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Beyond the Usability Lab: Conducting Large-scale Online User Experience Studies [Paperback]

by William Albert, Thomas Tullis, Donna Tedesco
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

January 26, 2010 0123748925 978-0123748928 1

Usability testing and user experience research typically take place in a controlled lab with small groups. While this type of testing is essential to user experience design, more companies are also looking to test large sample sizes to be able compare data according to specific user populations and see how their experiences differ across user groups. But few usability professionals have experience in setting up these studies, analyzing the data, and presenting it in effective ways.  Online usability testing offers the solution by allowing testers to elicit feedback simultaneously from 1,000s of users. Beyond the Usability Lab offers tried and tested methodologies for conducting online usability studies. It gives practitioners the guidance they need to collect a wealth of data through cost-effective, efficient, and reliable practices. The reader will develop a solid understanding of the capabilities of online usability testing, when it's appropriate to use and not use, and will learn about the various types of online usability testing techniques.

    *The first guide for conducting large-scale user experience research using the internet *Presents how-to conduct online tests with 1000s of participants - from start to finish *Outlines essential tips for online studies to ensure cost-efficient and reliable results


    Frequently Bought Together

    Beyond the Usability Lab: Conducting Large-scale Online User Experience Studies + Quantifying the User Experience: Practical Statistics for User Research + Measuring the User Experience, Second Edition: Collecting, Analyzing, and Presenting Usability Metrics (Interactive Technologies)
    Price for all three: $126.60

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    Editorial Reviews

    Review

    "If you need to reach a large audience using online tools, this book will guide you, inform you, and help you with practical tips from a team that has a wealth of practical and academic experience. They explain how to plan, organise, conduct, analyse, and present your study, and they aren't afraid to tackle tricky topics like dealing with possibly fraudulent participants. Highly recommended."--Caroline Jarrett, Effortmark, Ltd, author of Forms that Work

    "Beyond the Usability Lab will become the gold standard for how to conduct online usability studies.  Albert, Tedesco and Tullis masterfully combine strategic design related issues with tactical and practical step-by-step instructions on how to implement an online usability study."--Jim Berling, Managing Director, Burke Institute

    "Beyond the Usability Lab is intended to help you move your usability testing out of the lab environment and into the online world as a cost-effective way to reach more participants. Albert and colleagues write from their own experience conducting online studies and describe situations when online studies are most and least effective, employing real-world examples with abundant black-and-white screen shots and other graphics. A quest to share knowledge seems to be a driving force behind the book, and I am particularly impressed with how often the authors recommend other, potentially rival texts as references for additional information.. Beyond the Usability Lab also has a companion Web site, www.beyondtheusabilitylab.com, to which you're often referred for support material. Though simple in design, the site is a helpful auxiliary source."--Devor Barton, Technical Communication, Vol 58, Number 1, February 2011

    "The book is well-structured for the practitioner.. It is a real pleasure to encounter a book that not only takes the reader  on a journey through the rich possibilities of technique, but does so in a a manner that is clear, readable, and accessible. I was particularly pleased with the simple explanations of statistical techniques, which are so often presented as incomprehensible.. Whether you've conducted remote studies in the past and want to extend your capability and knowledge, or if you are a complete newcomer, this excellent book is a necessary companion on your journey from the lab into the outside world. You will refer to it often, and it will alert you to opportunities and dangers. What more could you ask of a book?"--as reviewed in User Experience

    About the Author

    Bill Albert is Executive Director of the Design and Usability Center at Bentley University. Prior to joining Bentley, Bill was Director of User Experience at Fidelity Investments, Senior User Interface Researcher at Lycos, and Post-Doctoral Research Scientist at Nissan Cambridge Basic Research. Bill is an Adjunct Professor in Human Factors in Information Design at Bentley University. Bill has published and presented his research at more than thirty national and international conferences. He is coauthor (with Tom Tullis) of Measuring the User Experience and Beyond the Usability Lab. He is on the editorial board for the Journal of Usability Studies.Tom Tullis is Vice President of Usability and User Insight at Fidelity Investments and Adjunct Professor at Bentley University in the Human Factors in Information Design program. He joined Fidelity in 1993 and was instrumental in the development of the company's usability department, including a state-of-the-art Usability Lab. Prior to joining Fidelity, he held positions at Canon Information Systems, McDonnell Douglas, Unisys Corporation, and Bell Laboratories. He and Fidelity's usability team have been featured in a number of publications, including Newsweek , Business 2.0 , Money , The Boston Globe , The Wall Street Journal , and The New York Times.
    Donna Tedesco is a Senior Usability Specialist in the Usability and User Insight team at Fidelity Investments. Among other research methodologies, she has conducted numerous online user experience studies over the last several years. Donna received a BS in Engineering Psychology from Tufts University and an MS in Human Factors in Information Design from Bentley University. She has published and presented multiple papers at national and international conferences, including the Usability Professionals' Association (UPA) and the conference on Computer-Human Interaction (ACM SIGCHI).

    Product Details

    • Paperback: 328 pages
    • Publisher: Morgan Kaufmann; 1 edition (January 26, 2010)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 0123748925
    • ISBN-13: 978-0123748928
    • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 7.4 x 1 inches
    • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
    • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,067,753 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Exactly what you need to run online studies March 25, 2010
    Format:Paperback
    I needed this book three years ago when I was designing remote unmoderated usability studies and analyzing the results. I figured it all out eventually, but now, after reading "Beyond the Usability Lab," I see where I could have done much better. Alas, there are no time machines....

    "Beyond the Usability Lab" takes you through the entire lifecycle of an online study, from "do we need this?" and "what tools are out there?" to "how do I design this study?" and "oh no, what DO these thousands of datapoints mean?"

    Also, although online studies are very valuable, the statistics can scare you off if you don't have that nifty experimental psych background. (Many of us don't.) "Beyond the Usability Lab," however, explains the math in clear, everyday language and even provides sample formulas and analyses.

    If you're doing, or considering doing, remote testing, I strongly recommend that you get this book. It's a real keeper.
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    2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars A MUST for UX Professionals February 1, 2011
    Format:Paperback
    Large-scale usability testing is not new, but it's definitely become bigger and more important now than ever before. The reasons why it's becoming such a popular research method are many and are relatively clear: Cost-effectiveness, statistical significance, geographic coverage, etc. There are powerful tools being used by leading UX teams from top global brands using this method. However, still today many UX Pros are used to testing mostly in the Lab environment and in many cases are either intimidated by statistics or simply don't feel comfortable outside of the Lab or if they don't see the participant's face. In my humble opinion, this must change for the good of the UX industry.

    Beyond the Usability Lab is both simple and amazing. What the authors have done is prove how powerful online usability studies truly are. It's an eye-opener for an industry (UX) in need for more accountability and credibility. UX Pros must back up their findings and conclusions with both qualitative and quantitative data, not just rely on what 5 users have to say about an interface.

    Don't get me wrong: I think testing in the Lab is GREAT and I'm 100% sure that the authors think the same. But today's highly competitive marketplace requires UX Pros to go BEYOND THE LAB and have a versatile usability toolkit to truly understand and measure UX.

    I've got to thank the authors (highly experienced UX Pros themselves) for their vision and the effort to push this research method. Much like it was with tools for Web analytics, online surveys or even Lab studies back in the 1990s (first rejected and then slowly being adopted by everyone), I'm quite certain that large-scale Online Usability Studies will become mainstream pretty soon.
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    1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars The current Bible of remote usability research May 4, 2011
    Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
    If you need to perform some remote usability, buy this book. The density of useful, ready to practice, information is amazing considering the volume.
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    2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful book May 3, 2010
    Format:Paperback
    This has been a valuable book in our ongoing usability research. We have a copy on every employee's desk.
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