Rocket Surgery Made Easy The Do-It-Yourself Guide to Finding and Fixing Usability Problems

***** Feb252010

To really give a complete evaluation of Steve Krug’s second book, Rocket Surgery Made Easy, I should wait until I’ve tried out his approach to low-budget usability testing. But even without having practiced what Krug preaches, I can say that his book has motivated me finally to pick one of the websites I’ve built for a client, and put it through a round or two of testing. In short, the book has convinced me that, even though budgets are tight and the sites I work on are relatively small and simple:

  1. I should do some usability testing

  2. I can do some usability testing

Short yet Thorough

Like his previous book, Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability, 2nd Edition, this one is short, to the point, enlightening, and entertaining. You can absorb it in an afternoon, yet it describes everything you need to know to get started testing websites. Krug also provides actual scripts and checklists you can use in your tests.

Cheap, but Not Free

Though this book is about doing usability testing on the cheap, it is still geared towards teams and groups with, I think, more resources than your average individual freelancer. I don’t have a team to act as observers during tests (see Krug’s Maxim #4: “Make it a spectator sport”, p. 91), nor do I have $150 to $300 per test with which to compensate test participants. However, I think people are willing to give up their time for less than $50/hour, and I could show the test recordings to colleagues when the opportunity arises.


This book is ideal for someone working in-house on a company website, or for small- to mid-sized web design companies building sites for clients with at least some room in their budget. Someone like me, working on her own building sites for small business or individuals, can still employ many of the principles and methods in this book, but will have to adapt to even fewer resources.

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Author(s)Steve Krug
PublisherNew Riders Press

Just 1 comment so far…Comment

Brian May 12 2010

Excellent review. Very thorough. Makes me want to drop everything and buy it.

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