Krug's Last Stand

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Chapters 9-11 proved to be somewhat of a wrap up. Although the whole book basically had to do with usability testing, I felt that these three chapters focused on usability the most.

Chapter 9 had to do with avoiding exspensive ways of doing usability tests. This would definitely be helpful if I was creating an actual important website. The more you "get up there" with the big dogs, the more you are probably going to spend on testing. I like the fact that even though Krug is a usability tester himself -and people hire him to look at their sites- he still shares this information of not having to pay all you have left for some testing equipment and testers. He calls his deal the "lost our lease, going-out-of-business sale usability testing. It is the concept of not having to spend more than $50 on the whole ordeal. He suggests using regular people, a few simple equipment tools, and doing only 3-5 tests. This sounds like a much easier route to take. I think its also smart to use regular joes because those are the people who are going to be checking out your site; not just already well-informed people.

I liked chapter 10 because I could relate to the levels of goodwill. It's pretty simple. When you want something you should be able to find it pretty easily if you do enough searching; especially if it's a significant event or news story like the example Krug provided of the airline strike. A website should cater to everyone's needs, so why try to hide it as Krug points out that some sites do. (hiding the call info number, or prices on inventory) Users like things that are easily accessible with just the right amount of information to let them know whats going on...... Actually, just typing that sentence made me realize that, that is a really hard task. How can you please everyone?? We are a culture that wants and needs constantly and when we don't get it right away we complain. This bothers me.

And last but not least, accessibility testing! Okay so apparantly I must be living under a rock because the number 508 didn't ring a bell for me when I first read it. The footnote at the bottom reminded me that its part of the Rehabilitation Act that specifies that all technology must be accessible to people with disabilities. According to Krug, this is a struggle for a lot of web designers and users. It goes back to the idea that a website should cater to everyone's needs. This includes, blind, deaf, learning disabled, mental, emotion, etc. individuals. I can see how designers could easily forget or just not bother to include specifications for all those people because it may skew the presentation of their site. This means more work for them too and that's no motivation. So how do we go about solving this problem? There really isn't one solution for this but I guess that is why there is usability and accessibility testing! It's important to have people pick out the difficulites they had (be it people with disabilities and those without) and then just keep fixing the little mistakes to make the big picture more understandable.




Andy Lonigro said:

Those are good points Anne. I mean, I like Krug's comment about testing the average joes that don't know much about the information they're looking at. But don't you think it would also be a benefit to test users that are familiar with the content information? That way, it might give you more of a finite, more specific range of issues that you need to handle. For example, if someone who doesn't normally go to fast food restaurants eats at McDonald's and the fries are soggy, he/she may not say anything because of the simple fact of not knowing any better. But if a fast food connoisseur (definitely typed that into word to check the spelling) were to go to McDonald's and get soggy fries he might throw a fit. I just think it might be a good idea to get different perspectives from people with different levels of experience in the content of the site.

Didn't mean to single out McDonald's... but you get the point.

Krug did explain that you should/could test the "average joes" who don't know much about the information they're looking at, but then he explains that you should also test users who will be familiar with the information.
If you looked at page 140, in chapter 9, Krug explained who you should have test your site. He also says that it's usually not a good idea to design a site so that ONLY your target audience can use it. You need to be addressing novices as well as experts anyway.

If Grandman Lonigro can do it, an expert can.

Jackie Johns said:

You're right, it's easy to say web designers should cater to everyone's needs, but actually pleasing everyone is quite a difficult task! And you make an interesting point that there is a somewhat disturbing underlying sentiment that the public wants to be pleased all the time, no matter what, as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, I don't think this public opinion will be changing anytime soon but it would go a long way for websites if designers put user's best interests at heart (and not try to hide information) and if users cut a website a little slack if from time to time it makes a minor mistake.

Anne Williams said:

I like the McDonalds analogy and I know your right about ALSO testing more experienced users of the site because they can give crucial feedback that average Joe (or andy:)) couldn't give. So yes a variety of testers would be the ultimate usability test but if you're looking to do it cheaply you may have to just pay more to get the best users in that case. So thanks for the comments guys! I welcome any fights that may happen to break out between Andy and Denamarie on my blog page.:)

John said:

i agree with the point that website shouldn't hide its most relevant, important information from its visitor

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John on Krug's Last Stand: i agree with the point that we
Anne Williams on Krug's Last Stand: I like the McDonalds analogy a
Jackie Johns on Krug's Last Stand: You're right, it's easy to say
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Andy Lonigro on Krug's Last Stand: Those are good points Anne. I
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