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Every year, it seems, there’s a new buzz word or a hot new method that comes up in UX research and product development: Agile, Lean, and Jobs to be Done are just a few. Design Thinking is a concept that’s received a lot of attention lately. But well before Design Thinking became part of the UX lexicon, there was User-Centered Design (UCD). What are these

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There’s a lot of conventional wisdom floating around the Internet about rating scales. What you should and shouldn’t do. Best practices for points, labels, and formats. It can be hard to differentiate between science-backed conclusions and just practitioner preferences. In this article, we’ll answer some of the more common questions that come up about rating scales, examine claims by reviewing the literature, and summarize the

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Software dominates our professional and personal lives. A product's usability, in addition to its features and capabilities, is an important influence on how likely users are to adopt new technology and recommend the software. Between 30 and 60% of the variation in Net Promoter Scores is determined by a product's usability. Customers tend to recommend products they have positive experiences with. Similarly, bad experiences lead customers

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Despite the attention consumer-based mobile apps, websites, and software get, a lot of the world depends on business software. Business software supports core functions for organizations such as productivity tracking, communication, accounting, and sales. Several products also have a fair amount of crossover between business and consumer usage. Along with their features and capabilities, the user experience of software is a key determinant of how

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If you’ve had a meeting recently it was probably a virtual meeting. The use of online meeting software with integrated video and screen sharing capabilities, such as Zoom and Google Hangouts, has been growing for years. To say the usage has now skyrocketed is probably an understatement. Online meetings are ubiquitous in business and are now common in education and personal use. Children attend classes

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Important decisions should be informed by data. And one of the most common ways of displaying data is by using graphs to better visualize relationships. Graphs can be powerful tools to compactly illustrate patterns. But the type of graph and the visual elements selected can lead to (usually) unintentional misinterpretation. For example, we have written about how using raw versus difference scores affects interpretation and

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If users can’t complete a task, not much else matters. Consequently, task completion is one of the fundamental UX measures and one of the most commonly collected metrics, even in small-sample formative studies and studies of low-fidelity prototypes. Task completion is usually easy to collect, and it’s easy to understand and communicate. It’s typically coded as a binary measure (success or fail) dependent on a participant

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There isn’t a usability thermometer. And if there were one, what would it measure? Unlike temperature, usability is not a property of a person or thing. The term usability has certainly been in the vernacular for decades, and people seem to know when something isn’t usable. But what exactly does it mean to someone whose job is to improve usability? To properly measure and manage

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Questioning the effectiveness of usability testing may sound like a relic from the past. In the early years of industrial usability engineering, there was a constant need to justify the activity of (and your job in) usability testing. The book Cost-Justifying Usability (Bias & Mayhew, 2005) speaks to this. Usability testing has since gained significant adoption in organizations. But that doesn’t mean some of the

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