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

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

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Product Description

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.


Product Details

  • Amazon Sales Rank: #23222 in Books
  • Brand: Krug, Steve
  • Published on: 2009-12-18
  • Original language: English
  • Number of items: 1
  • Dimensions: 8.90" h x .70" w x 6.90" l, 1.37 pounds
  • Binding: Paperback
  • 168 pages

Editorial Reviews

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 applicationKeep 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" approachBy 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.


Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful.
5Usability testing...made fun!
By Magalini Sabina
….and after having read “Dont make me think” go on to the sequel “Rocket Surgery made easy”. Steven Krug takes you by the hand this time to lead you through your own usability testing.
First he convinces you that usability testing is helpful and indispensable, then after having examined the reasons why there are so many resistances to doing it (among which the high cost!), he teaches you a simple way to do it, a methodology and how to reap the results.
One reads through this delightful book, very well illustrated by Mark Matcho, and says “this is common sense”, but as Horace Greeley famously stated “Common sense is very uncommon” and so must be highly treasured.
The basic philosophy is: would you ever buy something that you do not know how to handle? Probably no, but if you have built something you feel is great do you assume that others think it is great as well? Probably yes, but you have to check first. So the process of testing is an essential part of building something useful or at least usable.
Testing has to be made easy and repeatable, so suggestions are do it once a month, preferably on Thursday, recruit your users loosely (anyone can do from your neighbor to your officemate) and then grade them according to relative value, find the errors or bottlenecks, fix them as you can and start again, do it from afar if necessary. Remember always to document, document, document, if you can have a public (the impact of the testing raises) get it also by giving them something good to eat!
After the three hours (approximately) it will take you to read the book, you will not only have an idea of what to do in case you have built a website or an app, but also what you should do with whatever your field of work or play is.
Common sense I said, and a sense of humor, well : “A sense of humor is just common sense dancing” (William James). Read this book and enjoy it, just like its big brother!

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful.
5"Don't Make Me think" and I just love how this is written
By All Sweet Things
I bought this book after reading Steve Krug's other book, "Don't Make Me think" and I just love how this is written. His content is so good, so clearly written, and he makes you totally believe you can do your own user testing without any professional experience! I'm the ONLY UX designer at my company, and making our web applications usable is very important to me, plus I've got a lot of responsibility. So reading this book was SO helpful and I just love his writing style. He always complains in his books about how much he hates writing, but he's a wonderful writer. I've already done my own user testing using his guidelines and I'm amazed how well they work. I can't wait to do a brown bag on his methods and my results so I can spread the word!

0 of 0 people found the following review helpful.
5Great 'how to' follow-up to Don't Make Me Think
By RocketDog
First, know that this book is actually fun to read. Steve Krug has a great sense of humor and recognizes that most of us would prefer to have fun doing this work. But there's a lot more under the quippy hood. If you build websites or need to test anyone's ability to test anything, this book will give you a solid, step-by-step method to do so. There's also good common sense advice about what to do with what you learn.

Having watched Jakob Nielsen run a usability test on stage at a conference over a decade ago, I had some familiarity with the basics of providing a task and trying to stay out of the way of the test participant. This book is the perfect how-to guide when you're ready to try it yourself. All you need is in the book including scripts for getting participants into the tasks and a great 20-minute example test recording video available at the related website.

To the author's point, there's plenty of work for usability experts who tackle enterprise-level projects and try to move the science forward. The method shared in this book is really helpful for smaller companies and budgets. It gets you the answers you need to make meaningful improvements that benefit users.

See all 95 customer reviews...

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