- Paperback: 168 pages
- Publisher: New Riders; 1 edition (December 18, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0321657292
- ISBN-13: 978-0321657299
- Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 0.6 x 8.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (95 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,438 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Rocket Surgery Made Easy: The Do-It-Yourself Guide to Finding and Fixing Usability Problems 1st Edition
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From the Back Cover
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 an 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.")
In this new book, Steve explains how to:
Test any design, from a sketch on a napkin to a fully-functioning web site or applicationKeep 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" approachBy 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.
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Top Customer Reviews
First he convinces you that usability testing is helpful and indispensable, then after having examined the reasons why there are so many resistances to doing it (among which the high cost!), he teaches you a simple way to do it, a methodology and how to reap the results.
One reads through this delightful book, very well illustrated by Mark Matcho, and says “this is common sense”, but as Horace Greeley famously stated “Common sense is very uncommon” and so must be highly treasured.
The basic philosophy is: would you ever buy something that you do not know how to handle? Probably no, but if you have built something you feel is great do you assume that others think it is great as well? Probably yes, but you have to check first. So the process of testing is an essential part of building something useful or at least usable.
Testing has to be made easy and repeatable, so suggestions are do it once a month, preferably on Thursday, recruit your users loosely (anyone can do from your neighbor to your officemate) and then grade them according to relative value, find the errors or bottlenecks, fix them as you can and start again, do it from afar if necessary. Remember always to document, document, document, if you can have a public (the impact of the testing raises) get it also by giving them something good to eat!
After the three hours (approximately) it will take you to read the book, you will not only have an idea of what to do in case you have built a website or an app, but also what you should do with whatever your field of work or play is.
Common sense I said, and a sense of humor, well : “A sense of humor is just common sense dancing” (William James). Read this book and enjoy it, just like its big brother!
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.
However read the book on this, I'm only quickly paraphrasing.
As before his style of writing is conversational and sparse, giving you what you need to know when. It is laid out in a way that is brief but complete and very easy to read. Hmmm, sounds like he took his own teachings to heart. There are 16 chapters (and you can see inside the book here; so go look) He covers the why and how you can do a usability test on any site and get buy-in from your team when changes need to be made. Usability professionals can benefit from this book as well, as it has a somewhat interesting take on how to get Users in front of the Teams that make decisions on what gets changed. Since time is at a premium and Usability tests speak for themselves, this is one way, to get the money where it needs to go.
All in all another winner of a book...now I'm waiting for the next one...