A Five Minute Version of Neuro Web Design

I get wonderful emails from readers of my book, Neuro Web Design: What makes them click. People write me and say how much they loved the book, etc, etc. It’s one of the benefits of writing a book!

A request from a reader — A few days ago I got one of those emails and the author asked if I had any presentations or slides that I could share with him. He was putting together a presentation for his management at work about the concepts in the book.

I procrastinate! — This is a request I get a lot, but I had never gotten around to putting together a Slideshare presentation for example, and uploading it. This is mainly because my talks and presentations are highly visual. I would have to do an audio annotation for the slides to make any sense.

I break the procrastination. On a weekend no less — When I got the email from my reader I decided that it was about time that I give it a whirl, so this weekend found me paring down my usual talk on the topic to a smaller number of slides. Then I donned a set of headphones with a microphone, and started talking.

I get it done in an hour — Slidecast (the part of slideshare where you add audio), was not the most intuitive interface, but it wasn’t too bad. I would say it took me about an hour from start to finish… from deciding on the slides, to recording the audio, and re-recording, and re-recording (in GarageBand), uploading everything and syncing up the slides with the audio (that was the klugy interface part).

See what you think, and give me feedback — It’s not perfect, but it’s a good first try. You can watch and listen below (the embed tool from Slideshare is very easy to use). It’s about 5 minutes in length. I’d love to get feedback from all of you about  this format, whether you think I should do more of these, and what topics I should talk/present about in them. So respond to me via the comments below or drop me an email at weinschenk@gmail.com. And if you don’t have the book yet, then click on one of the links in the sidebar and check it out.

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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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