Blogs

Computers are supposed to make life easier. There are many reasons why users are forced to take extra steps, remember things or be inconvenienced just to accomplish tasks. Not all of them are good reasons. I've listed 14 of the more frequent/painful burdens I experience in the hope we can shift more of the burden from the human back to the computer. Asking for your

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If a user can't find the information does it exist? The inability of users to find products, services and information is one of the biggest problems and opportunities for website designers. Knowing users' goals and what top tasks they attempt on your website is an essential first step in any (re)design. Testing and improving these task experiences is the next step. On most websites a

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It's time for that major redesign. A long list of bugs, feature-requests and usability problems have accumulated and it's time to fix that website, intranet or software application. Where do you start? Do look for a new technology, feature requests from the VP, the oldest, most neglected problems in the bug-tracking database? All of these will play a role in the redesign, but you should

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How many people will respond to your survey?  It would be nice if you knew ahead of time. Here's a simple technique I use to get an idea about the total number of responses I can expect from a survey invite. Perform a Soft-Launch (aka Pre-Test): It's always a good idea to pre-test your survey on actual recipients to work out the kinks in your

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Many software companies track and use the Net Promoter Score as a gauge of customer loyalty. Positive word of mouth is a critical driver of future growth. If you have a usable product, customers will tell their friends about the positive experience. And alternatively, a poor user experience will lead customers to tell their friends how unusable a product is. But what are good Net

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It's fine to compute means and statistically analyze ordinal data from rating scales. But just because one rating is twice as high as another does not mean users are really twice as satisfied. When we use rating scales in surveys, we're translating intangible fuzzy attitudes about a topic into specific quantities. Overall, how satisfied are you with your cell-phone service? Very Unsatisfied 1 2 3

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When we look to improve the user experience of software or websites, sometimes the best improvements aren't slight tweaks to the interface but involve eliminating steps altogether. Here are four examples from the physical world that may inspire improvements in the digital world followed by four experiences that can use some refining. Four Terrific User Experiences Keyless entry: We get in and out of our

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It is one of the most important questions to ask when measuring usability. Just how much does the process of measuring impact the metrics we collect? In measuring perceived usability of five popular websites, I found that a single difficult task lowered post-test usability scores by 8%. This was largely driven by users with the least experience with the website, whose scores dropped by almost

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Closed ended rating scale data is easy to summarize and hard to interpret. Ideally you can compare the responses to an industry benchmark, a competitor or even a similar survey question from a prior survey. In most cases this data doesn't exist, it's too expensive or too difficult to obtain. This leaves product managers and researchers to do their best in interpreting the raw responses.

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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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