November 2009 Usability Spotlight

November 20, 2009

Best Practices for Designing Mobile Applications

Based on insights from over 125 mobile projects and mobile application usability testing of 4,000 participants, User Centric consultants offer some best practices for mobile application design: 

  1. Make scrollbars and selection highlighting more salient - Due to limited real estate on a mobile phone, scrollbars are often skinny and missed by users.  This causes them to overlook any information that may be below the fold, including important calls-to-action. Enlarging the scroll bars so they are noticed by users can alleviate this issue.  

Read full article with all 6 recommendations!

User Centric Consultants Share Secrets to Successful Global User Research

This year, World Usability Day brings the launch of the first book focused on international user testing, the Handbook of Global User Research.  Edited by Robert Schumacher, Managing Director of User Centric, the Handbook of Global User Research draws on more than 50 contributors from over 20 countries, embracing multiple points of view, languages, cultures and experiences.  

The Handbook of Global User Research is published by Morgan Kaufmann and is available on or through  

To support the growing interest in global research techniques, along with the book there is an online community for global user research professionals

Related Links

Borders to Host Book Signing for Bob Schumacher! 

Managing Director, Bob Schumacher, will be at the Borders in Oak Brook, IL this Tuesday, November 24, from 6-7pm signing the recently published Handbook of Global User Research. We love to see you there to help us celebrate! 

If you'd like more information visit or call User Centric, 630.320.3900. 

Usability Tip

Global User Testing Tip:  Always make sure you are asking the same question.  It is easy when going from language to language, culture to culture to lose perspective on what is really being asked.  Check and double check that the research question is the same from start to finish, location to location, and country to country.

Learn more about global testing at User Centric!

Did You Miss?

Our June Usability Spotlight highlighted some interesting articles:

The Not Usable File 

What's the call to action?


And sometimes customers take usability into their own hands...


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