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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 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:
FINDING USABILITY PROBLEMS
Chapter 1 You don’t see any elephants around here, do you?
What do-it-yourself usability testing is, why it always works, and why so little of it gets done
Chapter 2 I will now saw my [lovely] assistant in half
What a do-it-yourself test looks like
Chapter 3 A morning a month; that’s all we ask
A plan you can actually follow
Chapter 4 What do you test, and when do you test it?
Why the hardest part is starting early enough
Chapter 5 Recruit loosely and grade on a curve
Who to test, and how to find them
Chapter 6 Find some things for them to do
Picking tasks to test, and creating scenarios for them
Chapter 7 Some boring checklists
…that will save your butt
Chapter 8 Mind reading made easy
Your job as test facilitator
Chapter 9 Make it a spectator sport
Getting everyone to watch, and telling them what to look for
FIXING USABILITY PROBLEMS
Chapter 10 Debriefing 101
Comparing notes and deciding what to fix
Chapter 11 The least you can do™
The best ways to fix usability problems
Chapter 12 The usual suspects
Some problems you’re likely to find, and how to think about fixing them
Chapter 13 Making sure life actually improves
THE ROAD AHEAD
Chapter 14 Teleportation made easy
Remote Testing: Fast, cheap, and slightly out of control
Chapter 15 Overachievers only
Recommended reading and more
Chapter 16 Happy trails / to you
A few final words of encouragement