Usability Testing Essentials provides readers with the tools and techniques needed to begin usability testing or to advance their knowledge in this area.
The book begins by presenting the essentials of usability testing, which include focusing on the user and not the product; knowing when to conduct small or large studies; and thinking of usability as hill climbing. It then reviews testing options and places usability testing into the context of a user-centered design (UCD). It goes on to discuss the planning, preparation, and implementation of a usability test. The remaining chapters cover the analysis and reporting of usability test findings, and the unique aspects of international usability testing.
This book will be useful to anyone else involved in the development or support of any type of product, such as software or web developers, engineers, interaction designers, information architects, technical communicators, visual or graphic designers, trainers, user-assistance specialists, and instructional technologists.
- Provides a comprehensive, step-by-step guide to usability testing, a crucial part of every product’s development
- The fully updated four-color edition now features important usability issues such as international testing, persona creation, remote testing, and accessibility
- Follow-up to Usability Testing and Research (9780205315192, Longman, 2001), winner of the highest-level award from the Society for Technical Communication
"Beg, borrow, buy or steal a copy of Usability Testing Essentials: Ready, Set…Test! This is as good a book on usability testing as you are going to find, and it will provide practical guidance regardless of your experience level…if you want a single book on usability, a book that will touch upon the primary topical areas in sufficient detail to be useful, Usability Testing Essentials: Ready, Set…Test! by Carol Barnum is the one to read. You won’t be disappointed."--User Experience, Volume 11, Issue 4, 4th Quarter 2012
"Have you been inspired to try usability testing, but not sure exactly how to go about it? Carol Barnum’s book will take you step-by-step through all you need to do. Plus, she gives you a solid background in the context and history of testing – and adds a valuable chapter on international testing. Carol is highly regarded as a teacher, an academic, and a practitioner, and all three of her roles shine through in this book" -- Caroline Jarrett, User Experience and Usability Consultant, Effortmark Limited, author of Forms that Work
"Carol Barnum’s Usability Testing Essentials delivers just what the title promises. Readers who are new to usability studies will find here all they need to know to design and execute a test, analyze the test data, and provide an effective report with recommendations for clients. But even usability experts will find the book chock full of ideas, insights, and suggestions that will improve their practice and their teaching in this increasingly important area of study. Barnum’s expertise on the subject shines through on every page, but the book’s greatest strength is its careful attention to analyzing test results, a topic that earlier texts have tended to gloss over much too quickly." -- George Hayhoe, PhD, Mercer University School of Engineering
"Usability Testing Essentials will guide you through both conducting a usability evaluation and making the decisions that will make it a useful and effective part of any user experience project. Carol Barnum places usability evaluation into the larger context of user-centered design. It is a valuable resource for anyone getting started in usability and a excellent companion to both Letting Go of the Words and Forms that Work."―Whitney Quesenbery, WQusability
"Carol Barnum has done a wonderful job of distilling her research, consulting, and teaching experience into this very lively, practical book on how to do usability testing. You get up-to-date, step-by-step help with lots of variations to suit your own situation. You see each part in action through the running case study. If you have a global market, you'll especially want the chapter on international usability testing. This is a great addition to the usability toolkit. -- Janice (Ginny) Redish, Charter member of the UPA, author of Letting Go of the Words – Writing Web Content that Works
"Carol is a rare breed, both an academic and a practitioner. Her voice of experience comes across clearly, backed by references that illustrate where and who our methods came from. Newcomers to usability testing will find a solid introduction; while those more experienced will find unexpected insights into the field."―Carolyn Snyder, Snyder Consulting
From the Back Cover
"What makes so many products so difficult for the average person to use?"Carol Barnum posits this question in her introduction to this book. Too many perfectly functioning products are being returned because they are not usable. Strong usability testing is the key. But what do we do if under a strict budget and time constraints? How do we properly prepare, test, analyze, and measure across a multitude of cultures, generations, and countries? There are many different testing methods and numerous situations in which to test; however, all are grounded in the same basics of usability testing.
Usability Testing Essentials presents a practical, step-by-step approach to learning the entire process of planning and conducting a usability test. It also explains how to analyze and apply the results and what to do when confronted with budgetary and time restrictions. This is the ideal book for anyone involved in usability or user-centered design―from students to seasoned professionals.
About the Author
Carol teaches a graduate course in usability testing and also works with clients on projects ranging from software, hardware, web applications, web sites, e-learning, and training products. Barnum is well-known internationally, having keynoted and presented at numerous national and international conferences. Her presentation at the first European Usability Professionals conference in London, in conjunction with British HCI, won the "best presenter" award at the conference. She was invited to be interviewed for the UX Pioneers web site (www.uxpioneers.com), among such luminaries as Jakob Nielsen, John Carrol, Ginny Redish, Ben Shneiderman, and Alan Cooper. She was also recently named one of the "Top 20 Women Professors in Georgia."
Most helpful customer reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful.
Good text, awful Kindle presentation
By Vlad Golovach
The book is quite good, perfectly on pair with the green and purple ones (Handbook of Usability Testing: Howto Plan, Design, and Conduct Effective Tests and A Practical Guide to Usability Testing respectively, previous best books on the subject). And this book is much more fresh (both green and purple books was published quite a long time ago for IT standarts).
Sadly, publisher (Morgan Kaufmann) did terrible work on converting this book to Kindle. It really looks awful, it is hard to read, images are randomly cropped or displaced. I have yet to see worse designed Kindle book and I have seen alot.
Still, great deal since you can rent it. For such a price it's probably best introductory book for topic of (more or less) serious usability research.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful.
Excellent UX resource, packed with useful information
By Amazon Customer
I had the great pleasure of taking Usability Testing under Dr. Barnum for her graduate course at Southern Polytechnic. We used this book, of course, as the primary text. Dr. Barnum, a tireless end-user advocate and devoted teacher with seemingly limitless energy, secured a real-world client for our class project. Using the effective, low-cost techniques outlined in this book, our small team produced a formal usability report for our client (who was thrilled with the work). I recommend this book to anyone new to the field and those who need a single reference to walk them through each step in the UX testing process.
0 of 0 people found the following review helpful.
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The content of the book itself is fine and good
By Carson McGorry
The content of the book itself is fine and good; my issue is the format it's presented in. There are no pages or page numbers, which makes using it in a course very difficult. Retrospectively I'd have been better off with a paperback as it would have been much easier to keep up and find information.