New Edition
Observing the User Experience,
Edition 2 A Practitioner's Guide to User Research
By Elizabeth Goodman, Ph.D., School of Information, University of California Berkeley and Mike Kuniavsky

Publication Date: 07 Sep 2012

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.

Key Features

  • 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
About the author
By Elizabeth Goodman, Ph.D., School of Information, University of California Berkeley, Design researcher and UX strategist at 18F, a design group within the General Services Administration. and Mike Kuniavsky, Founder, ThingM
Table of Contents



PART I: Why Research Is Good and How It Fits into Product Development

Chapter 1. Introduction

Learning from LEGO

In Conclusion

Chapter 2. Do a Usability Test Now!

A Nano-usability Test

A Micro-usability Test

What Did You Learn?

What to Do Next

Chapter 3. Balancing Needs through Iterative Development

Success for End Users Is…

Success for the Company Is…

Success for Advertisers Is…

A System of Balance: Iterative Development

Where User Research Fits In

Example: A Scheduling Service

PART II: User Experience Research Techniques

Chapter 4. Research Planning

Setting Goals for Research

Integrating Research and Action

The Format of the Plan


Example: Research Plan for Company X


Chapter 5. Competitive Research

When Competitive Research Is Effective

Competitive Research Methods

Analyzing Competitive Research

Example: A Quick Evaluation of

Acting on Competitive Research

Chapter 6. Universal Tools: Recruiting and Interviewing



Chapter 7. Focus Groups

When Focus Groups Are Appropriate

How to Conduct Focus Groups

Chapter 8. More Than Words: Object-Based Techniques

When to Use Them

Dialogic Techniques

Writing the Script

Generative Techniques: Making Things

Associative Techniques: Card Sorting

Chapter 9. Field Visits: Learning from Observation

What Are Field Visits?

How Are Field Visits Used?

The Field Visit Process

Note Taking

Why Can’t You Just Ask People?


Chapter 10. Diary Studies

When to Do a Diary Study

How to Do a Diary Study


Chapter 11. Usability Tests

When to Test

How to Do It

How to Analyze Usability Tests

Anatomy of a Usability Test Report

Appendix B


Chapter 12. Surveys

When to Conduct Surveys

How to Field a Survey

How to Analyze Survey Responses

Follow-up and Ongoing Research

Chapter 13. Global and Cross-Cultural Research

What Is Global and What Is Cross-Cultural?

Research Planning

Multilingual Research


Field Interviews and Observation

Global and Cross-Cultural Surveys

The Elephant in the Room

Tactical Challenges for Implementing Research Plans

Analyzing the Data

Course Corrections

Building Your Global Research Program

Chapter 14. Others’ Hard Work: Published Information and Consultants

Published Information

Hiring Specialists

Chapter 15. Analyzing Qualitative Data

This Is Not a Fishing Trip

An Ideal Process for Qualitative Analysis

Coding with Paper


Mixing Digital and Paper Coding

Typical Analysis Plans


Chapter 16. Automatically Gathered Information: Usage Data and Customer Feedback

Usage Data

Customer Feedback

Explore the Data, Then Go Observe!

PART III: Communicating Results

Chapter 17. Research into Action: Representing Insights as Deliverables

Choosing the Right Deliverables

Representing People: Personas

Representing Situations: Scenarios

Representing Activities and Processes

Representing Systems: Experience Models

Putting It All Together

A Final Warning

Chapter 18. Reports, Presentations, and Workshops

Informal Reporting

Preparing and Presenting Formal Reports

The Presentation

The Workshop

Extending the Reach of Research


Chapter 19. Creating a User-Centered Corporate Culture

Work with the Current Process

What If It’s Just Too Difficult?

Following and Leading



Book details
ISBN: 9780123848697
Page Count: 608
Retail Price : £46.99
Johnson: GUI Bloopers ($44.95, ISBN: 1-55860-582-7, MK, 2000)
Brinck: Usability for the Web ($49.95 ISBN: 1-55860-658-0, MK, 2001)
HCI practitioners, usability engineers, software developers, Web page designers and developers