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There are many helpful books on usability testing. It is also helpful to know what actually happens in usability tests, including what metrics people collect. I asked MeasuringU newsletter subscribers to answer a few questions about how they measure usability. Sign up for weekly updates at the bottom of this page. In addition to the number of users tested, I also asked about what data

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If you've read a book by Malcolm Gladwell then you know how he has a knack for making the mundane meaningful through drama-filled story telling. In his book, Outliers, he makes a convincing case that birthday matters for success in hockey. Being born as close to the year-end cut-off provides a developmental advantage. According to Gladwell, a disproportionate number of NHL hockey players have birthdays

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In a few seconds what can you tell about people… or websites? Some famous research has shown that student evaluations given after only a few seconds of video[pdf]are indistinguishable from evaluations from students who actually had the professor for an entire semester! There has been some relevant research on the importance of immediate website actions and impressions: Visual Appeal: Impressions of a homepage's visual appeal

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If you're familiar with usability testing then you're familiar with the magic number 5. Five users will on average find most of the problems that affect at least one-third or more of your users. If problems are less common, then you will need to test more users to find and fix them. On many high-traffic websites usability problems affect less than 1 out of 10

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There are many great books (some classics) on conducting usability tests. These books provide the blueprint for conducting an ideal usability test. One common theme these books present is that when conducting a test you are to act, as best as possible, as a neutral observer. Don't lead users, don't put words in their mouth and don't just tests as a formality to confirm your

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Marketing and UX both play important roles in making products successful. They often compete for the same limited budget and can be at odds on product direction. I crunch numbers for both Marketing and UX groups and can't help but notice how much both disciplines have in common. They are an unlikely couple. Here are nine things they have in common. 1. Loyalty Word of

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The books on this list have done more than sell a lot of copies (some have only sold a modest amount). They have been influential in providing material that has helped establish the usability profession. 1. A Practical Guide to Usability Testing by Joe Dumas & Ginny. Redish (1993) One of three books on the mechanics of usability testing. It also includes a detailed section

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Usability doesn't have to be expensive, time consuming or involve lots of users. Jakob Nielsen popularized this discount approach two decades ago. A focus on finding and fixing problems by testing early and often with small-samples generates major insights. More recently Steve Krug has taken this informal approach to the masses by encouraging website owners to spend a few minutes a month watching users(or your

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Just how common are usability problems in websites and software? Surprisingly there is very little out there on the frequency of usability problems. Part of the reason is that most usability testing happens early in the development phase and is at best documented for an internal audience. Once a website is launched or product released what little usability testing is done is typically more on

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Items in questionnaires are typically worded neutrally so as not to state concepts in the extreme. They are like an even-tempered friend—they have opinions but aren't overly optimistic or chronically pessimistic about things. What happens when items in a questionnaire or survey are worded in the extreme? Two years ago we tried a little experiment at the annual UPA conference to find out. We wanted

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