Methods

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"We want to conduct a focus group to improve our software." It's something I hear a couple times a month, and almost always when I'm speaking with a product manager, marketer or someone unfamiliar with usability. It's so common that we UX professionals have wryly come to call it the "F-word," a phrase I first heard from Christian Rohrer, now VP of Design, Research, and

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If you've considered using unmoderated remote usability testing with video here are answers to several questions you might have. On February 28th 2012, I hosted a live webinar sponsored by the folks at Userzoom and Usertesting.com. The topic was best practices for unmoderated usability testing and in it I walked through the results of a comparative usability benchmark analysis I conducted. We had 61 users

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There is an erroneous perception in the UX community that if your method is qualitative, then numbers somehow cannot or should not be used. These perceptions come from an informal practice that stems back to the beginning of the usability profession and continues through training programs and some UX experts. Unfortunately, this perception is misguided and can prevent perfectly good data from being used to

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There was a time when we spoke of usability testing it meant expensive labs and one-way mirrors. Not anymore. There are three core ways of running usability tests. Each has their advantages and disadvantages. Lab-Based: This is the classic approach to usability testing: users physically come to a lab, often with a one-way mirror and are observed by a team of researchers. Remote Moderated: Users

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There are many great methods for gathering insights from users. And there are definitely many software programs and services to help. Instead of making a long list of them I've presented the few I use the most when conducting user research. Lab Based Usability Test The classic method of usability testing involves bringing users into a lab (usually with a one way mirror) and observing

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Is it easy to use? As important as that question is, there's one that's more important: Is it useful? First and foremost, a product, website or application should solve a problem, fill a need or offer something people find useful. In fact, people are willing to put up with poor usability if a product delivers something of great perceived value. Consider how much time you

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Remote usability testing has become increasingly popular among user researchers and grew by 19% since 2009. Even though I have easy access to a brick and mortal usability lab, I particularly like remote testingĀ  for at least 5 reasons: 1. Availability: Do you have time next week to drive to a place you've never been, spend an hour doing a test, then spend time coming

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There are many tools in the UX professional's toolkit. It's always interesting to know the popular and neglected methods. The recent UPA biennial survey asked members which UX methods they use in addition to their salaries and I've summarized some results here. I've grouped the responses into larger categories so they're more digestible, but clearly many methods can fall into different groups. The yellow error

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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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Just because customer information is qualitative doesn't mean you can't use some quantitative methods to help interpret and prioritize your findings. Quantifying the frequency of comments with a confidence interval helps you estimate a sentiment in the total user population. Analyzing and prioritizing comments is a common task for the user researcher. Open ended comments take all sorts of forms. Reasons why customers are promoters

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