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Observing the User Experience: A Practitioner's Guide to User Research 1st Edition

4.8 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1558609235
ISBN-10: 1558609237
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Editorial Reviews

Review

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

Book Description

The toolbox full of techniques that helps usability engineers "walk in the shoes" of users
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Morgan Kaufmann; 1 edition (April 22, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1558609237
  • ISBN-13: 978-1558609235
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 7.4 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #944,435 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Kuniavsky provides a clear guide to evaluating user behavior and use patterns and then gives insight on balancing what users do and what site owners would like them to do. The subtext is a clear passion for creating scenarios that leave users confident and creators satisfied. That leads to successful interactions, be they commerce or information driven. A must read for all professional designers, information architects, strategists, developers, and other professionals, if only to remind teams how the work they're doing will be digested. This book deepened my understanding of how to evaluate the way sites -- or really anything -- is used and interpreted and offers practical methods on attaining and measuring data to tweak and refine my work.
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Format: Paperback
Extremely informative and a pleasure to read, I highly recommend this book.
Somehow Mike Kuniavsky has managed to capture all the useful information of an academic text on User Observation techniques without the typical dry and boring tone.
Every important observation technique is covered and covered well. I can flip the book to a chapter on a technique I have never used, read it, and feel confident that I can employ that technique.
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Format: Paperback
I'm always recommending this book to my colleagues. This is not a book that is meant to be read cover to cover. It's more of a desk top reference for all kinds of user research techniques. I've found it to be very comprehensive. Buy it, you won't regret it!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book rocks! Of all the reference resources I have in my cube, this is the one I lend out to people who ask, "jb, what is user research and how do you do it?" Mike's book has the techniques down - soup to nuts -- useful for the novice and seasoned practitioner.
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Format: Paperback
This book provided my team with enough confidence and flexibility to design a research project of the right scale and formality for our needs, but gave us enough structure to stay on track.

Kuniavsky's detailed examples and caveats helped us engage with users respectfully and effectively, leaving both parties feeling they had done something to move the site a step forward.
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By UxCCT on September 2, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I can recommend this book. It is well-written and readable, with practical advice and examples. I am referencing it as part of my daily work as a Usability Analyst in a large government department.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have thoroughly enjoyed reading this book cover to cover. It goes into as much detail as you need to get started and points you to other resources if you want to go deeper into any one subject. This really is a must read for any one who wants to get involved or has been invloved for years in developing better products for end users.

It seems that any book from the Adaptive Path team is an excellent resource and only adds to their leadership in this field. Well done Mike and thanks for making my job easier.
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