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Beyond the Usability Lab Paperback – 26 Feb 2010

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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Morgan Kaufmann (26 Feb. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0123748925
  • ISBN-13: 978-0123748928
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 19 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,547,574 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"If you need to reach a large audience using online tools, this book will guide you, inform you, and help you with practical tips from a team that has a wealth of practical and academic experience. They explain how to plan, organise, conduct, analyse, and present your study, and they aren't afraid to tackle tricky topics like dealing with possibly fraudulent participants. Highly recommended."--Caroline Jarrett, Effortmark, Ltd, author of Forms that Work "Beyond the Usability Lab will become the gold standard for how to conduct online usability studies. Albert, Tedesco and Tullis masterfully combine strategic design related issues with tactical and practical step-by-step instructions on how to implement an online usability study."--Jim Berling, Managing Director, Burke Institute "Beyond the Usability Lab is intended to help you move your usability testing out of the lab environment and into the online world as a cost-effective way to reach more participants. Albert and colleagues write from their own experience conducting online studies and describe situations when online studies are most and least effective, employing real-world examples with abundant black-and-white screen shots and other graphics. A quest to share knowledge seems to be a driving force behind the book, and I am particularly impressed with how often the authors recommend other, potentially rival texts as references for additional information. Beyond the Usability Lab also has a companion Web site,, to which you're often referred for support material. Though simple in design, the site is a helpful auxiliary source."--Devor Barton, Technical Communication, Vol 58, Number 1, February 2011 "The book is well-structured for the practitioner. It is a real pleasure to encounter a book that not only takes the reader on a journey through the rich possibilities of technique, but does so in a a manner that is clear, readable, and accessible. I was particularly pleased with the simple explanations of statistical techniques, which are so often presented as incomprehensible. Whether you've conducted remote studies in the past and want to extend your capability and knowledge, or if you are a complete newcomer, this excellent book is a necessary companion on your journey from the lab into the outside world. You will refer to it often, and it will alert you to opportunities and dangers. What more could you ask of a book?"--as reviewed in User Experience

About the Author

William (Bill) Albert is currently a Director of User Experience at Fidelity Investments. Prior to joining Fidelity Investments, Albert was a Senior User Interface Researcher at Lycos and Post Doctoral Research Scientist at Nissan Research & Development. Over the past decade, Albert has utilized nearly every type of usability metric as part of his research. Albert has more than twenty publications, and has presented his research at many professional and academic conferences. Albert has been awarded prestigious fellowships through the University of California and the Japanese Government for his research in Human Factors and Spatial Cognition. Albert received his B.A. and M.A. degrees from the University of Washington and his Ph.D. from Boston University.

Thomas S. (Tom) Tullis is Senior Vice President of User Experience at Fidelity Investments. He joined Fidelity in 1993 and was instrumental in the development of the company's User Experience department, whose facilities include a state-of-the-art Usability Lab. Prior to joining Fidelity, Tullis held technology positions at Canon Information Systems, McDonnell Douglas, Unisys Corporation, and Bell Laboratories. He and Fidelity's usability team have been featured in a number of publications, including Newsweek, Business 2.0, Money, The Boston Globe, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times. Tullis received his B.A. from Rice University, M.A. in Experimental Psychology from New Mexico State University, and Ph.D. in Engineering Psychology from Rice University. With more than 30 years of experience in human-computer interface studies, Tullis has published over 50 papers in numerous technical journals and has been an invited speaker at national and international conferences. He also holds eight United States patents.

Donna Tedesco is a Senior Usability Specialist in the Usability and User Insight team at Fidelity Investments. Among other research methodologies, she has conducted numerous online user experience studies over the last several years. Donna received a B.S. in Engineering Psychology from Tufts University and a M.S. in Human Factors in Information Design from Bentley University. She has published and presented multiple papers at national and international conferences, including the Usability Professionals' Association (UPA) and the conference on Computer-Human Interaction (ACM SIGCHI).

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By C. Jarrett on 8 Mar. 2010
Format: Paperback
If you are a user experience practitioner, then you will already understand the crucial importance of getting user feedback on your work by conducting lots of usability tests.

What should you do when you need to reach large numbers of users in a short time, or if your users are geographically remote from you? Turn to this book, that's what.

When you need to reach a large audience using online tools, Bill Albert, Tom Tullis and Donna Tedesco will guide you, inform you, and help you. The book is full of practical tips: this team that has a wealth of experience, both in actual business contexts and in academia.

They explain how to plan, organise, conduct, analyse, and present your study, and they aren't afraid to tackle tricky topics like dealing with possibly fraudulent participants. Highly recommended
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4 reviews
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Exactly what you need to run online studies 25 Mar. 2010
By Susan Fowler - Published on
Format: Paperback
I needed this book three years ago when I was designing remote unmoderated usability studies and analyzing the results. I figured it all out eventually, but now, after reading "Beyond the Usability Lab," I see where I could have done much better. Alas, there are no time machines....

"Beyond the Usability Lab" takes you through the entire lifecycle of an online study, from "do we need this?" and "what tools are out there?" to "how do I design this study?" and "oh no, what DO these thousands of datapoints mean?"

Also, although online studies are very valuable, the statistics can scare you off if you don't have that nifty experimental psych background. (Many of us don't.) "Beyond the Usability Lab," however, explains the math in clear, everyday language and even provides sample formulas and analyses.

If you're doing, or considering doing, remote testing, I strongly recommend that you get this book. It's a real keeper.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A MUST for UX Professionals 2 Feb. 2011
By Alfonso de la Nuez - Published on
Format: Paperback
Large-scale usability testing is not new, but it's definitely become bigger and more important now than ever before. The reasons why it's becoming such a popular research method are many and are relatively clear: Cost-effectiveness, statistical significance, geographic coverage, etc. There are powerful tools being used by leading UX teams from top global brands using this method. However, still today many UX Pros are used to testing mostly in the Lab environment and in many cases are either intimidated by statistics or simply don't feel comfortable outside of the Lab or if they don't see the participant's face. In my humble opinion, this must change for the good of the UX industry.

Beyond the Usability Lab is both simple and amazing. What the authors have done is prove how powerful online usability studies truly are. It's an eye-opener for an industry (UX) in need for more accountability and credibility. UX Pros must back up their findings and conclusions with both qualitative and quantitative data, not just rely on what 5 users have to say about an interface.

Don't get me wrong: I think testing in the Lab is GREAT and I'm 100% sure that the authors think the same. But today's highly competitive marketplace requires UX Pros to go BEYOND THE LAB and have a versatile usability toolkit to truly understand and measure UX.

I've got to thank the authors (highly experienced UX Pros themselves) for their vision and the effort to push this research method. Much like it was with tools for Web analytics, online surveys or even Lab studies back in the 1990s (first rejected and then slowly being adopted by everyone), I'm quite certain that large-scale Online Usability Studies will become mainstream pretty soon.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
The current Bible of remote usability research 4 May 2011
By Vlad Golovach - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you need to perform some remote usability, buy this book. The density of useful, ready to practice, information is amazing considering the volume.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Wonderful book 3 May 2010
By Robert M. Hoehn - Published on
Format: Paperback
This has been a valuable book in our ongoing usability research. We have a copy on every employee's desk.
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