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Observing the User Experience: A Practitioner’s Guide to User Research aims to bridge the gap between what digital companies think they know about their users and the actual user experience. Individuals engaged in digital product and service development often fail to conduct user research. The book presents concepts and techniques to provide an understanding of how people experience products and services. The techniques are drawn from the worlds of human-computer interaction, marketing, and social sciences.
The book is organized into three parts. Part I discusses the benefits of end-user research and the ways it fits into the development of useful, desirable, and successful products. Part II presents techniques for understanding people’s needs, desires, and abilities. Part III explains the communication and application of research results. It suggests ways to sell companies and explains how user-centered design can make companies more efficient and profitable. This book is meant for people involved with their products’ user experience, including program managers, designers, marketing managers, information architects, programmers, consultants, and investors.
- Explains how to create usable products that are still original, creative, and unique
- A valuable resource for designers, developers, project managers - anyone in a position where their work comes in direct contact with the end user
- Provides a real-world perspective on research and provides advice about how user research can be done cheaply, quickly and how results can be presented persuasively
- Gives readers the tools and confidence to perform user research on their own designs and tune their software user experience to the unique needs of their product and its users
HCI practitioners, usability engineers, software developers, Web page designers and developers
PART I: Why Research Is Good and How It Fits into Product Development
Chapter 1. Introduction
Learning from LEGO
Chapter 2. Do a Usability Test Now!
A Nano-usability Test
A Micro-usability Test
What Did You Learn?
What to Do Next
Chapter 3. Balancing Needs through Iterative Development
Success for End Users Is…
Success for the Company Is…
Success for Advertisers Is…
A System of Balance: Iterative Development
Where User Research Fits In
Example: A Scheduling Service
PART II: User Experience Research Techniques
Chapter 4. Research Planning
Setting Goals for Research
Integrating Research and Action
The Format of the Plan
Example: Research Plan for Company X
Chapter 5. Competitive Research
When Competitive Research Is Effective
Competitive Research Methods
Analyzing Competitive Research
Example: A Quick Evaluation of Match.com
Acting on Competitive Research
Chapter 6. Universal Tools: Recruiting and Interviewing
Chapter 7. Focus Groups
When Focus Groups Are Appropriate
How to Conduct Focus Groups
Chapter 8. More Than Words: Object-Based Techniques
When to Use Them
Writing the Script
Generative Techniques: Making Things
Associative Techniques: Card Sorting
Chapter 9. Field Visits: Learning from Observation
What Are Field Visits?
How Are Field Visits Used?
The Field Visit Process
Why Can’t You Just Ask People?
Chapter 10. Diary Studies
When to Do a Diary Study
How to Do a Diary Study
Chapter 11. Usability Tests
When to Test
How to Do It
How to Analyze Usability Tests
Anatomy of a Usability Test Report
Chapter 12. Surveys
When to Conduct Surveys
How to Field a Survey
How to Analyze Survey Responses
Follow-up and Ongoing Research
Chapter 13. Global and Cross-Cultural Research
What Is Global and What Is Cross-Cultural?
Field Interviews and Observation
Global and Cross-Cultural Surveys
The Elephant in the Room
Tactical Challenges for Implementing Research Plans
Analyzing the Data
Building Your Global Research Program
Chapter 14. Others’ Hard Work: Published Information and Consultants
Chapter 15. Analyzing Qualitative Data
This Is Not a Fishing Trip
An Ideal Process for Qualitative Analysis
Coding with Paper
Mixing Digital and Paper Coding
Typical Analysis Plans
Chapter 16. Automatically Gathered Information: Usage Data and Customer Feedback
Explore the Data, Then Go Observe!
PART III: Communicating Results
Chapter 17. Research into Action: Representing Insights as Deliverables
Choosing the Right Deliverables
Representing People: Personas
Representing Situations: Scenarios
Representing Activities and Processes
Representing Systems: Experience Models
Putting It All Together
A Final Warning
Chapter 18. Reports, Presentations, and Workshops
Preparing and Presenting Formal Reports
Extending the Reach of Research
Chapter 19. Creating a User-Centered Corporate Culture
Work with the Current Process
What If It’s Just Too Difficult?
Following and Leading
- No. of pages:
- © Morgan Kaufmann 2012
- 1st September 2012
- Morgan Kaufmann
- eBook ISBN:
- Paperback ISBN:
Elizabeth Goodman has taught user experience research and tangible interaction design at the University of California, Berkeley and site-specific art practice at the San Francisco Art Institute. She has also worked with exploratory research and design teams at Intel, Fuji-Xerox, and Yahoo and speaks widely on the design of mobile and pervasive computing systems at conferences, schools, and businesses. She received her PhD from the School of Information at the University of California, Berkeley in fall 2013. During graduate school, her scholarly research on interaction design practice was supported by a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship and an Intel PhD Fellowship
Design researcher and UX strategist at 18F, a design group within the General Services Administration.
Mike Kuniavsky is a user experience designer, researcher and author. A twenty-year veteran of digital product development, Mike is a consultant and the co-founder of several user experience centered companies: ThingM manufactures products for ubiquitous computing and the Internet of Things; Adaptive Path is a well-known design consultancy. He is also the founder and organizer of Sketching in Hardware, an annual summit on the future of tools for digital product user experience design for leading technology developers, designers and educators. Mike frequently writes and speaks on digital product and service design, and works with product development groups in both large companies and startups. His most recent book is Smart Things: Ubiquitous Computing User Experience Design.
"In this second edition, the authors update an important contribution to the emerging discipline of user experience (UX) research…This book is one of many noteworthy titles from Morgan Kaufmann in this subject area. It is chock full of practical examples and advice for both novice and experienced practitioners." --ComputingReviews.com, January 2013
"Anyone even remotely interested in involving participants and observing their reaction and interaction with the product in order to enhance the overall user acceptance should deeply benefit from this book. I very much liked the practical examples, tables, and diagrams which have given this book a more vibrant feel and allowed the reader to feel like he can use this textbook directly in the practice of establishing some user experience tests. I think the textbook is profoundly informational and was a joy to read." --Software Engineering News, March 2012
"You'll like Mike Kuniavsky's broad selection of practical user research methods--presented clearly and usably. And you'll like his timing too: while recent books focus on the whys of user experience, many are now ready for the hows. Observing the User Experience does just that: It demonstrates how to discover what is in users' heads, and suggests how we might balance those considerations with business objectives." --Lou Rosenfeld, co-author of Information Architecture for the World Wide Web
"Wow! So many of the user experience research methods we have refined and used over the years are now organized and described in detail in one book. It is an essential reference for any practitioner." --Christian Rohrer, Manager, User Experience Research, Yahoo!
"Observing the User Experience provides the reader with a wealth of information. We now have a guideline that can be used to gain insight into those mysterious figures...our users. Knowing who our users are, what they need, and how they might use the things we build for them is the most important part of any product development cycle. Mike Kuniavsky's focus in this book is on the user experience as it relates to online interfaces, but ANYONE who builds ANYTHING can gain valuable knowledge from reading this book." --David Hoffer, Senior User Interface Designer, CTB/McGraw-Hill
"I love Observing the User Experience! This comprehensive guide approaches user experience research like never before, and is well-written, easy-to-read, and quite user friendly. It provides a real-world example of how research is done in just enough detail that it can both inform a CEO of the role of usability research as well as introduce methodology to someone starting out in the field. Bravo!"--Kelly Braun, Usability Manager, Ebay
"Mike Kuniavsky offers many practical procedures to conduct and analyze the results of your own custom usability tests. He shares lots of personal stories from the trenches, many of which are painfully ironic. The hope is that his knowledge will help spare you the pain of making the same mistakes others have made before you." --from the foreword by Lynda Weinman, Author and Founder, lynda.com, Inc.
"Kuniavsky presents information logically, often anticipating potential questions by providing extensive explanations. His text is readable and easily understandable. He incorporates interesting quotes from various scholars, keeping readers' interest by breaking up the strict presentation of information. The overall layout and conversational tone make the text an enjoyable read and useful reference." --Kalle Medhurst - Technical Communications
"The best general how-to handbook on user research remains Mike Kuniavsky's Observing the User Experience. For the reader who wants to integrate contextual design into a fast-paced development cycle, but isn't sure how, this book will be a godsend. Even when their advice can't be followed to the letter, the book, like the authors method, can be adapted to your needs." --Networker Magazine
"Mike Kuniavsky's Observing the User Experience: A Practitioner's Guide to User Research is a welcome addition to the half dozen essential books on my cubicle shelf. This book provides lucid, personable, experienced advice that could only come from a seasoned consultant who has seen the good, bad, and ugly of web and application design. Its purpose is to give a solid foundation to any design team in the crucial beginning stages of a project by answer the questions: How do we go about learning who our users are an what they really need? And how do we do this in a way that helps us make a strong case for our design decisions to the people in charge?" --Andrew Hinton
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