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We often talk of qualitative OR quantitative research. You needn't think of this as an either-or situation. You can often optimize customer research with a mix of the two. While it might seem unorthodox to mix seemingly different fields, it turns out to be a common practice. Mixing qualitative and quantitative methods is neither new nor controversial. In fact, there's a journal dedicated to mixed-method

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Did they see it? We're often asked whether participants in a study notice certain design elements—icons, labels, ads, a component of a company logo, or a product function—in a user interface. For a participant to notice these elements involves both seeing and perceiving, so this simple question can be easier to ask than to answer. Seeing and perceiving are of course different things. Participants can

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We measure more than just usability. We work with clients to measure everything from delight, loyalty, brand affinity, luxury, quality and even love. While all of these concepts are related, they each measure slightly different aspects of the customer experience. Before measuring anything, especially a construct that's not well defined or used in practice, we answer these five questions. 1.    How is this being measured

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UX researchers have developed many techniques over the years for testing and validating their ideas. Here are ten essential methods to learn and employ on your next project. We cover many of these in detail at our UX Bootcamp in Denver. Moderated In-Person Usability Testing: This fundamental technique is used by usability professionals for obtaining feedback from live users interacting with everything from paper prototypes

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Facilitators in usability tests are highly variable. The results of many studies, including the well known Comparative Usability Evaluations (CUEs), have consistently shown that different usability facilitators are inconsistent in how they interact with participants in a usability lab, producing dissimilar results. What's more, testing more than a few participants a day leads to facilitator fatigue, introducing further variation even when a single facilitator runs

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Which design will improve the user experience? One of the primary goals of conducting user research is to establish some causal relationship between a design and a behavior. Typically, we want to see if a design element or changes to an interface lead to a more usable experience (experiment) or if more desirable outcomes are associated with some aspect in our designs (correlation). Even though

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Who are the users and what are they trying to do? Answering those two questions are essential first steps to measuring and improving the right things on an interface. It's also one of the first things we'll cover at the Denver UX Boot Camp. While there are hundreds to thousands of things users can accomplish on websites and software interfaces, there are a critical few

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Naming a product is like naming a baby.  Everyone has opinions and you are stuck with it for a long time! Product naming, whether it is for software, hardware or a physical device is a multistage process—often involving creative teams, product managers, CEOs and lawyers. It's also one of the few times I think focus groups can actually be the right tool for the job,

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Qualitative research is often used as a catch-all phrase to mean not to expect any "hard numbers" from research findings. While qualitative research is the collection and analysis of primarily non-numerical activities (words, pictures and actions), it doesn't mean you can't apply a structured approach to your research efforts. Usability testing is often characterized as a qualitative activity. Summarizing findings from watching participants in a

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Who are your users and what are they doing? Measuring the user experience starts with understanding who your users are and what tasks they are trying to accomplish on your website. It's one of the first things we'll cover at the UX Boot Camp. Visitor profile and intent are not something you can derive easily from Google Analytics or log files. These sources provide an

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