Blogs

It's easy to get derailed when writing a survey or questionnaire. On top of worrying what to ask and who to ask, you have to worry about how to ask the questions so you don't distort the real views of the respondents. Here are eight things to help make the process a little smoother: Use all positive wording: People respond differently to positively worded and

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There is a long tradition of including items in questionnaires that are phrased both positively and negatively. This website was easy to use. It was difficult to find what I needed on this website. The major reason for alternating item wording is to minimize extreme response bias and acquiescent bias. However, some recent research[pdf] Jim Lewis and I conducted found little evidence for these biases.

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Few things tend to generate more heated debate than the format of response options used in surveys. Right in the middle of that debate is whether the number of options should be odd or even. Odd numbered response scales include a neutral response whereas even ones do not. Research generally shows that including a neutral response will affect the distribution of responses and sometimes lead

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Why spend more time completing a task when it could be done in less time? Users become very cognizant of inefficient interactions and this is especially the case with tasks that are repeated often. Task time is the best way to measure the efficiency of a task and it is a metric that everyone understands. Task Time Logistics The familiarity of the task time metric

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It's good to think positively, but sometimes, negative thinking can solve problems more effectively. There's no shortage of problems on websites and software. Many of them are interaction problems. Users can't login Visitors can't find the products in the navigation Customers are calling support Sales are low Conversion rate are down Fixing Symptoms not Problems We've all had the experience of fixing the same problem

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Every field has its set of hot-button issues and usability is no exception. Here are six topics that tend to generate some passionate discussions. 1.    Quantifying usability: Usability is all about the user (i.e. people). Talk of using numbers to describe human computer interaction gets some upset. Usability is typically considered a qualitative activity and not the place for cold-number crunching. Throw some probability and

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It depends (you saw that coming). Context matters in deciding what a good completion rate is for a task, however, knowing what other task completion rates are can be a good guide for setting goals. An analysis of almost 1200 usability tasks shows that the average task-completion rate is 78%. The Fundamental Usability Metric A binary task completion rate is one of the most fundamental

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Ask a user to complete a task and they can tell you how difficult it was to complete. But can a user tell you how difficult the task will be without even attempting it? It turns out the task description reveals much of the task's complexity, so users can predict actual task ease and difficulty reasonably well. The gap in expectations can be a powerful

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Many companies understand the importance of user centered design in theory. Few can track how money invested in improving the user experience translates into profitability. By quantifying design efforts and outcomes all organizations can benefit from understanding how improving the user experience can improve revenue. The Engine of Growth If you can imagine revenue being the final gear in a business machine designed to produce

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A lot of effort goes into simplifying interactions, reducing bugs and enhancing features. While these changes may be obvious to some, they can be taken for granted by others (especially those in charge of budgets). It is valuable to document both the effort that goes into improving the user experience and the result of all that effort. You'll want to measure the interface before and

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