Usability Testing Essentials

Book description

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

Table of contents

  1. Cover
  2. Title Page
  3. Praise for Usability Testing Essentials
  4. Front-matter
  5. Copyright
  6. Dedication
  7. Foreword
  8. Acknowledgments
  9. About the author
  10. Image credits and permissions
  11. Introduction: Getting started guide
    1. Usability is invisible
    2. U R usability
    3. How to use this book
    4. But wait, there’s more on the companion website
  12. Table of Contents
  13. Chapter 1: Establishing the essentials
    1. Focus on the user, not the product
    2. Start with some essential definitions
    3. Know when to conduct small studies
    4. Know how to conduct small studies
    5. Know when to conduct large studies
    6. Think of usability testing as hill climbing
    7. Summarizing Chapter 1
  14. Chapter 2: Testing here, there, everywhere
    1. Testing in a lab offers some benefits
    2. Other equipment that’s nice to have
    3. Specialized equipment you might need in certain situations
    4. Formal labs can cost a lot, or not
    5. Informal labs can be set up anywhere at very little cost
    6. Field testing gets you into the world of your users
    7. Remote testing extends your reach to your users
    8. Choosing the right method is a balancing act
    9. Summarizing Chapter 2
  15. Chapter 3: Big U and little u usability
    1. Introducing big U and little u usability
    2. Using a user-centered design process
    3. Opening your toolkit and seeing what’s there
    4. Choosing heuristic evaluation from the toolkit
    5. Conducting a heuristic evaluation
    6. Comparing the results from heuristic evaluation and usability testing
    7. Putting both methods together: The 1–2 punch
    8. Cost-justifying usability
    9. Summarizing Chapter 3
  16. Chapter 4: Understanding users and their goals
    1. People are goal-oriented
    2. When people use the web, they bring their experience and expectations
    3. Personas help you get to know your users
    4. Scenarios tell the story of your users’ goals
    5. Summarizing Chapter 4
  17. Chapter 5: Planning for usability testing
    1. Scheduling the planning meeting
    2. Writing the test plan
    3. Summarizing Chapter 5
  18. Chapter 6: Preparing for usability testing
    1. Recruiting participants
    2. Assigning team roles and responsibilities
    3. Developing team checklists
    4. Writing the moderator’s script
    5. Preparing or using other forms
    6. Creating questionnaires
    7. Using standard post-test questionnaires
    8. Creating or using qualitative feedback methods
    9. Testing the test
    10. Summarizing Chapter 6
    11. Moderator Script
  19. Chapter 7: Conducting a usability test
    1. Setting up for testing
    2. Meeting, greeting, briefing
    3. Being an effective and unbiased moderator
    4. Managing variations on the theme of testing
    5. Providing help or customer support during testing
    6. Logging observations
    7. Handling observers and visitors
    8. Working solo
    9. Summarizing Chapter 7
  20. Chapter 8: Analyzing the findings
    1. What did we see?
    2. What does it mean?
    3. What should we do about it?
    4. Summarizing Chapter 8
  21. Chapter 9: Reporting the findings
    1. Following Aristotle’s advice
    2. Preparing the message for the medium
    3. Writing an informal memo report
    4. Writing a formal report
    5. Presenting the findings
    6. Presenting post-task and post-test results
    7. Making recommendations
    8. Presenting an oral report
    9. Advocating for more UCD
    10. Summarizing Chapter 9
    11. Executive Summary
    12. Our Process
    13. Our Results
  22. Chapter 10: International usability testing
    1. Learning about your international users
    2. Understanding cultural differences
    3. Applying the work of Hall and Hofstede to understand international users
    4. Planning for international testing
    5. Structuring the test protocol
    6. Selecting the moderator
    7. Anticipating other aspects of international testing
    8. Summarizing Chapter 10
  23. References
  24. Index

Product information

  • Title: Usability Testing Essentials
  • Author(s): Carol M. Barnum
  • Release date: October 2010
  • Publisher(s): Morgan Kaufmann
  • ISBN: 9780123785534