involved in making things that human being interact with, you need to care about it. From the home page:

Usability News is a free web newsletter that is produced by the Software Usability Research Laboratory (SURL). The SURL team specializes in software/website user interface design research, human-computer interaction research, and usability testing and research.

Probably the most significant advantage the SURL stuff has over a lot of other usability info is that it’s actually based in proper scientific research, rather than the usual “common sense” approach. One of the best examples of that is Preliminary Examination of Global Expectations of Users’ Mental Models for E-Commerce Web Layouts, a really interesting study that examines where people from different parts of the world expect common e-commerce web objects to appear, like the “Shopping Cart” icon and “Home” link. Stuff like this gives an interface designer real evidence to back up his or her layout choices.