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Are Sliders More Sensitive than Numeric Rating Scales?

Sliders are a type of visual analog scale that can be used with many online survey tools such as our MUIQ platform. The literature on their overall effectiveness is mixed (Roster et al., 2015). On the positive side, evidence indicates that sliders might be more engaging to respondents. On the negative side, evidence also indicates

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Latin and Greco-Latin Experimental Designs for UX Research

During the fall in the northern hemisphere, leaves change colors, birds fly south, and the temperature gets colder. Do the birds change the color of the leaves, and does their departure make the temperature colder? What if you gave participants two versions of a rating scale, with the first having responses ordered from strongly disagree

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Improving the Prediction of the Number of Usability Problems

Paraphrasing the statistician George Box, all models are wrong, some are useful, and some can be improved. In a recent article, we reviewed the most common way of modeling problem discovery, which is based on a straightforward application of the cumulative binomial probability formula: P(x≥1) = 1 – (1-p)n. Well, it’s straightforward if you like

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Revisiting the Evidence for the Left-Side Bias in Rating Scales

Are people more likely to select response options that are on the left side of a rating scale? About ten years ago, we provided a brief literature review of the published evidence, which suggested that this so-called left-side bias not only existed but also was detected almost 100 years ago in some of the earliest

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The UX of Vacation Rental Websites

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to significant changes in how people have vacationed in 2020. To get away from it all without spending time in crowded places, vacationers have turned to vacation rental websites and have planned longer stays. For example, Airbnb recently reported a year-to-year doubling of long-term (>28 days) rentals and a shift

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Simplifying the UMUX-Lite

It seems like every few years a new standardized UX measure comes along. Standardization of UX measurement is a good thing for researchers and practitioners. Having common methods and definitions helps with objectivity, generalization, economy, and professional communication. At MeasuringU, we pay a lot of attention to the continuing evolution of standardized UX measurement. The

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How to Code Errors in Unmoderated Studies

Errors can provide a lot of diagnostic information about the root causes of UI problems and the impact such problems have on the user experience. The frequency of errors—even trivial ones—also provides a quantitative description of the performance of a task. The process of observing and coding errors is more time-consuming and dependent on researcher

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Should You Use Negative Numbers in Rating Scales?

There are a lot of opinions about the best formats for agreement scales. Sometimes those opinions are strongly held and can lead to lengthy, heated discussions within research teams. When format differences affect measurement properties, those discussions may be time well spent, but when the formats don’t matter (or matter very little), the time is

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Are Face Emoji Ratings Better than Numbered Scales?

Somewhat agree, very satisfied, extremely likely. The labels used on the points of rating scales can affect responses in often unpredictable ways. What’s more, certain terms can get lost in translation when writing surveys for international usage. Some terms may have subtly different meanings, possibly making cross-cultural comparisons problematic. While numbers are universally understood and

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What Do You Gain from Larger-Sample Usability Tests?

We typically recommend small sample sizes (5–10) for conducting iterative usability testing meant to find and fix problems (formative evaluations). For benchmark or comparative studies, where the focus is on detecting differences or estimating population parameters (summative evaluations), we recommend using larger sample sizes (20–100+). Usability testing can be used to uncover problems and assess the

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How to Handle Bad Data

Decisions should be driven (or at least informed) by data. Raw data is turned into information by ensuring that it is accurate and has been put into a context that promotes good decision-making. The pandemic has brought a plethora of COVID-related data dashboards, which are meant to provide information that helps the public and public

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