A Decision Tree for Picking the Right Type of Survey Question

Crafting survey questions involves thinking first about the content and then about the format (form follows function). Earlier, we categorized survey questions into four content types (attribute, behavior, ability, or sentiment) and four format classes (open-ended, closed-ended static, closed-ended dynamic, or task-based). As with any taxonomy, there are several ways to categorize response options (e.g.,

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Quant or Qual Research? 27 Words to Help You Decide

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

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Seven Reasons Survey Questions Are Answered Incorrectly

Surveys are an essential method for collecting data. But like all research methods, surveys have their limitations. Unless the survey is administered by a facilitator, a respondent has only the survey’s instructions, questions, and response options for guidance. Earlier we wrote about ways to improve the clarity of your questions and certain words to watch

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Four Reasons Why Research Participants Forget

Post-mortems and retrospective accounts are valuable for understanding what went well and what went poorly. This applies not only to investigations of critical events, such as crimes and plane accidents, but also to experiences with products and services. But the usefulness of people’s recollections of events and experiences rests on the accuracy of their memories.

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Seven Ways to Make Survey Questions Clearer

The first questionnaires appeared in the mid–18th century (e.g., the “Milles” questionnaire). Scientific surveys have been around for almost a hundred years. Consequently, there are many sources of advice on how to make surveys better. The heart of each survey is the questions asked of respondents. Writing good survey questions involves many of the principles

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Change Verbs

From Soared to Plummeted: Can We Quantify Change Verbs?

Cases spike, home prices surge, and stock prices tank: we read headlines like these daily. But what is a spike and how much is a surge? When does something crater versus tank or just fall? Headlines are meant to grab our attention. They often communicate the dramatic story the author wants to tell rather than

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Latin and Greco-Latin Experimental Designs for UX Research

During the fall in the northern hemisphere, leaves change colors, birds fly south, and the temperature gets colder. Do the birds change the color of the leaves, and does their departure make the temperature colder? What if you gave participants two versions of a rating scale, with the first having responses ordered from strongly disagree

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Revisiting the Evidence for the Left-Side Bias in Rating Scales

Are people more likely to select response options that are on the left side of a rating scale? About ten years ago, we provided a brief literature review of the published evidence, which suggested that this so-called left-side bias not only existed but also was detected almost 100 years ago in some of the earliest

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How to Handle Bad Data

Decisions should be driven (or at least informed) by data. Raw data is turned into information by ensuring that it is accurate and has been put into a context that promotes good decision-making. The pandemic has brought a plethora of COVID-related data dashboards, which are meant to provide information that helps the public and public

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Does the Von Restorff Effect Influence User Preference?

One of these things is not like the other. That’s the theme of a segment on the long-running US TV show Sesame Street. As children, we learn to identify similarities and differences. And after seeing a group of things that look similar, we tend to remember the differences. Why? Well, one theory describes something called

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