Steve Krug’s “Rocket Surgery Made Easy” is an engaging, pragmatic, and quick read from an experienced expert in Web usability. If you’re considering qualitative studies, or want to do them but are stopped by budget constraints, this is a great introduction to the basics of user testing.
I only have one thing I’d add to his text. It’s easy to focus on finding all the problems—and only on finding problems. When doing any kind of testing or editing, I also try to pay attention to what is working, because:
- It balances out “Everything is horrible!” impressions
- You can use what’s working as a model for similar areas
- If we don’t note what ain’t broke, it’s easy for it to be casually changed by someone’s preference
Krug gets at this a bit via his mandate “When fixing problems, try to do the least you can do”—I just like to give it a smidge more focus.
As always, I’m a fan of my local library, but you can also buy it on Amazon.