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Selling Usability: User Experience Infiltration Tactics Paperback – February 6, 2009

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 246 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (February 6, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1442103736
  • ISBN-13: 978-1442103733
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.4 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,880,694 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Visit WebWord, LLC @ -- -- -- -- -- John S. Rhodes is a usability professional. He is a consultant, teacher, student, and writer. He has broad interests in areas such as psychology, the internet, business analysis, software engineering, design, artificial intelligence, marketing, and strategic management. John runs, one of the best known blogs on usability. About 150,000 pages are served to nearly 28,000 visitors each month. He has provided people with intelligent information about usability, human factors, web site design, information architecture, and content development for more than eight years. John's written well over 120 articles and conducted over 60 interviews. John has done human factors and usability work with, and for, several organizations including IBM, Lockheed Martin,, Cabelas, US WEST, Binghamton University and Universal Instruments. He has a B.S. in Management Science, an M.A. in Philosophy, and an M.A. in Experimental and Cognitive Psychology from Binghamton University.

More About the Author

I'm John S. Rhodes and for the last 12 years I've done professional work in direct marketing, business strategy and improving the customer experience. You can make more money and grow your business using my simple systems, practical outsourcing methods and proven internet marketing strategy.

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 11 customer reviews
I recommend all UX professionals read it.
Reinier Meenhorst UX designer at
The book is highly practical and will offer many tips which you can put into practice immediatly.
S. Wobben
By the book, if you don't feel like nowing this kind of stuff already.
Ole Gregersen

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Lex23 on August 2, 2009
Format: Paperback
Selling usability promises to teach you tactics to infiltrate usability into your organization. By means of 41 short chapters, including an abstract and a wrap-up, it tries to deliver these lessons to you.

Indeed, there are some nice tips and tricks for making people aware of the importance and ROI of usability (but non of these are lessons you can't find in any 'how to boost your career' manual). However, the 41 chapters Rhodes wrote are actually variations on a few lessons that he has to share. Imagine you are a colleague you are trying to convince and look at the issue from his point of view, it's all about the money and people other than you don't care about UX as much as you do are some prime examples which are repeated over and over, but in different wording. As a result, the book failed to hold my attention after a few chapters.

Another thing that I really disliked about the book is Rhodes' writing style. Every few sentences he tries to put in a one-liner or confidence booster. Really, I can't hear the phrases 'let's make some UX magic happen' and 'let's sprinkle some UX magic dust' anymore. I'm a person who is serious in his job, I don't need this kind of encouragement. Finally, the book is full of spelling mistakes and typos. And as the book progresses they increase. Like Rhodes needed to finish the book in a hurry. The least you can do after you have written a book is getting it spell-checked.

In all, the book has a few interesting lessons, but when you read it you have the feeling that some kind of self-proclaimed guru with ADHD is trying to convince you what to do.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Ole Gregersen on July 17, 2009
Format: Paperback
This book is both great and not worth the buy. It truly has some great points, they are not new, but they are true and well-written. The point are more or less: Know your recievers language, priorities and culture. Speak their language, use their methods, insert your UX knowledge, skill and results into their work. Get them to speak your cause. And so on.

After reading half the book, I got bored. It seem to repeat the same message again and again, just adjusted to different team members and subjects. I felt like ripping the first quarter of the book of for the bookshelf and trash the rest.

So, there a dilemma about this book. The points are great, but they can't carry the whole book. After while you get inchi fingers because you want to go furtherm, deeper into this. But there are only few examples, merely anecdotes. Its almost fictional, like a good story.

Its also a little narrowminded (for me personally), because it keeps downplaying evangelizing or trying to get others to evangelize - in the sence that "they are bigger, been there longer, have more power or higher priorities". This might be true - especially since the writer is very experience in this field - but I can't help but feeling like its either a very personal style or a little hesitant.

All in all. By the book, if you don't feel like nowing this kind of stuff already. But as a UX professional (like me) you might be dissapointet, because of the lack of more hands-on advice. (Still, the man i right you know...)
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Peter Van Dijck on March 29, 2009
Format: Paperback
The book is about selling user experience, not from the top down (ie. convincing your CEO), but from the bottom up, which is how 99% of us have to sell it. It's funny, it's brilliant, if I could write like that I'd be writing my next book today. I love it.

If you're doing UX work in a large organization, you should buy this book. And if you're a UX consultant, you should too. It's that simple. The book is worth it's weight in gold: it gives you (as a UX person) insight in how to really get things done in large companies.

The first chapter starts off good (and I'm gonna put a lot of quotes in this review to give you an idea of the writing style and wisdom in the book):

"99% of the people in an organization are not thinking about UX and the other 1 % are thinking about women, fire and dangerous things. Most managers understand UX about as well as they understand the average airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow."

A wakeup call, but true. It's a practical book, can't emphasize this enough:

"This book is full of stealth. We've got guerilla attacks, end runs, and cloaking devices. These tactics are not conventional. I'm asking you to reject the frontal assault. We'll be successful under the radar."

In "2. The First Business of Business is Business", he explains what business is all about.

"How Do You Talk About UX? The advice I am going to give you next is worth the price of the book: Do not talk about user experience for at least a month. Instead, before you say or do anything regarding UX, think about what it means to the bottom line. Modify your language to be more in line with the true intentions of the business.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Mashhoor Al Dubayan on August 17, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I had high hopes for this book, especially after reading the good reviews, but it really disappointed me. Here's why:

1. Most chapters have vague names that don't describe what their about. Names like "Sexy Designs Cloak The Ivory Tower and Dirty Research", "You Have Mad Skillz, Apply Them", "Why Take The Test When You Can Take The Train" and so on. I'm not sure if they're supposed to reference anything, but you'd assume that about on usability would at least have descriptive chapter names.

2. Mentioning chapters, it's unprofessional how the names of the chapters in the table of contents doesn't match their actual names. For example, chapter 15 is shown as "Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Quality Club", but the first page of that chapter shows that its name is "Getting into the Quality Clubhouse". It's amazing how no one noticed this before publishing the book.

3. The author's sense of humor is average at best, yet never misses a chance to try to be witty. It made me feel uncomfortable since the humor most of the time seems over the top, unnecessary and not funny at all.

4. Most of the advice in the book is either obvious or generic. The chapters are also very short and repetitive to the point that chapter summaries have all what you need to read most of the time.

I'd only recommend you this book if you were ABSOLUTELY clueless about how to sell usability. Otherwise, don't waste your money on it. It's not worth your time.
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