A Practical Guide to Usability Testing
||Author: Joseph S. Dumas, Janice C. Redish|
List Price: $34.95
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Publisher: Intellect (01 October, 1999)
Sales Rank: 29,594
Average Customer Rating: 5 out of 5
Customer ReviewsRating: 5 out of 5
This is a classic in the field, written by two highly-respected usability specialists. I was fortunate to read it as one of the textbooks in a class on usability testing taught by Dr. Dumas. It is a very practical book, covering planning, testing, and reporting the results. The strengths and weaknesses of usability testing are discussed, and there is some information about other usability evaluation methods and basic design principles.
This is a republication, with only slight changes, of the 1993 edition, so the technology and costs are not up to date. But it's not hard to think in terms of digital cameras instead of videotape.
Rating: 5 out of 5
This is required reading for usability professionals. It's a detailed look at testing, covering everything from test plans and lab construction to data analysis and how to handle unqualified testers who slip through the screening process. It covers lower-budget tests in addition to full-scale ones. It's clear that Dumas and Redish have loads of experience, and they're not shy about sharing it.
The most useful idea I came away with is that testing needs a specific purpose. You can't just test a system's usability; you test, for example, the navigation system or a membership form.
The only flaws here are a couple of omissions. There's no mention of testing web applications, though the principles covered here can be extrapolated to other purposes. And there is no mention of the ultra-cheap guerilla testing tactics. I doubt Dumas and Redish would approve of them, but it would have been very helpful to read about where these alternative methods were effective and not.
This book is a keeper. While my organization will not likely be doing full-blown usability testing for awhile, I'm now more able to evaluate and communicate with third-party testing facilities. And this book will influence all of our other evaluation and assessment testing methods.
Rating: 5 out of 5
Insightful, Useful, and Usable - The Best Usability Book
This is a step-by-step quide with checklists, offering insight into every stage of usability testing. It should help any software development project produce more usable software (assuming the developers are willing to make changes based on the results of testing).
As someone who has done research about usability, taught about usability to over 1000 practitioners, and developed usable systems (some more so than others) for 20 years, I am still impressed every time I open this book. I recommend it as the best practical book on developing usable software (although I also recommend other books, such as Nielsen's "Usablity Engineering" and Rubin's "Handbook of Usability Testing").
· About Face 2.0: The Essentials of Interaction Design
· Interaction Design
· User and Task Analysis for Interface Design
· Paper Prototyping: The Fast and Easy Way to Design and Refine User Interfaces
· Handbook of Usability Testing: How to Plan, Design, and Conduct Effective Tests