A Practical Guide to Usability Testing

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Joseph S. Dumas and Janice (Ginny) Redish
1999 (revised edition) / 416 pages
Paper: 1-84150-020-8

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A Practice Guide to Usability Testing was the first "how-to" book on the topic.

The 1999 revised edition is the 1993 first edition with a new preface, bibliography, and visual examples of usability labs (of course, current as of 1999).

Despite its age, A Practical Guide to Usability Testing is still a valuable resourceeasy to read and use, extremely practical, full of useful guidelines. It can still help you bring usability evaluation into your process. You can learn to do usability testing or use it to mentor others as they move into user experience careers.

What it's about

In A Practical Guide to Usability Testing, we begin by defining usability, reviewing many techniques for assessing and assuring usability throughout the development process, and placing usability testing into the context of an entire user experience (UX) process.

We then take you through all the steps in planning and conducting a usability test, analyzing data, and using the results to improve both products and processes.

Writing in plain English with many examples, we discuss many testing options from quick studies with a few participants to more formal tests with carefully designed controls. You’ll also find forms that you can use or modify to conduct a usability test.

Joe Dumas (a human factors psychologist) and I (a linguist) wrote A Practical Guide to Usability Testing from our extensive experience conducting research on usability, doing usability testing, helping companies set up usability labs and programs, and teaching user-centered (user-experience) design.