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Observing the User Experience: A Practitioner's Guide to User Research aims to bridge the gap between what digital companies think they know about their users and the actual user experience. Individuals engaged in digital product and service development often fail to conduct user research. The book presents concepts and techniques to provide an understanding of how people experience products and services. The techniques are drawn from the worlds of human-computer interaction, marketing, and social sciences. The book is organized into three parts. Part I discusses the benefits of end-user research and the ways it fits into the development of useful, desirable, and successful products. Part II presents techniques for understanding people's needs, desires, and abilities. Part III explains the communication and application of research results. It suggests ways to sell companies and explains how user-centered design can make companies more efficient and profitable. This book is meant for people involved with their products' user experience, including program managers, designers, marketing managers, information architects, programmers, consultants, and investors. * 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
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The toolbox of techniques that helps you "walk in the shoes" of your product's users

Table of Contents

Part I: Why Research is Good and How It Fits Into Product Development1. Typhoon: A Fable2. Do a Usability Test Now!3. Balancing Needs Through Iterative Development4. The User ExperiencePart II: User Experience Research Techniques5. The Research Plan6. Universal tools: Recruiting and Interviewing7. User Profiles8. Contextual Inquiry, Task Analysis, Card Sorting9. Focus Groups10. Usability Tests11. Surveys12. Ongoing Relationship13. Log Files and Customer Support14. Competitive Research15. Others' Hard Work: Published Information and Consultants16. Emerging TechniquesPart III: Communicating Results17. Reports and Presentations18. Creating a User-Centered Corporate CultureAppendicesA. The Budget Research LabB. Common Survey QuestionsC. Observer Instructions

About the Author

Elizabeth Goodman is a PhD candidate at the UC Berkeley's School of Information. Her writing, design and research focus on interaction design for mobile and ubiquitous computing. She has also been a part of exploratory research teams at Intel, Fuji-Xerox, and Yahoo!. Elizabeth has a masters degree in interaction design fromNew York University, and is a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellow and an Intel PhD Fellow. Mike Kuniavsky is a user experience designer, researcher and author. A twenty-year veteran of digital product development, Mike is a consultant and the co-founder of several user experience centered companies: ThingM manufactures products for ubiquitous computing and the Internet of Things; Adaptive Path is a well-known design consultancy. He is also the founder and organizer of Sketching in Hardware, an annual summit on the future of tools for digital product user experience design for leading technology developers, designers and educators. Mike frequently writes and speaks on digital product and service design, and works with product development groups in both large companies and startups. His most recent book is Smart Things: Ubiquitous Computing User Experience Design. Andrea Moed believes that research is essential in designing to support human relationships. She has been a design researcher and strategist for over 15 years, observing users of websites, phones and other mobile devices, museums, retail environments and educational and business software. She is currently the Staff User Researcher at Inflection, a technology company working to democratize access to public records. Andrea has master's degrees from the Interactive Telecommunications Program at New York University and the UC Berkeley School of Information, and has taught at the Parsons School of Design in New York. Her writing on design and technology has appeared in a variety of publications.

Reviews

"In this second edition, the authors update an important contribution to the emerging discipline of user experience (UX) research.This book is one of many noteworthy titles from Morgan Kaufmann in this subject area. It is chock full of practical examples and advice for both novice and experienced practitioners."--ComputingReviews.com, January 23, 2013 "Anyone even remotely interested in involving participants and observing their reaction and interaction with the product in order to enhance the overall user acceptance should deeply benefit from this book. I very much liked the practical examples, tables, and diagrams which have given this book a more vibrant feel and allowed the reader to feel like he can use this textbook directly in the practice of establishing some user experience tests. I think the textbook is profoundly informational and was a joy to read."--Software Engineering News, March 2012 "You'll like Mike Kuniavsky's broad selection of practical user research methods--presented clearly and usably. And you'll like his timing too: while recent books focus on the whys of user experience, many are now ready for the hows. Observing the User Experience does just that: It demonstrates how to discover what is in users' heads, and suggests how we might balance those considerations with business objectives."--Lou Rosenfeld, co-author of Information Architecture for the World Wide Web "Wow! So many of the user experience research methods we have refined and used over the years are now organized and described in detail in one book. It is an essential reference for any practitioner."--Christian Rohrer, Manager, User Experience Research, Yahoo! "Observing the User Experience provides the reader with a wealth of information. We now have a guideline that can be used to gain insight into those mysterious figures...our users. Knowing who our users are, what they need, and how they might use the things we build for them is the most important part of any product development cycle. Mike Kuniavsky's focus in this book is on the user experience as it relates to online interfaces, but ANYONE who builds ANYTHING can gain valuable knowledge from reading this book." --David Hoffer, Senior User Interface Designer, CTB/McGraw-Hill "I love Observing the User Experience! This comprehensive guide approaches user experience research like never before, and is well-written, easy-to-read, and quite user friendly. It provides a real-world example of how research is done in just enough detail that it can both inform a CEO of the role of usability research as well as introduce methodology to someone starting out in the field. Bravo!"--Kelly Braun, Usability Manager, Ebay "Mike Kuniavsky offers many practical procedures to conduct and analyze the results of your own custom usability tests. He shares lots of personal stories from the trenches, many of which are painfully ironic. The hope is that his knowledge will help spare you the pain of making the same mistakes others have made before you."--from the foreword by Lynda Weinman, Author and Founder, lynda.com, Inc. "Kuniavsky presents information logically, often anticipating potential questions by providing extensive explanations. His text is readable and easily understandable. He incorporates interesting quotes from various scholars, keeping readers' interest by breaking up the strict presentation of information. The overall layout and conversational tone make the text an enjoyable read and useful reference."--Kalle Medhurst - Technical Communications "The best general how-to handbook on user research remains Mike Kuniavsky's Observing the User Experience. For the reader who wants to integrate contextual design into a fast-paced development cycle, but isn't sure how, this book will be a godsend. Even when their advice can't be followed to the letter, the book, like the authors method, can be adapted to your needs." - Networker Magazine "Mike Kuniavsky's Observing the User Experience: A Practitioner's Guide to User Research is a welcome addition to the half dozen essential books on my cubicle shelf. This book provides lucid, personable, experienced advice that could only come from a seasoned consultant who has seen the good, bad, and ugly of web and application design. Its purpose is to give a solid foundation to any design team in the crucial beginning stages of a project by answer the questions: How do we go about learning who our users are an what they really need? And how do we do this in a way that helps us make a strong case for our design decisions to the people in charge?" - Andrew Hinton

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