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Usability Engineering: Scenario-Based Development of Human-Computer Interaction (Interactive Technologies)

Usability Engineering: Scenario-Based Development of Human-Computer Interaction (Interactive Technologies)

Usability Engineering: Scenario-Based Development of Human-Computer Interaction (Interactive Technologies)
By Mary Beth Rosson, John M. Carroll

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(5 customer reviews)

Book Description

You don't need to be convinced. You know that usability is key to the success of any interactive system-from commercial software to B2B Web sites to handheld devices. But you need skills to make usability part of your product development equation. How will you assess your users' needs and preferences? How will you design effective solutions that are grounded in users' current practices? How will you evaluate and refine these designs to ensure a quality product? Usability Engineering: Scenario-Based Development of Human-Computer Interaction is a radical departure from traditional books that emphasize theory and address experts. This book focuses on the realities of product development, showing how user interaction scenarios can make usability practices an integral part of interactive system development. As you'll learn, usability engineering is not the application of inflexible rules; it's a process of analysis, prototyping, and problem solving in which you evaluate tradeoffs, make reasoned decisions, and maximize the overall value of your product.

  • Written by prominent HCI educators who understand how to teach usability practices to students and professional developers.
  • Interleaves HCI theory and concepts with a running case study demonstrating their application.
  • Gradually elaborates the case study to introduce increasingly sophisticated usability engineering techniques.
  • Analyzes usability issues in realistic scenarios that describe existing or envisioned systems from the perspective of one or more users.
  • Emphasizes the real world of usability engineering-a world in which tradeoffs must be weighed and difficult decisions made to achieve desired results.


Book Details

  • Amazon Sales Rank: #1271628 in Books
  • Published on: 2001-10-26
  • Ingredients: Example Ingredients
  • Original language: English
  • Number of items: 1
  • Dimensions: 9.30" h x 1.20" w x 7.50" l, 2.10 pounds
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • 448 pages

Editorial Reviews

Review
"This book is ideally suited for a problem-based curriculum in which students simultaneously learn good development processes while completing a term project. The book gives excellent guidance, and the case study approach is an excellent organizer and motivator. At last, the proper problem-based textbook."
—Don Norman, Nielsen Norman Group

"One of the nice things about this book is that it identifies where tradeoffs exist in developing user interfaces. Too many books provide guidelines as if they were absolute; unfortunately, this is not the case. Tradeoffs must be constantly made, and understanding how one usability objective can impact another is critical to good design."
—Jon Meads, Usability Architects

From the Back Cover

This book is ideally suited for a problem-based curriculum in which students simultaneously learn good development processes while completing a term project. The book gives excellent guidance, and the case study approach is an excellent organizer and motivator. At last, the proper problem-based textbook.

-- Don Norman, Nielsen Norman Group

One of the nice things about this book is that it identifies where tradeoffs exist in developing user interfaces. Too many books provide guidelines as if they were absolute; unfortunately, this is not the case. Tradeoffs must be constantly made, and understanding how one usability objective can impact another is critical to good design.

-- Jon Meads, Usability Architects

You don't need to be convinced. You know that usability is key to the success of any interactive system-from commercial software to B2B Web sites to handheld devices. But you need skills to make usability part of your product development equation. How will you assess your users' needs and preferences? How will you design effective solutions that are grounded in users' current practices? How will you evaluate and refine these designs to ensure a quality product?

Usability Engineering: Scenario-Based Development of Human-Computer Interaction is a radical departure from traditional books that emphasize theory and address experts. This book focuses on the realities of product development, showing how user interaction scenarios can make usability practices an integral part of interactive system development. As you'll learn, usability engineering is not the application of inflexible rules; it's a process of analysis, prototyping, and problem solving in which you evaluate tradeoffs, make reasoned decisions, and maximize the overall value of your product.

Features

  • Written by prominent HCI educators who understand how to teach usability practices to students and professional developers.
  • Interleaves HCI theory and concepts with a running case study demonstrating their application.
  • Gradually elaborates the case study to introduce increasingly sophisticated usability engineering techniques.
  • Analyzes usability issues in realistic scenarios that describe existing or envisioned systems from the perspective of one or more users.
  • Emphasizes the real world of usability engineering-a world in which tradeoffs must be weighed and difficult decisions made to achieve desired results.

About the Author
Mary Beth Rosson has been an associate professor of computer science at Virginia Tech since 1994. Prior to that, she worked at the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center as a research staff member and as manager of tools and architectures. She is the author of many contributed chapters, journal articles, and conference presentations and papers.

John M. Carroll is Professor of Computer Science, Education, and Psychology, and Director of the Center for Human-Computer Interaction, at Virginia Tech. He has written more than 250 technical papers, more than 25 conference plenary addresses, and 12 books. He serves on 10 editorial boards for journals and handbooks, has won the Rigo Career Achievement Award from ACM, received the Silver Core Award from IFIP, and is a member of the CHI Academy.


Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful.
3Good text and useful for the prescribed test. Probably because the author was my professor.
By iMike
This book probably was easier to use because the author was my professor for the class and I got more out of the text.

11 of 14 people found the following review helpful.
4Very well organized
By rolando
This book is a good reference in many points of the usability process - evaluation, design, and testing. The authors organize chapters in a very structured way that the content is very digestible. At 448 pages, the book isn't meant to be read in a single session, but again, it's a great reference.
My favorite part about this book is the fact that it actually has a section on user documentation - something that is lacking in many books on the subject of usability, and the achilles heel of many projects.

3 of 7 people found the following review helpful.
1Myopic, innaccurate
By Merv Green
This book delivers little specific usability advice, but as another review said, touts its authors' pet theory they call "scenario based design." Often, it simply misinforms. Take this quote from the pages available on Look Inside:

---
"Software engineering is founded on the ideas of structured programming (Mills 1971): Programmers first define the major structures of a software system - the database, the event handler, and the network server..."
---

The term "software engineering," according to Wikipedia, appeared in the 1950s, well before Goto Considered Harmful popularized "structured programming." The authors, however, handily ignore this and imply that Mills invented structured programming with databases, event handlers and servers, leading to a new dawn of computer engineering. Nevermind that ARPANET was at that time a toddler and what they call "structured programming" only barely resembles the accepted definition.

While these particular errors do not relate directly to the relative merits of the usability advice this book offers, they do illustrate a careless quality in the research. Furthermore, they indicate the authors' apparent unfamiliarity with software development history and practical software construction.

See all 5 customer reviews...
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