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Observing the User Experience, Second Edition: A Practitioner's Guide to User Research Paperback – September 21, 2012

ISBN-13: 978-0123848697 ISBN-10: 0123848695 Edition: 2nd

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"In this second edition, the authors update an important contribution to the emerging discipline of user experience (UX) research.This book is one of many noteworthy titles from Morgan Kaufmann in this subject area. It is chock full of practical examples and advice for both novice and experienced practitioners."--ComputingReviews.com, January 23, 2013 "Anyone even remotely interested in involving participants and observing their reaction and interaction with the product in order to enhance the overall user acceptance should deeply benefit from this book. I very much liked the practical examples, tables, and diagrams which have given this book a more vibrant feel and allowed the reader to feel like he can use this textbook directly in the practice of establishing some user experience tests. I think the textbook is profoundly informational and was a joy to read."--Software Engineering News, March 2012 "You'll like Mike Kuniavsky's broad selection of practical user research methods--presented clearly and usably. And you'll like his timing too: while recent books focus on the whys of user experience, many are now ready for the hows. Observing the User Experience does just that: It demonstrates how to discover what is in users' heads, and suggests how we might balance those considerations with business objectives."--Lou Rosenfeld, co-author of Information Architecture for the World Wide Web "Wow! So many of the user experience research methods we have refined and used over the years are now organized and described in detail in one book. It is an essential reference for any practitioner."--Christian Rohrer, Manager, User Experience Research, Yahoo! "Observing the User Experience provides the reader with a wealth of information. We now have a guideline that can be used to gain insight into those mysterious figures...our users. Knowing who our users are, what they need, and how they might use the things we build for them is the most important part of any product development cycle. Mike Kuniavsky's focus in this book is on the user experience as it relates to online interfaces, but ANYONE who builds ANYTHING can gain valuable knowledge from reading this book." --David Hoffer, Senior User Interface Designer, CTB/McGraw-Hill "I love Observing the User Experience! This comprehensive guide approaches user experience research like never before, and is well-written, easy-to-read, and quite user friendly. It provides a real-world example of how research is done in just enough detail that it can both inform a CEO of the role of usability research as well as introduce methodology to someone starting out in the field. Bravo!"--Kelly Braun, Usability Manager, Ebay "Mike Kuniavsky offers many practical procedures to conduct and analyze the results of your own custom usability tests. He shares lots of personal stories from the trenches, many of which are painfully ironic. The hope is that his knowledge will help spare you the pain of making the same mistakes others have made before you."--from the foreword by Lynda Weinman, Author and Founder, lynda.com, Inc. "Kuniavsky presents information logically, often anticipating potential questions by providing extensive explanations. His text is readable and easily understandable. He incorporates interesting quotes from various scholars, keeping readers' interest by breaking up the strict presentation of information. The overall layout and conversational tone make the text an enjoyable read and useful reference."--Kalle Medhurst - Technical Communications "The best general how-to handbook on user research remains Mike Kuniavsky's Observing the User Experience. For the reader who wants to integrate contextual design into a fast-paced development cycle, but isn't sure how, this book will be a godsend. Even when their advice can't be followed to the letter, the book, like the authors method, can be adapted to your needs." - Networker Magazine "Mike Kuniavsky's Observing the User Experience: A Practitioner's Guide to User Research is a welcome addition to the half dozen essential books on my cubicle shelf. This book provides lucid, personable, experienced advice that could only come from a seasoned consultant who has seen the good, bad, and ugly of web and application design. Its purpose is to give a solid foundation to any design team in the crucial beginning stages of a project by answer the questions: How do we go about learning who our users are an what they really need? And how do we do this in a way that helps us make a strong case for our design decisions to the people in charge?" - Andrew Hinton

From the Back Cover

"This new version retains the approachable style of the original edition while making the most of recent developments in mobile and social technology. The clear instructions and comprehensive overview of research methodologies make this volume a perfect guide for novices and a reference for experienced practitioners looking for new ideas."
-- Dr. Aviva Rosenstein, User Research Manager, salesforce.com

Observing the User Experience is a groundbreaking, comprehensive resource for user experience research. For over a decade, it has helped readers better understand what their users want and need from their products and whether users will be able to use what they've created. This second edition improves upon a classic, adding new methods and approaches to meet today's challenging and diverse research requirements.
 
You'll find revised methods chapters that explain how to adapt time-tested techniques for designing mobile and cross-platform products and services. New sections offer strategies for conducting remote user research, using new tools for digital ethnography, and informing cross-cultural design. Filled with real-world experience and a wealth of practical information, this book helps designers and developers see through the eyes of their users. 
  • Explains how to create usable products that are still original and creative. 
  • Provides a real-world perspective on research, with tips on conducting user research inexpensively and quickly, and on persuasively presenting the results. 
  • Gives readers the tools and confidence to get started fast, while introducing more advanced questions and techniques. 
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 608 pages
  • Publisher: Morgan Kaufmann; 2 edition (September 21, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0123848695
  • ISBN-13: 978-0123848697
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 7.5 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #44,894 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
As a self taught UX designer with a degree in graphic design, Observing the User Experience has been a very valuable resource in understanding the foundation principles behind user research. The guidance in this book is practical and hands on for a sole UX Designer/ Researcher or a full UX team. The book offers a variety of research approaches, techniques on analyzing your data and processes to take those learnings and present them to your stakeholders in a format that will resonate with them. Bottom line, observing human behavior and gaining design insights requires a scientific approach and this book provides the methodologies to do user research the right way.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By norcyn on August 13, 2013
Format: Paperback
If you are looking to develop or restyle your product or service then this book, offered by O'Reilly Media, will help you provide your customers with exactly what they are looking for. This 2nd Edition book is written collaboratively by Kuniavsky, Moed and Goodman who are all equally passionate about designing with the user experience at the forefront.

If you are responsible in any way for considering how the end users will react or interact with your product or service--this book will undoubtedly have the information you are looking for.

It is written mostly as a reference guide chock-full of techniques; however, there is also a section dedicated to the importance of conducting user experience research. For example, have you ever wondered how LEGO is still able to develop products children love to play with? Their user research helped them discover the answers they were seeking and consequently proved that knowing your customers is invaluable.

The user research techniques I personally enjoyed learning more about are dialogic techniques such as photo elicitation. They are vital when you want to restyle your product and expand your current market since they are exploratory in nature. For instance, the use of photographs in conjunction with a well written script could assist with eliciting an emotional response in your participant. This elicitation is a great way to identify areas which may have been overlooked along with providing data and information you may have never thought of on your own.

Initially, I thought this book was strictly targeting developers of digital products; however, the research techniques and real-world examples actually apply to a much broader scope. Fortunately, the numerous techniques incorporate current technologies such as using Twitter and other social media as aids in conducting your research.
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It is the kind of book I like. It is full of real techniques to put on road right away. Totally recommended.
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By Connie on May 29, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a great resource for UX research. It is very detailed and walks you through both the logistics and the design of appropriate research methods. It is, however, a text book and it definitely feels like one at times. A little dry and very dense, but a high-quality resource.
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Observing the User Experience, Second Edition: A Practitioner's Guide to User Research + Handbook of Usability Testing: How to Plan, Design, and Conduct Effective Tests
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