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Rocket Surgery Made Easy: The Do-It-Yourself Guide to Finding and Fixing Usability Problems [Paperback]

by Steve Krug
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)

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Book Description

December 18, 2009 0321657292 978-0321657299 1
It's been known for years that usability testing can dramatically improve products. But with a typical price tag of $5,000 to $10,000 for a usability consultant to conduct each round of tests, it rarely happens.

In this how-to companion to Don't Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability, Steve Krug spells out a streamlined approach to usability testing that anyone can easily apply to their own Web site, application, or other product. (As he said in Don't Make Me Think, "It's not rocket surgery".)

Using practical advice, plenty of illustrations, and his trademark humor, Steve explains how to:
  • Test any design, from a sketch on a napkin to a fully-functioning Web site or application
  • Keep your focus on finding the most important problems (because no one has the time or resources to fix them all)
  • Fix the problems that you find, using his "The least you can do" approach
By paring the process of testing and fixing products down to its essentials ("A morning a month, that's all we ask"), Rocket Surgery makes it realistic for teams to test early and often, catching problems while it's still easy to fix them. Rocket Surgery Made Easy adds demonstration videos to the proven mix of clear writing, before-and-after examples, witty illustrations, and practical advice that made Don't Make Me Think so popular.

Frequently Bought Together

Rocket Surgery Made Easy: The Do-It-Yourself Guide to Finding and Fixing Usability Problems + Don't Make Me Think, Revisited: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability (3rd Edition) (Voices That Matter) + The Design of Everyday Things: Revised and Expanded Edition
Price for all three: $64.46

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 168 pages
  • Publisher: New Riders; 1 edition (December 18, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321657292
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321657299
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6.9 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16,343 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Steve Krug is a usability consultant who has more than 20 years of experience as a user advocate for companies like Apple, Netscape, AOL, Lexus, and others. Based in part on the success of his first book, Don't Make Me Think, he has become a highly sought-after speaker on usability design.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
34 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational May 17, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Having been a "Usability Professional" for a number of years, I purchased this Steve Krug book, the minute I knew he had another book out, without even paying attention to what it was about. This guy is just that good. This enthusiasm was due to his previous book "Don't Make Me Think" which was a great book on how to make more usable web sites. First I was surprised, as initially I had not realized it was a book for User testing for non-Usability professionals... Next, I thought, Wow, this is a great book too.

The whole idea is to do quick usability tests with a few users, that are reasonably representative of your end users. This test would be viewed by your stake holders and be done in one morning each month during various stages of development of your site. This way, it gets to the right people when it's needed. Anyone who does usability work, knows how laborious and costly tests can be. However that's nothing compared to the sales pitch that has to be done, to get even the high impact issues fixed. There are always excuses.

This Books Suggestion for Testing:
* Lessens the cost of the text
* Allows the testing to be more immediate
* Gets the decision makers in front of it and hopefully behind the necessary changes with funding.

This book has clearly defined steps on how to do this:
* Software recommendations
* Some scripts
* How to recruit
* How to run single morning tests.

Also recommendations for approaching changes:
* Get to the basic issues
* Get them fixed
* Let the trivia wait.
* Tweaking is better than a redesign, and it is more likely to happen.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Make Web Designers Think! January 27, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Steve Krug is the author of the bestselling book Don't Make Me Think!, which has racked up worldwide sales of 250,000 since its publication in 2000.

That book based its approach to assessing and improving the usability of websites on the injunction in the title. If visitors to websites have to figure out what to do on a website, then the website is operating at a disadvantage.

Krug offered some very pertinent, uncomplicated advice on web usability, how to judge it and how to implement solutions to problems that are identified.

When updating that first book in 2005, Krug decided that Rocket Surgery Made Easy had become necessary: a handbook for putting usability principles into practice, focusing in particular on user testing.

The title refers to the phrase Krug coined (and trademarked) to summarise his view that all of this is just common sense: it's not rocket science and it's not brain surgery.

It also gives a clue that Krug, while determinedly practical and grounded in the day-to-day business of designing and building websites for paying clients, approaches the subject with considerable humour and playfulness. It's apparent that this is partly out of a concern that usability might be a dry subject for some, but also because Krug is a very funny guy. I think we'd enjoy his workshops, if he ever brings them to Australia.

Rocket Surgery Made Easy is itself easy reading. Less than 160 pages, it is well laid out, charmingly illustrated by Mark Matcho and very, very well edited - big hat-tip to the people at New Riders.

The basis of the book is that it offers how-to advice on actually running user testing sessions.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Usability Testing for Dummies May 9, 2011
Despite its confusing title, this book has a clear focus: Convince you of the benefits of simple usability tests (the kind where you sit down with a user and watch them perform some tasks), and walk you through that process with just enough detail to make you confident that you, too, can perform such tests without too much effort. The focus of this book is on finding usability problems; there isn't much discussion of specific problems, just the advice to keep the fixes as simple as possible.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Practical and Inspiring January 17, 2010
Steve Krug, well known in the web design world for his book "Don't Make me Think! A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability," has achieved success again with "Rocket Surgery Made Easy: The Do-It-Yourself Guide to Finding and Fixing Usability Problems."

This book only takes a few hours to read but contains everything you need to know to test web pages, applications, forms, and anything else you might have designed that could benefit from a good review, which is pretty much everything. He covers the nuts-and-bolts of testing in a very clear, sequential way; he also manages to inspire you to actually do the testing.

This book is well designed, the author's tone is warm and friendly, and he throws in a few great footnotes to entertain you as well. Highly recommended.
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16 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Recipe for real-world success December 25, 2009
When I designed the user experience for the first secure on-line shopping experience at Virtual Vineyards, I lived by a number of principles, two of which were: Quality is an Iterative Process, and The Results of Testing is Information, Not Quality - that demonstrable improvements in design and implementation come from what you choose to do with that information.

Steve Krug's "Rocket Surgery Made Easy" hits the nail on the head (with a hammer) by making usability testing in the real world understandable, practical, and doable by any Web development team. Highly recommended.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Very to the point
This was a requirement for one of my CS classes. It is sharp and to the point. It is highly readable and will get anyone started off on the right foot with usability testing.
Published 10 days ago by David M. Vogel
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good book!
Every web specialist should be required to read this book, from content to design to development! Even though it can be seen as dated, it's a great introduction to web usability... Read more
Published 1 month ago by NIKKI GREEN
5.0 out of 5 stars A good primer for doing "do-it-yourself" usability tests
This is the companion book to "Don't make me think," also by Krug.

The author splits up the book into 3 main sections:
1. Finding usability problems
2. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Callisto
4.0 out of 5 stars It's a book and it has information that people can use
It's okay but nothing critical or truly memorable. Finding and fixing usability problems can be difficult to explain so I guess the book deserves some praise. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Edwin Cox
5.0 out of 5 stars Concise Introduction to Usability Testing
A lot of practical tips for getting started. Not too long of a read, but packed with forms and scripts. Read more
Published 1 month ago by J. Reirdon
3.0 out of 5 stars It did help with the class.
It could have been more up to date.
It helped take away the fear of coding etc.
Was good for the basics.
Published 3 months ago by Discerning
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful, quick read
Awesome overview of usability testing. It's quick and insightful. For someone not knowing much about the subject, Krug's book was perfect: not too long and wordy - but plenty of... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Ryan Vasso
5.0 out of 5 stars Steve Krug is the man!
The book hits the marks. It is easily consumed and does not get in your way of daily activities, just like "Don't Make Me Think". Read more
Published 4 months ago by D. Odden
2.0 out of 5 stars Not clever.
I think that this guy only wrote this book as an excuse to use what I'm sure he thinks is a very clever title. The book is too basic, too chatty, and not very informative.
Published 4 months ago by lauren binkovitz
1.0 out of 5 stars Sorry but too basic to be of value IMO
Catchy title and witty book, but of little value for anyone that develops websites or aps with the end-user in mind. 99. Read more
Published 5 months ago by DM_MMM
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