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Who can see that photo you just posted on Facebook? What does the @ sign do on Twitter? Is my news feed manipulating me? Is it appropriate to post on political topics on LinkedIn? Social media is both heavily used and heavily discussed for its effect on society (for better or worse, including the recent media). A lot of money is made displaying ads and

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How satisfied are you with your life? How happy are you with your job or your marriage? Are you extroverted or introverted? It’s hard to capture the fickle nature of attitudes and constructs in any measure. It can be particularly hard to do that with just one question or item. Consequently, psychology, education, marketing, and user experience have a long history of recommending multiple items

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Finding and fixing usability problems in an interface leads to a better user experience. Beyond fixing problems with current functionality, participant behavior can also reveal important insights into needed new features. These problems and insights are often best gleaned from observing participants interacting with a website, app, or hardware device during actual use or simulated use (during a usability test). With the advent of remote testing platforms like

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Finding and fixing problems encountered by participants through usability testing generally leads to a better user experience. But not all participants are created equal. One of the major differentiating characteristics is prior experience. People with more experience tend to perform more tasks successfully, more quickly and generally have a more positive attitude about the experience than inexperienced people. But does testing with experienced users lead to uncovering

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Customer satisfaction is a staple of company measurement. It’s been used for decades to understand how customers feel about a product or experience. Poor satisfaction measures are an indication of unhappy customers, and unhappy customers generally won’t purchase again, leading to poor revenue growth. But is satisfaction the wrong measure for most companies? That’s certainly the claim Fred Reichheld has made and advocated the Net

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This Valentine’s Day around $2 billion will be spent on flowers. A lot of that ordering will be online. Poor online experiences mean shoppers will abandon an order and go somewhere else, or not return when they need to purchase flowers again. Having a strong user experience will ensure customers can find the right arrangement, for the right price, and have the flowers delivered fresh

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UX research efforts should be driven by business questions and a good hypothesis. Whether the research is a usability evaluation (unmoderated or moderated), survey, or an observational method like a contextual inquiry, decisions need to be made about question wording, response options, and tasks. But in the process of working through study details, often the original intent of the study can get lost. At its

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While UX research may be a priority for you, it probably isn’t for your participants. And participants are a pretty important ingredient in usability testing. If people were predictable, reliable, and always did what they said, few of us would make a living in improving the user experience! Unfortunately, people don’t always show up when they say they will for your usability test, in-depth interview,

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Benchmarking is an essential part of a plan to systematically improve the user experience. A regular benchmark study is a great way to show how design improvements may or may not be improving the user experience of websites and products. After you’ve decided you’re ready to conduct a benchmark, you’ll need to consider whether to conduct it internally within your company or outsource all or

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