User experience research has a wide variety of methods. From one perspective, it’s good because there’s usually a method for whatever research question you need to answer. On the other hand, it’s hard to keep track of all these methods. Some methods, such as usability testing, are commonly used and have been around for decades.
The Think Aloud (TA) method is one of the most distinguishing characteristics of usability testing. The method involves having participants speak their thoughts as they attempt tasks on an interface. Think Aloud as a method for understanding human attitudes and behavior has been around for over a century. While we often think of the Think
The Think Aloud method (TA) is one of the most distinguishing characteristics of usability testing. The method involves having participants speak their thoughts as they attempt tasks on an interface. We often think of the TA method as a single method, but there are substantial variations in how it’s implemented. In an earlier article, we
When quantifying the user experience of a product, app, or experience, we recommend using a mix of study-level and task-based UX metrics. While it’s not always feasible to assess a task experience (because of challenges with budgets, timelines, or access to products and users), observing participants attempt tasks can help uncover usability problems, informing designers
In an earlier article, we described the most common methods for modeling the total number of unique usability problems uncovered in a usability test: the average problem occurrence (p), adjusted problem occurrence (adj-p), beta-binomial, and specific problem probabilities. While these methods provide reasonably accurate predictions of the total number of unique problems, there is still
When approaching a UX research project, one of the first things to consider is the method. And UX research has many methods. Methods can be categorized as quantitatively focused (e.g., A/B tests) or qualitatively focused (e.g., interviews). Most UX research methods can collect both qualitative and quantitative data. For example, surveys often collect both closed-ended
If you have the budget and time to test with fifteen users, it’s better to break up those fifteen into three groups and make changes between rounds than test all fifteen in one round before making any changes. When you see a user struggle to complete a task because of a poorly labeled field or
Questioning the effectiveness of usability testing may sound like a relic from the past. In the early years of industrial usability engineering, there was a constant need to justify the activity of (and your job in) usability testing. The book Cost-Justifying Usability (Bias & Mayhew, 2005) speaks to this. Usability testing has since gained significant
Need food fast? Hate standing in line to place an order? Restaurant delivery is growing rapidly. But delivery service providers such as Grubhub, Uber Eats, DoorDash, and Just Eat aren’t the only food services that will deliver right to your office or door and save you a trip to a crowded (and often unremarkable) experience.
Usability testing is expensive. At least that has been the perception. But the idea that usability is a nice-to-have ideal that only big companies such as IBM or Microsoft can afford has fortunately evolved. While technology has improved and gotten cheaper, it’s the technique that’s become more accessible and accepted. The discount-usability movement helped emphasize the effectiveness