Book – Rocket Surgery Made Easy

rocket-surgeryThe book is an excellent guide for people trying to do usability testing in-house and without a dedicated group or person.

The target audience is probably developers rather than marketers as the book does not address questions of conversion optimization and keeps the guide reasonably short and immediately useful.

Interesting points from the book:

  • Recommendation – testing other companies’ sites on the same topic to understand problems before creating your own site (or even testing your own site).  “Someone has gone to the trouble of building a full-scale working prototype of a design approach to the same problems you are trying to solve, and they they have left it lying around for you to use. ”  🙂

Plus, watching the test first time can be a shock for people who are new to the process – starting from the competitor site can help them to put the process into perspective

  • usabilityExact target audience is not always needed for testing (at least initial testing). Many problems has nothing to do with domain knowledge and related to basic components such as navigation, layout, etc.
  • Testing once a month with three users is enough – most significant problems will be found.  More tests can create more notes than will be later considered
  • Tricking executives for coming just to “drop by” to boost morale and show importance of the task, can result in a very interested executive
  • serious problems should be corrected before “next redesign” – but the correction should be as minimal as possible.  Waiting for the “next redesign” does not always lead to any change for a long time.
  • Some problems may not be possible to correct quickly as they might be symptoms of a larger unresolved conflict – site purpose or company’s mission
  • Remote testing gives 80% of the benefits of a live test with about 70% of the effort

Video example of a typical usability session described in details in the book (below)

Main points from the book from the perspective of the author 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s