Observing the User Experience

Observing the User Experience

A Practitioner's Guide to User Research

1st Edition - April 8, 2003

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  • Author: Mike Kuniavsky
  • eBook ISBN: 9780080497563

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The gap between who designers and developers imagine their users are, and who those users really are can be the biggest problem with product development. Observing the User Experience will help you bridge that gap to understand what your users want and need from your product, and whether they'll be able to use what you've created. Filled with real-world experience and a wealth of practical information, this book presents a complete toolbox of techniques to help designers and developers see through the eyes of their users. It provides in-depth coverage of 13 user experience research techniques that will provide a basis for developing better products, whether they're Web, software or mobile based. In addition, it's written with an understanding of how software is developed in the real world, taking tight budgets, short schedules, and existing processes into account.

Key Features

·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.

Table of Contents

  • Part I: Why Research is Good and How It Fits Into Product Development
    1. Typhoon: A Fable
    2. Do a Usability Test Now!
    3. Balancing Needs Through Iterative Development
    4. The User Experience

    Part II: User Experience Research Techniques
    5. The Research Plan
    6. Universal tools: Recruiting and Interviewing
    7. User Profiles
    8. Contextual Inquiry, Task Analysis, Card Sorting
    9. Focus Groups
    10. Usability Tests
    11. Surveys
    12. Ongoing Relationship
    13. Log Files and Customer Support
    14. Competitive Research
    15. Others' Hard Work: Published Information and Consultants
    16. Emerging Techniques

    Part III: Communicating Results
    17. Reports and Presentations
    18. Creating a User-Centered Corporate Culture

    A. The Budget Research Lab
    B. Common Survey Questions
    C. Observer Instructions



    About the Author

Product details

  • No. of pages: 576
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Morgan Kaufmann 2003
  • Published: April 8, 2003
  • Imprint: Morgan Kaufmann
  • eBook ISBN: 9780080497563

About the Author

Mike Kuniavsky

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.

Affiliations and Expertise

Founder, ThingM

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