Questionnaires

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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 of good writing, in addition to survey-specific guidelines and advice.

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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 what the data say. It isn’t easy to write headlines.

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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 to strongly agree and the second reversing the order, and

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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 rating scales. Across the publications we reviewed, the effect size

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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 officials make better decisions. With the pressure to report data

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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 the isolation effect, or the Von Restorff effect. The name

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The fundamental goal of usability testing is to produce highly usable products and services. That’s an uncontroversial statement. Where things can get a bit confusing is how different approaches to usability testing have different ways of achieving that goal. In earlier articles we have described the different types of usability tests but many types still share common goals. In this article, we’ll first revisit the

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We write extensively about standardized UX metrics such as the SUS, PSSUQ, and SUPR-Q. The main benefits of standardization include improved reliability, validity, sensitivity, objectivity, quantification, economy, communication, and norms. Even when standardized UX questionnaires are developed independently, they are influenced by earlier work, just like how UX itself is a new field built upon earlier fields. The deep roots of questionnaire development date back over

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We’ve written extensively about the System Usability Scale (SUS). It’s the most widely used and cited questionnaire for measuring the perception of the user experience. But likely the second most widely used and cited questionnaire, with over 2,000 citations, is the Post Study System Usability Questionnaire (PSSUQ). It also goes by the name of Computer System Usability Questionnaire (CSUQ). MeasuringU Press is proud to have

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In an earlier article, we reviewed five competing models of delight. The models differed in their details, but most shared the general idea that delight is composed of an unexpected positive experience. Or, for the most part, delight is a pleasant surprise. However, there is disagreement on whether you actually need surprise to be delighted. And if you don’t need surprise, then delight is really

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