Blogs

Measurement is at the heart of scientific knowledge. It’s also key to understanding and systematically improving the user experience. But numbers alone won’t solve all your problems. You need to understand what’s driving your metrics. While taking the pulse or blood pressure of a patient will provide metrics that can indicate good or poor health, physicians need more to understand what’s affecting those numbers. The

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Task completion is one of the fundamental usability metrics. It’s the most common way to quantify the effectiveness of an interface. If users can’t do what they intend to accomplish, not much else matters. While that may seem like a straightforward concept, actually determining whether users are completing a task often isn’t as easy. The ways to determine task completion will vary based on the

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Most of the millions of hotel bookings made each year are done online. Despite the proliferation of hotel aggregator websites like Expedia and Trivago, most people book directly on the hotel websites. With such a high concentration of travelers booking directly on hotel websites, having a good user experience is a differentiator. If travelers can’t find needed information about a hotel or room, can’t make

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One of the fundamental principles behind usability testing is to let the participants actually use the software, app, or website and see what problems might emerge. By simulating use and not interrupting participants, you can detect and fix problems before users encounter them, get frustrated, and stop using and recommending your product. So while there’s good reason to shut up and watch users, should a

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There’s been a long heated debate within the industry about the need to certify User Experience practitioners. After all, many professional organizations—accountants, realtors, attorneys, and even ergonomists—have some sort of official certification. Certifications provide some indication that a minimum threshold of competence has been demonstrated, which in theory should help prospective employers, customers, and the industry as a whole. Certification may even be helpful with

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We conduct a lot of quantitative online research, both surveys and unmoderated UX studies. Much of the data we collect in these studies is from closed-ended questions or task-based questions with behavioral data (time, completion, and clicks). But just about any study we conduct also includes some open-ended response questions. Our research team then needs to read and interpret the free-form responses. In some cases,

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Evaluate product designs and concepts early and often. Don’t wait till you’ve built the entire app, website, or product before having people actually use it. Build a prototype and test it. These principles are fundamental to user-centered-design, as well as other popular concepts such as the lean startup and minimum viable products featured in the popular book Sprint. But building even modest functionality and aesthetics

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Much of market and UX research studies are taken by paid participants, usually obtained from online panels. Our research has shown that using online panels for UX research for the most part provides reliable and valid results. While these huge sources of participants help fill large sample studies quickly, there’s a major drawback: poor quality respondents.  Reliable and valid responses only come when your data

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Mobile technology continues to evolve at a rapid pace. To help keep up, we pulled together relevant insights about the mobile user experience and mobile usage in general. This is an updated article to the 2016, 2015, and 2013 articles based on published data and our own mobile UX research. Cellphones are ubiquitous. A Pew Research report suggests that 95% of Americans own a cellphone; around 77% of U.S. adults

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What makes a UX practice “mature?,” how do we measure UX maturity, and does maturity really matter? In an earlier article, we discussed the history and challenges of assessing the UX maturity of companies and departments within large organizations. Existing models of maturity generally consist of different stages, with maturity progressing from unrecognized or ad hoc to institutionalized (for example, Nielsen's steps). The models also

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