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A Practical Guide to Usability Testing Paperback – January 1, 1999

ISBN-13: 978-1841500201 ISBN-10: 1841500208 Edition: Rev Sub

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 404 pages
  • Publisher: Intellect Ltd; Rev Sub edition (January 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1841500208
  • ISBN-13: 978-1841500201
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 7.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #248,288 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

A terrific update to a terrific book. This thoughtful and thorough work will push readers along quickly to successful and effective usability studies." -- Ben Shneiderman, University of Maryland

This book has much advice to give...raising a host of issues about digital products that we need to address from our own experience and from our own values. -- Digital Creativity, Vol.10, No.2

About the Author

Joseph S. Dumas is a chief scientist at American Institutes for Research.
 
Janice C. Redish is president of Redish & Associates, Inc. in Bethesda, Maryland.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on September 2, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is a step-by-step quide with checklists, offering insight into every stage of usability testing. It should help any software development project produce more usable software (assuming the developers are willing to make changes based on the results of testing).
As someone who has done research about usability, taught about usability to over 1000 practitioners, and developed usable systems (some more so than others) for 20 years, I am still impressed every time I open this book. I recommend it as the best practical book on developing usable software (although I also recommend other books, such as Nielsen's "Usablity Engineering" and Rubin's "Handbook of Usability Testing").
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By K. Mohnkern on July 6, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is required reading for usability professionals. It's a detailed look at testing, covering everything from test plans and lab construction to data analysis and how to handle unqualified testers who slip through the screening process. It covers lower-budget tests in addition to full-scale ones. It's clear that Dumas and Redish have loads of experience, and they're not shy about sharing it.
The most useful idea I came away with is that testing needs a specific purpose. You can't just test a system's usability; you test, for example, the navigation system or a membership form.
The only flaws here are a couple of omissions. There's no mention of testing web applications, though the principles covered here can be extrapolated to other purposes. And there is no mention of the ultra-cheap guerilla testing tactics. I doubt Dumas and Redish would approve of them, but it would have been very helpful to read about where these alternative methods were effective and not.
This book is a keeper. While my organization will not likely be doing full-blown usability testing for awhile, I'm now more able to evaluate and communicate with third-party testing facilities. And this book will influence all of our other evaluation and assessment testing methods.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 26, 2002
Format: Paperback
This is a classic in the field, written by two highly-respected usability specialists. I was fortunate to read it as one of the textbooks in a class on usability testing taught by Dr. Dumas. It is a very practical book, covering planning, testing, and reporting the results. The strengths and weaknesses of usability testing are discussed, and there is some information about other usability evaluation methods and basic design principles.
This is a republication, with only slight changes, of the 1993 edition, so the technology and costs are not up to date. But it's not hard to think in terms of digital cameras instead of videotape.
Highly recommended.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jim Grey on July 6, 2000
Format: Paperback
With no previous usability-testing experience -- heck, having never even *heard* of usability testing -- I used this book to design and conduct a series of usability tests. I got outstanding results.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Eric Jain on July 2, 2007
Format: Paperback
This book is real thorough, right up to the point of listing suitable topics for small talk with your test subjects :-) If you are doing guerrilla usability testing, most of the forms and checklists in this book may be overkill, but there is still a lot of useful information... I appreciated a lot that statements are in general backed up with literature, not just common sense reasoning. The only drawback of this book is that it feels a bit dated (i.e. pre-Web). It does seem to have been revised and puts emphasis on iterative testing etc, but doesn't mention more recent techniques such as eye-tracking, or using the Web for recruiting test subjects or identifying potential usability problems via request logs.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Leslie Carter on September 11, 2007
Format: Paperback
These folks know usability testing; they have a lot of experience with a wide variety of systems. Their backgrounds in linguistics and in psychology inform their process making it a highly effective and very user-centered process. This book is easy to follow and comprehensive. A great first read or refresher for any usability engineer.
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