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Rocket Surgery Made Easy: The Do-it-yourself Guide to Finding and Fixing Usability Problems (Voices That Matter) [Paperback]

Steve Krug
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
Price: £25.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

8 Dec 2009 0321657292 978-0321657299 1
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 a streamlined 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".)

Using practical advice, plenty of illustrations, and his trademark humor, 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.

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Frequently Bought Together

Rocket Surgery Made Easy: The Do-it-yourself Guide to Finding and Fixing Usability Problems (Voices That Matter) + Don't Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability (Voices That Matter) + Smashing UX Design: Foundations for Designing Online User Experiences (Smashing Magazine Book Series)
Price For All Three: £67.41

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Product details

  • Paperback: 168 pages
  • Publisher: New Riders; 1 edition (8 Dec 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321657292
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321657299
  • Product Dimensions: 18 x 0.8 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 104,052 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

Steve Krug is a usability consultant who has more than 20 years of experience as a user advocate for companies like Apple, Netscape, AOL, Lexus, and others. Based in part on the success of his first book, Don't Make Me Think, he has become a highly sought-after speaker on usability design.

Product Description

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 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.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Get started in usability testing 8 Feb 2010
Format:Paperback
If you want to find and fix usability problems in your web site, the bad news is that finding them on your own is extremely difficult. You'll overlook massive show-stoppers because you know how the site is meant to work.

The good news is that usability testing, getting someone else to use your web site while you watch them, is very easy and extremely informative.

In this short, encouraging book, Steve Krug explains what you have to do in his wonderfully approachable style. In Don't Make Me Think!: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability, he zeroed on in the really important points about web site usability. In this new book, he's done it again with usability testing. It's boiled down to the essence of an approach that anyone could use, in 'a morning a month'.

Steve does not claim that this is a comprehensive manual for how to do any type of usability test. For that, he includes recommendations for further reading, such as Handbook of Usability Testing: How to Plan, Design, and Conduct Effective Tests.

Not does he claim that his method is full-on, professional testing. In fact, he says: "If you can afford to hire a usability professional to do your testing for you, do it".

This book is for anyone who wants to make sure that their web site is easy to use, but doesn't have the budget for a professional.

Having said that, I am a usability consultant and I still found it worthwhile to read this book. If you've struggled to get clients to make the changes that you know are necessary, then here's an opportunity to pick up some ideas.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
Having read Don't Make Me Think some time ago, I've been eagerly awaiting this 'how to' book and have had it on pre-order for a while. It was worth the wait. Having read it in a matter of hours I think any website owner, manager, designer or developer would find it an interesting and informative read.

This book explains what you can gain from regular usability testing and shows you step-by-step exactly how to facilitate usability testing and collate the results into an action plan. You don't need a load of fancy, expensive equipment or programming skills and Mr Krug usefully includes all the scripts (narrative not programming) you need to conduct your testing. He also covers how to: conduct debriefing meetings, manage the fixing of problems, get buy-in from stakeholders and potential pitfalls and how to avoid them.

Really all you need to start your own usability testing is this book and the skills to organise a meeting - the book tells you what to do at what time point so it really is a case of following the instructions. I particulalry like the short, to the point chapters and as with Don't Make Me Think!: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability the design layout makes it super-easy to use with decent sized type broken down into manageable chunks.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good introduction 6 Feb 2010
Format:Paperback
A good introduction to interface usability tests. It succeeds in making you understand how this kind of tests, although not necessarily expensive, can dramatically improve user experience suggesting just minor interface tweaks.
The book gives you little more than a general idea, scratching only the surface, but it gives you enough to conduct your own tests, conveys confidence in their usefulness and gives you a list of other sources to expand your knowledge.
The examples are all about web interfaces but the very same principles are easily applied to desktop or mobile applications.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
A great companion to Steve's previous book - Don't Make Me Think.
This expands on the 3 chapters in the original edition of DMMT, and then some.

I've run usability testing sessions for 8 years and found it an easy read which I am now recommending to colleagues beginning to run their own tests.

If you're looking for an introduction to usability as a whole though, DMMT is the better option.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Usability tsting made EXTREMELY easy 19 Mar 2010
Format:Paperback
There's not much to say really. Steve Krug has made user testing even more easy to approach than he did in "Don't make me think".

If you're into user testing of products (or just really, really curious) this book is a must read.

The best part? The book is read within a few hours but the contents will last for life. Buy it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good to have and to hold 7 Sep 2012
Format:Paperback
Steve Krug's usability testing methodology does for usability testing what James Bach's Rapid Software Testing methodology does for other types of software testing. That is, it assumes that:

1. You have some version of a website or web application that can be tested (even if only a wireframe or prototype).

2. You have limited time for testing.

3. It's better to do some testing that will find important problems fast than to plan a big test that could yield statistically significant results and find many problems but that won't actually get run.

It further assumes that you are not a usability professional and cannot afford to hire one but that you can do good enough testing yourself if given some practical instruction. This book, supported by the video on the companion website, provides that practical instruction.

Here you will find out what to do at every step, from recruiting test subjects through to debriefing, and how much time to spend on each activity. If you have never facilitated or observed a usability test, you will additionally get a sense of what it's like to do usability testing.

The book is well written, being concise and precise. Furthermore, the pages are attractively designed and illustrated, making this a book that's nice to hold as well as one that's useful to have. (This review relates to the paperback edition, obviously.)
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have for anyone interested in user testing
This book is essential to anyone willing to perform user testing by themselves. It's quick to read and very clear. Highly recommended
Published 5 months ago by Daniel R
5.0 out of 5 stars a must for all product managers
Still the most concise and practical advice on how to collect user feedback when texting. I keep referring to it every now and then.
Published 7 months ago by sanchezdemarcos
5.0 out of 5 stars Bought the book at a retailer who pays its UK taxes
The book is excellent and even gives scripts you can use word for word in usability testing. I used to buy everything at Amazon, but this time I ordered it from a local bookstore... Read more
Published 19 months ago by Todd Chaffee
5.0 out of 5 stars As expected
A great follow up to Don't Make Me Think with a more relevant and up to date approach. I especially like the focus on fixing the big problems since it is easy for practitioners to... Read more
Published on 9 Sep 2012 by G. Worst
4.0 out of 5 stars A practical UX testing guide that really works!
A very easy to read book about usability testing in practice, actually kind of "How to" manual but even though I was laughing aloud several times while reading it, very well... Read more
Published on 21 Jun 2012 by joooc
4.0 out of 5 stars Life saver!
It was my first direct attempt at running usability testing when I got this book. This book made it easy, with useful templates, methods and common sense. Read more
Published on 24 Mar 2012 by Red
4.0 out of 5 stars Not for the experts
This is user testing on the cheap for people who work in different areas of web development and who want to improve their work but have a very small budget. Read more
Published on 31 Jan 2012 by K. Fearon
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for any UX pro
It would be hard to come up with any way to give a more entertaining and enlightning and efficient insight to usability testing and how to actually accomplish it in practice. Read more
Published on 17 Aug 2011 by DrGren
3.0 out of 5 stars Very centered on user testing
The whole book is focused on how to do usability testing without spending much money.
If you want to know how to do it, this is your book. Definitely! It has everything. Read more
Published on 14 April 2010 by Carlos Santos
4.0 out of 5 stars Practical & hands-on approach to discount usability testing
Rocket Surgery Made Easy is simply a great book. It is short, sweet and to the point. However this is discount usability testing at beginner's level. Read more
Published on 5 April 2010 by S. Andersson
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