The UX Five-Second Rules

The UX Five-Second Rules

Guidelines for User Experience Design's Simplest Testing Technique

1st Edition - March 21, 2014

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  • Author: Paul Doncaster
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128005347
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128006610

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The five-second test is one of the most convenient rapid UX testing methods available, although its value can be compromised by ignoring the restrictions of the method. The Five-Second Rules uses detailed examples from a collection of more than 300 tests to describe the strengths and weaknesses of this rapid testing method. Readers will learn about the "five-second rules" for getting useful data, and will explore what types of design issues can be resolved by using the method. A five-second test (also known as "timeout test" and "exposure test") involves displaying a visual or informational design for five seconds, removing it from view, then asking what aspects were recalled most easily or vividly. The goal is to understand what stands out most about a design or product, and the impact on the viewer's perception of it.

Key Features

  • Describes the origins of the method and its usefulness in modern UX design research and testing
  • Conveys the need to structure tests carefully so that time, effort, and money are not wasted, and compiled data is not misleading
  • Fosters an appreciation for the method's outcomes and how they can contribute to the success or failure of a proposed design

Table of Contents

    • Preface
    • Chapter 1. The Method
      • 1.1 What Is a Five-Second Test?
      • 1.2 The Processes in Play
      • 1.3 Evolution: From the Lab to Online
      • 1.4 What’s Going Wrong?
      • References
      • Recommended Reading
    • Chapter 2. The UX Five-Second Rules
      • 2.1 Proper Use of the Method
      • 2.2 Test Format
      • 2.3 Avoiding the Nonresponse
      • 2.4 Instructions
      • 2.5 Page/Image Visibility
      • 2.6 Number of Questions
      • 2.7 Order of Questions
      • 2.8 Writing the Questions
      • 2.9 Asking About Prominence
      • 2.10 Open-Ended Feedback
      • References
      • Recommended Reading
    • Chapter 3. Testing for Emotional Response
      • 3.1 Common Approaches in Five-Second Tests
      • 3.2 Iterating a Viable Five-Second Test Approach
      • 3.3 Testing the Template
      • References
      • Recommended Reading
    • Chapter 4. Testing for Trustworthiness and Credibility
      • 4.1 Common Approaches in Five-Second Tests
      • 4.2 Iterating a Viable Five-Second Test Approach
      • 4.3 Testing the Template
      • References
      • Recommended Reading
    • Chapter 5. Beyond Web Site and UI Designs
      • 5.1 Displays for Trade Show Booths/Exhibits
      • 5.2 Printed Collateral and Advertisements
      • 5.3 PowerPoint Slides
      • 5.4 Forms
      • References
    • Appendix. Online Five-Second Test Tools

Product details

  • No. of pages: 140
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Morgan Kaufmann 2014
  • Published: March 21, 2014
  • Imprint: Morgan Kaufmann
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128005347
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128006610

About the Author

Paul Doncaster

Paul Doncaster graduated from Bentley University's Human Factors in Information Design master's degree program in 2007, and has since worked on highly-complex UX projects within the domains of course technology, legal and intellectual property. He has written and spoken on many UX topics, including designing for emotional response, online readability, and designing for tablet users in the legal domain.

Affiliations and Expertise

User Experience Manager

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