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Observing the User Experience

Book Description

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.

·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

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Title Page
  3. Copyright
  4. Foreword
  5. Preface
  6. Table of Contents
  7. Part I: Why Research Is Good and How It Fits into Product Development
    1. Chapter 1: Typhoon
      1. The Short History of Typhoon
    2. Chapter 2: Do a Usability Test Now!
      1. A Micro-Usability Test
      2. What Did You Learn?
      3. What to Do Next
    3. Chapter 3: Balancing Needs through Iterative Development
      1. Success for End Users Is …
      2. … Desirability
      3. Success for Advertisers Is …
      4. Success for the Company Is …
      5. A System of Balance: Iterative Development
      6. Iterative Development and User Research
      7. Example: A Scheduling Service
    4. Chapter 4: The User Experience
      1. Information Architecture
      2. Information Architects
      3. Information Needs of Information Architects
      4. Useful Tools and Techniques
      5. Identity Design
      6. The User Experience Researcher
  8. Part II: User Experience Research Techniques
    1. Chapter 5: The Research Plan
      1. Goals
      2. Schedules
      3. Starting in the Middle
      4. Budgets
      5. Research Plan for Company X
      6. Maintenance
    2. Chapter 6: Universal Tools
      1. Recruiting
      2. Interviewing
    3. Chapter 7: User Profiles
      1. When to Do It
      2. How to Do It
      3. Using Profiles
      4. Example
    4. Chapter 8: Contextual Inquiry, Task Analysis, Card Sorting
      1. Contextual Inquiry
      2. Task Analysis
      3. Card Sorting
    5. Chapter 9: Focus Groups
      1. When Focus Groups Are Appropriate
      2. How to Conduct Focus Groups
      3. Focus Group Analysis
      4. Example
    6. Chapter 10: Usability Tests
      1. When to Test
      2. How to Do It
      4. How to Analyze It
      5. Example
    7. Chapter 11: Surveys
      1. When to Conduct Surveys
      2. How to Field a Survey
      3. How to Analyze Survey Responses
      4. Follow-Up and Ongoing Research
    8. Chapter 12: Ongoing Relationships
      1. Background
      2. Diaries
      3. Advisory Boards
      4. Beta Testing
      5. Telescoping
      6. Taking the Longer View
    9. Chapter 13: Log Files and Customer Support
      1. The Customer Support Process
      2. Collecting Comments
      3. Reading Comments
      4. Organize and Analyze Them
      5. Log Files
      6. What’s in a Log File, and What’s Not
      7. Logs and Cookies
      8. Some Useful Metrics
      9. Extracting Knowledge from Data
    10. Chapter 14: Competitive Research
      1. When Competitive Research Is Effective
      2. Competitive Research Methods
      3. Analyzing Competitive Research
      4. Acting on Competitive Research
      5. Example: A Quick Evaluation of ZDNet
    11. Chapter 15: Others' Hard Work
      1. Published Information
      2. Publications
      3. Hiring Specialists
    12. Chapter 16: Emerging Techniques
      1. Variations on Techniques
      2. Combining
  9. Part III: Communicating Results
    1. Chapter 17: Reports and Presentations
      1. Preparation
      2. Know Your Audience
      3. The Report
      4. The Presentation
      5. Common Problems
    2. Chapter 18: Creating a User-Centered Corporate Culture
      1. Integration
      2. Justification
      3. Reasons for User-Centered Processes
      4. What If It’s Too Difficult?
  10. The Budget Research Lab
  11. Common Survey Questions
  12. Observer Instructions
  13. Bibliography
  14. Index
  15. About the Author
  16. Instructions for online access