We are redesigning our website at the library where I work. While the site is not fully finished yet, it is finished to the point that we need to start doing usability testing. I had read Steve Krug’s other book Don’t Make Me Think early on in the design process and have heard him speak. He has stressed the importance of usability testing again and again. While his other book had a chapter on the subject of usability testing, this entire book is about it. For people who are planning to do their own usability testing, this book is an excellent resource on how to do it.
His “maxims” for doing usability testing are:
- A morning a month, that’s all we ask.
- Start earlier than you think makes sense.
- Recruit loosely and grade on a curve.
- Make it a spectator sport.
- Focus ruthlessly on a small number of the most important problems.
- When fixing problems, always do the least you can do.
While these might not make a lot of sense without reading the book, they are actually very clear guidelines on how to conduct usability testing on your own, which we plan to do. The book is a quick read, written in his usual semi-humorous tone. It includes many examples to illustrate his points and even includes a sample script. It is definitely worth reading if you want to keep your website up-to-date and avoid those total redesigns in the future.