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The Single Ease Question (SEQ) is a 7-point rating scale to assess how difficult users find a task. It's administered immediately after a user attempts a task in a usability test. After users attempt a task, ask them this simple question: Overall, how difficult or easy was the task to complete? Use the seven point rating scale format below. Labels and values: We typically label

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What makes a successful website?There are some obvious metrics like revenue, traffic and repeat visitors. But these are outcome measures. They don't tell you why revenue or traffic is higher or lower.  Key drivers of these outcomes are how the users perceive and interact with your website. Selling a product that has demand or information that is valuable is of course essential. But it's rare

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It's fine to compute means and statistically analyze ordinal data from rating scales. But just because one rating is twice as high as another does not mean users are really twice as satisfied. When we use rating scales in surveys, we're translating intangible fuzzy attitudes about a topic into specific quantities. Overall, how satisfied are you with your cell-phone service? Very Unsatisfied 1 2 3

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Few things tend to generate more heated debate than the format of response options used in surveys. Right in the middle of that debate is whether the number of options should be odd or even. Odd numbered response scales include a neutral response whereas even ones do not. Research generally shows that including a neutral response will affect the distribution of responses and sometimes lead

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Rating scales are used widely. Ways of interpreting rating scale results also vary widely. What exactly does a 4.1 on a 5 point scale mean? In the absence of any benchmark or historical data, researchers and managers look at so-called top-box and top-two-box scores (boxes refer to the response options). For example, on a five-point scale, counting the number of respondents that selected the most

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Items in questionnaires are typically worded neutrally so as not to state concepts in the extreme. They are like an even-tempered friend—they have opinions but aren't overly optimistic or chronically pessimistic about things. What happens when items in a questionnaire or survey are worded in the extreme? Two years ago we tried a little experiment at the annual UPA conference to find out. We wanted

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Subtle changes to response items in surveys and questionnaires can affect responses. Many of the techniques for item and scale construction in user-research come from marketing and psychology. Some topics can be controversial, sensitive or confusing and so having the right question with the right response options is important. Attitudes about usability aren't typically controversial so you're likely to get more honest answers. Consequently, slight

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If you've ever designed a survey or questionnaire you've probably wondered how many points the response options should have. Most questionnaires I've examined either use five point scales or seven-point scales.  Is one better? 7-point scales are slightly better The short answer is that 7-point scales are a little better than 5-points—but not by much. The psychometric literature suggests that having more scale points is

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Was a task difficult or easy to complete? Performance metrics are important to collect when improving usability but perception matters just as much. Asking a user to respond to a questionnaire immediately after attempting a task provides a simple and reliable way of measuring task-performance satisfaction. Questionnaires administered at the end of a test such as SUS, measure perception satisfaction. There are numerous questionnaires to

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Have you ever watched a user perform horribly during a usability test only to watch in amazement as they rate a task as very easy to use? I have, and as long as I've been conducting usability tests, I've heard of this contradictory behavior from other researchers. Such occurrences have led many to discount the collection of satisfaction data altogether. In fact I've often heard

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