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

I read this book using Safari Books Online using an iPhone and a MacBook Pro with Firefox. I was most comfortable reading on a 22" screen rotated vertically so that I could easily read an entire page without scrolling with a font large enough to read while sitting back in an office chair.

"Rocket Surgery Made Easy" is about doing usability testing with a small budget, little time, and not a lot of support. I think it does a great job fulfilling that purpose and more. It is very focused and does not stray from the subject it covers. I feel empowered by what I have learned and have a lot more confidence that I will be able to conduct usability tests that will result in knowing what should be worked on next.

This is a short book compared to others on the market; in fact I read this book as a break from reading another much larger and broader-in-scope book.

From the publisher:

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.

I rate this book a 9 out of 10 for those interested in usability testing.

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