Handbook of Usability Testing, Second Edition, is a nuts-and-bolts guide for beginners, loaded with tips and tricks for effectively testing products of all types. From software, GUIs, and technical documentation, to medical instruments and exercise bikes, no matter what type of product, readers will learn to design and administer reliable tests to ensure that people find it easy and desirable to use.
The Second Edition will be fully updated--30% revised, with 100 new pages. Chapters will be reorganized to reflect more current industry practices, outdated terminology will be updated, and more varied examples provided. Many individual chapters will also be heavily revised to reflect current best practices. The companion Web site will include additional case examples samples and templates beyond those already provided within the print product.
Review By: Anuradha Siva 07/09/2010
This book sheds light on how to design user-friendly software and how to plan and conduct effective tests. In layman's language, the authors explain why some software is usable and accessible while others are not. Rubin and Chisnell give good examples of how the software should be designed while keeping in mind that the users are not skilled people. User will generally use the system they understand (one that is user friendly and easily accessible) and the one users can navigate through easily.
The book also explains the methodology followed for usability testing and why a test plan or scenario should be written, how to set up a test environment, and who to select for usability testing. The authors also explain how to brief the users on what they are about to test; how to analyze the results, data, and their observation; and how to prepare a report of the findings and recommendations after testing is complete.
The authors explain how gathering a variety of users, like older adults, adults, and children, will help usability testing. The authors also offer a great explanation on where to test including outside the environment in which the software was created, such as remote testing, automated testing, or in-house testing.
At the end of the book, the authors expand on designing the user experience. The diagram for user-centered design (UCD) is really easy to understand. It explains an organization’s timeline of progress experienced when it expanded its UCD.
Shelf life for this book could be ten to fifteen years. This book does not emphasize other kinds of testing methodologies as much as it focuses on the process for usability testing. I like the real world examples in this book and the presentation of complex topics with appropriate pictures. This book is meant for testers, test managers, and for development personnel. Overall, this is a good book for people in a testing role. It provides details on the current complexities of some software and how to solve those issues. By following the few footsteps suggested by the authors, one can create quality software.