I recently conducted a workshop at the WebCamp Zagreb, giving an introduction to usability testing. In preparing for the workshop I compiled a list of books and articles that I felt could be helpful for anyone interested in learning more about user-centered design and usability testing. Hopefully these resources will help you out as your discover more about usability testing.
(Note: The books are affiliate links!)
- Usability 101: Introduction to Usability by Jakob Nielsen. In this article, Nielsen defines usability and overviews the importance of when and how to conduct usability tests.
- 7 Reasons Why You Can’t Sell Usability, And What To Do About It. This article by Craig Tomlin gives tips on common problems selling usability to your management or clients and how you can work around these issues.
- How to Recruit Participants for Usability Studies by Norman and Nielson Group. This free report gives guidelines for setting up a recruitment program and managing participants while conducting a usability study.
- How many test users by Norman and Nielson Group. This article describes why they recommend 5 test users and provide data from their own experiences on this. They also have some tips on when to adjust the number of test users and how to approach usability testing.
- Talking with Participants During a Usability Test by the Norman and Nielson Group. This article discusses some facilitation techniques to use during a usability study.
- Usability Evaluation Methods from usability.gov. This is a collection of short articles discussing various facets of the usability evaluation process.
- Template Usability Forms from usability.gov. This is a collection of useful forms that you may need in your own usability testing, ranging from consent and compensation forms, to a formal writeup template.
- Creating usability test tasks that really motivate users by David Travis. This article describes 6 different types of usability tasks that you can use.
- Rocket Surgery Made Easy: The Do-It-Yourself Guide to Finding and Fixing Usability Problems – This is short book that gives an overview of how and why to conduct web usability tests. Written by Steve Krug, one of the highly published experts in conducting usability studies.
- Handbook of Usability Testing: How to Plan, Design, and Conduct Effective Tests – This book by Jeffrey Rubin and Dana Chisnell provides a great introduction to all the aspects of usability testing.
Online Usability Testing
- UserTesting.com – A website where you can hire users do to remote usability testing on your website quickly. They record the user’s screen and the user answers some questions on what is happening. Can be a quick solution if you cannot recruit your own users.
- loop11.com – Another website that provides remote usability testing.
- Benefits of User-Centered Design – Article on usability.gov that describes how user-centered design is an investment and how you can think about calculating the return on that investment.
- Schneiderman’s 8 golden rules of interaction design – Great high-level principles to follow when designing a product.
- Nielson’s 10 Usability Heuristics for User Interface Design – Another good set of high-level heuristics for design.
- Design of Everyday Things by Donald Norman. Great book that details different usability issues found in common items in everyday life, as well as positive examples of how these items can be improved. Reading this can help you think about any sort of product design.
- Don’t Make Me Think – A short book by Steve Krug that provides an introduction to usability principles.
- Designing the User Interface: Strategies for Effective Human-Computer Interaction – This is a great textbook written by Shneiderman & Catherine Plaisant for getting an overview and introduction to the field of designing interfaces and human-computer interaction (HCI). This book is often required reading in many undergraduate and graduate HCI courses.