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

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 12/8/2009
  • Publisher: New Riders

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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 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.

Table of Contents

Opening Remarks Call me Ishmaelp. 2
How this book came to be, some disclaimers, and a bit of housekeeping
Finding Usability Problems
You don't see any elephants around here, do you?p. 12
What do-it-yourself usability testing is, why it always works, and why so little of it gets done
I will now saw my [lovely] assistant in halfp. 20
What a do-it-yourself test looks like
A morning a month, that's all we askp. 22
A plan you can actually follow
What do you test, and when do you test it?p. 30
Why the hardest part is starting early enough
Recruit loosely and grade on a curvep. 38
Who to test with and how to find them
Find some things for them to dop. 50
Picking tasks to test and writing scenarios for them
Some boring checklistsp. 56
And why you should use them even if, like me, you don't really like checklists
Mind reading made easyp. 62
Conducting the test session
Make it a spectator sportp. 90
Getting everyone to watch and telling them what to look for
Fixing Usability Problems
Debriefingp. 101
Comparing notes and deciding what to fix
The least you can do÷p. 110
Why doing less is often the best way to fix things
The usual suspectsp. 120
Some problems you're likely to find and how to think about fixing them
Making sure life actually improvesp. 128
The art of playing nicely with others
The Road Ahead
Teleportation made easyp. 134
Remote testing: Fast, cheap, and slightly out of control
Overachievers onlyp. 134
Recommended reading
Happy trails / to youp. 144
A few final words of encouragement
Sample test script and consent formp. 146
Acknowledgmentsp. 154
Indexp. 158
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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Customer Reviews

The perfect practical guide May 5, 2011
Incredible and inspiring textbook on how to locate and fix usability problems yourself. Most of the advice centers around web design, but the process described can easily be modified to any other product. This textbook 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. If you're a designer, give copies to your clients. If you're a web manager, give a copy to your CEO. This will help them understand why usability is so important.
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Rocket Surgery Made Easy The Do-It-Yourself Guide to Finding and Fixing Usability Problems: 5 out of 5 stars based on 1 user reviews.

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