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Rocket Surgery Made Easy: The Do-It-Yourself Guide to Finding and Fixing Usability Problems 1st Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 88 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0321657299
ISBN-10: 0321657292
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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
Total price: $69.60
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Editorial Reviews

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.

About the Author

Steve Krug is a usability consultant who has more than 15 years of experience as a user advocate for companies like Apple, Netscape, AOL, Lexus, and others. Based in part on the success of the first edition of "Don't Make Me Think," he has become a highly sought-after speaker on usability design.
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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: 6.9 x 0.7 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (88 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #32,167 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By atmj TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 17, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
BOUGHT THIS BOOK THE MINUTE I REALIZED IT WAS OUT:
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.

BASIC IDEA:
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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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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I am a software test engineer. I was hoping to get a primer on usability testing and how to run usability tests from reading this book.

The main point of this book was very good. To do usability tests, have people (people who have not used the software before) run use cases with your software, and watch them.

The problem with this book is, I basically summed up the entire useful content of the book in the above sentence. The author spends around 50% of his book discussing things such as, how do you compensate the users who come in? What day of the week should you run the tests? What room should you run the tests in? Stuff that I'm pretty sure that people running the tests could figure out on their own! Found myself skimming over major sections of the book. I feel like this guy wanted to write a book on usability testing but didn't have enough to talk about, so he filled it out with fluff.

I believe Krug has other usability testing books which are supposed to have better content. I did like his writing style and he sold me on the value of usability testing. But I felt a bit cheated... I feel like this entire book could have been summarized in one chapter of a larger testing book.
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Format: Paperback
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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