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

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4.07 of 5 stars 4.07  ·  rating details  ·  1,105 ratings  ·  77 reviews
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...more
ebook, 166 pages
Published December 8th 2009 by New Riders Publishing (first published December 1st 2009)
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Chad Warner
Aug 08, 2014 Chad Warner rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Chad by: Steve Krug
An easy-to-read guide to doing your own inexpensive usability testing. I liked Krug’s humorous writing and entertaining use of quotations, and the book'scartoons make it even easier to understand.I didn't find it as informative asKrug’s previous book, Don’t Make Me Think.

Krug says that DIY usability testing is inferior to hiring a usability consultant, but it’s better than not testing. He says that if you can afford to, you should hire a usability professional.

Krug summarizes his approach as fol...more
Beverly Ho
Just like "Don't Make Me Think", this is a concise, easy to read, and valuable book that anyone in software development should read. Steve Krug has a way of explaining the Usability Testing concept that can be applied easily. It was an interesting read. I couldn't put it down until I finished it before I landed on a 6 hour flight.
Ilib4kids
006.7019 KRU
p5 Jakob Nielsen "discount usability engineering"
p44 search online "focus group rental' or "market research"

Google Website Optimizer
UPA (Usability Professionals Association) www.upassoc.org

recommended books
testing in general
Handbook of Usability Testing: How to Plan, Design, and Conduct Effective Tests by Jeffrey Rubin
A Practical Guide to Usability Testing by Joseph S. Dumas
Usability Testing Essentials: Ready, Set ...Test! by Carol Barnum

Specific topic
Paper Prototyping: The Fast and...more
Dan
A great introductory guide to user testing. The casual style and jokiness makes it a light read while still giving you everything you need to know to begin user testing.
Elizabeth
I feel that Steve Krug's work is invaluable for anyone whose professional or personal life is more than 50% "web stuff".

Rocket Surgery Made Easy is Krug's follow up to 2000's Don't Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability, which I'm reasonably certain that anyone who works with the aforementioned "web stuff" has already encountered. Rocket Surgery takes a DIY approach to usability, scaling it down and back (or up, depending on your organization) so as to fit neatly in an iterative...more
Paul Boos
This book really shows how easy usability testing can be... Without a large leap, you can easily see how to fit this into a regular Agile cycle (running them against mock-ups, pretotypes, as well as perhaps customizing an iteration review with usability tests on the working software as a feedback item).

I found it very clearly written actually appreciated the detail provided (example - verbatim scripts to say during a session). I did find few spots a little repetitive, but not so much that it tur...more
Jeff
Early on, you're pointed to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QckIzH... as a demonstration of the technique.

His basic thesis is that one morning a month, everyone in the company (devs, designers, ceo, etc) observes three people from outside the organization attempt to do a few tasks with your product (as well as some things like try to understand your home page). Each individual session is recorded with something like Camtasia and simulcasted to another room where the company has spectators that ar...more
Ash Moran
Very straightforward and practical guide to usability testing. It's basically a best-practice manual, so there's a lot of "do this, it works" and a little bit of theory / follow-up references. It achieves its goal simply and effectively. Mainly this is about the mechanics of running a discount usability test, but there are also surprisingly good bits about how to sneak in usability tests despite counter-productive politics. Tips like making sure people with design agendas don't facilitate the te...more
Stringy
Do you make websites, or contribute to them in some way? Then you should read this great little guide to 'discount' user testing. It'll tell you how to get it done on a tight budget, and point you in the right direction for further information.

Krug has a nice breezy style, and I liked his sense of humour. He has decades of experience and knows exactly what questions you've got and how to answer them.

I'm bang in the middle of the target market for this book: new to usability testing, with no bud...more
Coral
I really, really like Krug. He's a smart guy and writes really approachable, encouraging prose. I got my whole Web Team to read Dont Make Me Think, and it hasn't just improved the Web Team's discussions of the website but, it seems to me, the whole organization's approach to customer service.

After reading the sequel, Rocket Surgery Made Easy, I feel much more confident about my ability to do usability testing. I probably won't do the once-a-month/everyone-watches testing he suggests; I'm a dev...more
Jaime
In a past life (or, about 3 jobs ago) I read Don’t Make Me Think, and I loved its casual and humorous style. So when I needed to read up on usability testing, I knew Steve Krug wouldn’t let me down. Rocket Surgery has that same easy-going tone, and he breaks down usability testing into easy steps. Also very helpful are the demo and sample scripts available on the companion web site. Before I started, I was daunted by the thought of usability testing, and was fairly sure I would screw it up (or a...more
Jessie
Steve has a very entertaining writing style. This is a quick, easy read. And the techniques actually work in the real world. I had already seen Steve's do-it-yourself usability testing in action - it's wildly used by the U.S. federal government agencies. The scripts and checklists provided by Steve are a huge timesaver - they can be used without much personalized tweaking.

I will note though that Steve "requested" that I read his book before attending his workshop - that just lead to a LOT of re...more
Aaron M
This is the missing book in world of usability testing. While it is truly a companion to Krug's previous book, I would argue it can be used as the companion to almost any noteworthy UX books covering the theory of creating functional software.

Here Krug outlines a method for testing and implementing a testing cycle that is not only effective, but practical. Practical being the key. He notes in the book and I think those of us in the real world of development would agree, that minimizing the amou...more
David Golden
Brilliant 80/20 guide to user testing

Rocket Surgery is down-to-earth and practical, with plenty of step-by-step guides, checklists and real-world advice. The conversational style makes it approachable and convincing. It goes deeper into detail than the chapter(s) in Don't Make Me Think; if that was enough for you to go on, you might not need this. But if you were still hesitant about user testing after that, this will give you the extra direction you need.
Erika
This is a great book for anyone interested in improving the websites they create. It provides helpful schedules, prompts, scripts, and tools necessary to successfully accomplish do-it-yourself usability testing. Plus, the narration is engaging and conversational.
Raya Dimitrova
Just perfect for getting you started with usability testing!
This incredibly practical book is full of brilliant insights (based on broad professional experience) and the best how-to-put-this-to-actual-practise-without-devoting-a-century-to-it advices. All the information you need to get a confident start in usability testing is nicely served in a neat dish for you here. All you have to do is take it in and do some actual testing yourself.
If you’re in for it, don’t have any doubts - Steve Krug’s...more
Emily Leathers
Dec 05, 2011 Emily Leathers rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who works on product design or frontend code
Recommended to Emily by: rapleaf library
How many people not directly involved in the design of your project get a chance to test it out before you release to the world? If the answer is 'none', then you're missing a vitally important step that has the possibility to massively improve your product - usability testing.

In this book, Mr. Krug walks you through the steps of carrying out successful, do-it-yourself usability testing. He knows just what makes a new learner happiest: including everything you might need to know, down to suggest...more
Renee
Loved this! Steve Krug has a clear-but-cheeky writing style, the layout is perfect, and the content is highly scannable and well-structured. This book is good stuff, and reading it bumped Don't Make Me Think even higher up on my to-read list.

Must note, though, that I'm glad I got this at the library, and didn't pay the list price of $35: the book's only 161 pages, most of it consisting of (well-expressed) common sense. Why so expensive, computer books?
David Robins
A decent book on budget usability testing.
Leandro
Boa abordagem e estímulo aos testes rápidos.
Konstantina_pap
An excellent and really helpful book about usability testing.
Kate
Mar 06, 2014 Kate marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bought-not-read
Recommended by running lean author
Barry Forrest
One morning per month & start earlier than you think. Very practical and easy to follow guide to DIY usability testing. Great getting started guide with step by step instructions on how to organize & execute a brief usability test. I'm looking forward to using some hallway testing to improve a side project.
Dustin
Pretend like that was 3.5 stars. It feels like a companion to his previous book, and that's both good and bad. The good part is, if "Don't Make Me Think" struck a chord with you, so will this. The bad part is, some parts of this book weren't very surprising. It's basically an on-steroids version of the chapter from the 2nd edition of "Don't Make Me Think." Don't get me wrong, expanding, revising, and detailing that chapter is valuable work, and I'm glad I own this, but $35 feels just a tad steep...more
Dhuaine
A very essential guide to simple usability testing for small companies. The book includes walkthroughs, scenarios and checklists - basically everything you need to get started. It spoon-feeds information and it's really simple and easy, without redundant chapters. It does assume you already have some knowledge on usability and just shows you the way to conduct the tests yourself. In my opinion, it's very good, but also very short and I would have preferred if it was cheaper. No complaints regard...more
Tracy Antol
I always enjoy Steve Krug's books. This is another good one. A simple approach to conducting your own usability studies. If you work at a large company you will probably want to hire professionals but if you don't have budget then running them yourself is better than nothing.
Tarissa
Great resource for web designers! -- Or for anyone working on a project that needs to have a user-friendly polish. I learned a LOT about usability testing and how easy it can be. I'd like to run some usability tests in the future, and I've acquired many pointers of what to keep in mind and what you should prepare for. Krug has written this in a fun, easy-to-read manner. Great for beginners or advanced leaders at usability testing.
Reese
Mar 10, 2012 Reese rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Reese by: Kate K.
Between this book and Steve Krug's previous one Don't Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability, I was fully prepared to do "discount" usability testing for my workplace. It's a lifesafer, and a fantastic read. Nice and short for practical, need-to-know-now workplaces.
Deniss Rutseikov Ojastu
Short and effective, well-written and well-designed book about the Web site usability testing.
Main points of this book were covered in Krug's first book ("Don't Make Me Think"), but "Rocket Surgery Made Easy" goes more in details. Sometimes, the details become rather trivial.
All in all, an easy reading with several relevant recommendations, but it is probably enough reading only the first of the two books.
Eric Brown
Steve Krug's follow up book to "Don't Make Me Think". Good companion piece.
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2298
Steve Krug (pronounced “kroog”) is best known as the author of Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability, now in its second edition with over 300,000 copies in print.
Ten years later, he finally gathered enough energy to write another one: the usability testing handbook Rocket Surgery Made Easy: The Do-It-Yourself Guide to Finding and Fixing Usability Problems.
The books were bas...more
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