An Interview With Steve Krug: Everyone should do usability testing

Book CoverIn a previous post I reviewed Steve Krug’s latest book, but recently I had the opportunity to interview Steve about the book. It’s a fun interview, and I think you’ll enjoy hearing Steve talk about:

  • who he wrote the book for (not an obvious answer as I discovered)
  • which part of the book he thinks makes the biggest contribution to the field of usability
  • what his “parlor trick” is that he performs when he gives speeches
  • the process by which he came up with the “scripts” for usability testing that are in the book
  • how to locate the free video that anyone can watch whether or not they buy the book

and much much more.

The interview is 20 minutes — you can download it from the Neuro Web Design podcast link in iTunes, or click to listen to the interview with Steve.

I hope you enjoy listening as much as I enjoyed talking to Steve.

And here’s a link (affiliate) if you’d like to learn more about the book:

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Book Review of Steve Krug's Rocket Surgery Made Easy

I’ve been a fan of Steve Krug’s since his original book, Don’t Make Me Think, came out about a decade ago. (And Steve was kind enough to write an endorsement for my book, Neuro Web Design: What makes them click? when it came out last year).

Steve’s new book is all about user testing of web sites (or software or products or anything really). The premise of the book is that ANYONE can conduct a simple user test and that EVERYONE who has a website, software, or a product, should conduct user testing.

So the book is a DIY guide to simple, but effective, user testing.

Here’s my review via video, and below that I’ll summarize the take-aways:

What I like most about the book:

It’s very thorough — This really is everything you need to know to conduct an informal usability test.

Useful checklists — Chapter 7 is called “Some boring checklists” and it has great (not boring) checklists of what to do and when to do it.

All the wording and scripts you need — Chapter 8 gives you all the details you need, for example what to say as the facilitator, and what your consent form should contain. You get the actual forms and scripts.

How to interpret the data you get — Chapters 11 and 12 tell you what to do now that you’ve run the user tests and you have information.

How to think about the results — One of my favorite chapters is #10, where he walks you through how to have a meeting with your team and decide what actions to take based on the feedback you got during the test.

Link to an example video — In the book Steve gives you a URL to watch a video. The video is Steve conducting a user test with a real user. He annotates the video with some call outs so you can learn what he is doing as he goes along.

It’s a great book and I recommend it for anyone who has anything to do with designing or improving a website, or software, or technology product that people use. Whether you are new to user testing, or a pro with many years under your belt, you will find this book to be of immense value.

If you’d like to read more about it on Amazon, here’s a link (affiliate):

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