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Facilitation is a valuable skill for measuring the user experience. A good facilitator ensures sessions run smoothly, make participants comfortable, and extract the right data for even the most difficult scenarios, stakeholders, or participants. Joe Dumas and Beth Loring wrote a great guidebook that is an essential read for anyone interested in facilitating a usability session. Even though it's almost a decade old, it's still full

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Having participants think aloud is a valuable tool used in UX research. It's primarily used to understand participants' mental processes, which can ultimately uncover problems with an interface. It has a rich history in the behavioral sciences that dates back over a century. Despite its value, it's not without its controversy. Some research has shown that depending on the activity, having participants think aloud can

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It was another busy year on MeasuringU.com with 50 new articles, the release of the 2nd editions of two books, UX Bootcamps in Denver and Rome and talks in London and Chicago.In 2016, our articles were served up to over a million visitors. Thank You!We covered topics including: usability testing, measurement and research methods, statistics, best practices with surveys, data analysis and visualizations. Here's a

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The best-laid plans of researchers often go awry. No matter how carefully a research project is planned, things may still go wrong.There are many threats to the success of a customer research project. At both big and small companies, at agencies and on the client side, research projects can fail to live up to expectations. Common problems include:Time delaysCost overrunsPoor managementTechnology problemsInsufficient sample sizesInadequate control

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Eye-tracking is a method that gets a lot of attention. Couple fancy (and expensive) equipment with a method that feels like peering into a customer's thought process and you'll get interest. Eye-tracking is perceived as something akin to a lie detector mixed with an MRI. After all, the eyes don't lie! But eye-tracking is not a panacea. Like many UX methods, it can be misused

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Researchers rely heavily on sampling. It's rarely possible, or even makes sense, to measure every single person of a population (all customers, all prospects, all homeowners, etc.). But when you use a sample, the average value you observe (e.g. a completion rate, average satisfaction) differs from the actual population average. Consequently, the differences between designs or attitudes measured in a questionnaire may be the result

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They're the stuff of movies, TV shows, and usability labs. One-way mirrors (or two-way mirrors depending on who you ask) are an enduring symbol of interrogation, psychology experiments, focus groups, and usability tests. This special piece of glass is brightly lit from one side to allow people to inconspicuously observe people on the other side. The technology is simple and actually quite old with a

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You can't see customer satisfaction. You can't see usability. There isn't a thermometer that directly measures someone's intelligence. While we can talk about satisfied customers, usable products, or smart people, there isn't a direct way to measure these abstract concepts. And clearly these concepts vary. We've all had experiences that left us feeling unsatisfied or conversely very delighted. We've also had our share of products

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Facilitation is a valuable skill for collecting data from participants. It's used extensively with several methods including usability tests, in-depth interviews, and focus groups. A good facilitator can ensure sessions run smoothly, make participants feel comfortable, and extract the right data in even the most challenging situations or with less-than-cooperative participants. Not all studies involving a facilitator are created equal though. A good facilitator needs

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A lot of work goes into planning a study, from customer surveys and unmoderated usability studies to market segmentations. Without enough of the right participants agreeing to participate and completing your study, the generalizability of your findings are limited.Here are five approaches you can use to get the right people to participate in your studies.  In many cases you can combine these approaches to achieve

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