Introduction to Volume 10, Issue 1, November 2014

We are delighted to publish an editorial by Gilbert Cockton on “A Critical, Creative UX Community: CLUF.” In this provocative editorial, Cockton advocates for “a new form of interactive community publication, complementary to JUS, to respond to new creative emphases within human-focused interaction design practices and research.” Cockton refers to this community as “CLUF” or Creatively Led User Foci, focused on a scientific approach to creative UX.

The first article by Jeff Sauro is titled “The Relationship Between Problem Frequency and Problem Severity in Usability Evaluations.” In this article Sauro examines the relationship between problem frequency and severity. Specifically, he wanted to learn whether more severe issues are experienced by more users, or whether problem severity and frequency are independent of one another. In his research, he found that in fact, there was not any evidence for a correlation between severity and frequency. This research has important implications for researchers, namely it suggests that the first few users in a usability evaluation are not more likely to uncover the most severe issues.

The second article “Usability Evaluation of an Accessible Collaborative Writing Prototype for Blind Users” is by John Schoeberlein and Yuanqiong Wang. In this article the authors examined collaborative writing technology for persons who are blind. The authors performed a usability evaluation of a prototype add-in for Microsoft Word. The results from two rounds of usability testing clearly showed the add-in prototype was both accessible and useful. This research has significant implication in how people with visual impairments are able to use collaborative writing technology.

The third article “Experiencing Visual Usability and Aesthetics in Two Mobile Application Contexts” is by Johanna Silvennoinen, Marlene Vogel, and Sari Kujala. In this research the authors examine the role of visual aesthetics in the design of mobile applications, specifically color and perceived dimensionality. Their results showed that color contributes to a better user experience with the mobile applications. However, there was a preference for 2-D perceived dimensionality over 3-D perceived dimensionality for task-oriented or entertainment-oriented mobile applications.