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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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Is a usable experience sufficient for a good experience? Assuming a product, website, or app does what it intends to do and is usable, is there anything more? Usability testing tends to focus on the objective task-oriented performance quality of an experience. What about aspects such as innovativeness, originality, or beauty? Do these matter? If so, how should they be measured? We recently wrote about

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One of these things is not like the other. That’s the theme of a segment on the long-running US TV show Sesame Street. As children, we learn to identify similarities and differences. And after seeing a group of things that look similar, we tend to remember the differences. Why? Well, one theory describes something called the isolation effect, or the Von Restorff effect. The name

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Human: Computer, can you recognize speech? Computer: I think you said, can you wreck a nice beach? Both the quality of synthesized speech and the capability of communicating with a computer using your voice have come a long way since the debut of this technology in the 1970s. One of the most famous synthetic voices was the one used by Stephen Hawking. Some of its

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There’s no shortage of opinions about the Net Promoter Score. There’s nothing wrong with an opinion. It’s just better when there’s data backing it. Unfortunately, when it comes to opinions about the Net Promoter Score, especially how the underlying question is displayed, the opinions are often based on anecdotes and out-of-context “best practices.” At MeasuringU, we want to help others use data to form better

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Who, as a person, doesn’t want to be desirable? And if you’re in the business of developing products or services, who doesn’t want those to be desirable? There is a deep satisfaction beyond the monetary rewards of providing something that people want (and of course, the money’s nice, too). While we’ve found wide interest in wanting to conduct “desirability testing,” there is much less agreement

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