Reliability

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There’s a lot of conventional wisdom floating around the Internet about rating scales. What you should and shouldn’t do. Best practices for points, labels, and formats. It can be hard to differentiate between science-backed conclusions and just practitioner preferences. In this article, we’ll answer some of the more common questions that come up about rating scales, examine claims by reviewing the literature, and summarize the

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Questioning the effectiveness of usability testing may sound like a relic from the past. In the early years of industrial usability engineering, there was a constant need to justify the activity of (and your job in) usability testing. The book Cost-Justifying Usability (Bias & Mayhew, 2005) speaks to this. Usability testing has since gained significant adoption in organizations. But that doesn’t mean some of the

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Smoking causes cancer. Warnings on cigarette labels and from health organizations all make the clear statement that smoking causes cancer. But how do we know? Smoking precedes cancer (mostly lung cancer). People who smoke cigarettes tend to get lung and other cancers more than those who don’t smoke. We say that smoking is correlated with cancer. Carefully rule out other causes and you have the ingredients

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The Net Promoter Score (NPS) is widely used. But it’s not necessarily widely loved. Some people are quite critical of the Net Promoter Score. Jared Spool wrote a strong critique of the NPS  and Gerry McGovern largely agreed. When I followed up with Jared about his thoughts, he felt that “UX researchers should not use the NPS or, if that’s not an option, ignore it.”

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Your car doesn’t start on some mornings. Your computer crashes at the worst times. Your friend doesn’t show up to your dinner party. If something or someone isn’t reliable, it’s not only a pain but it makes your life less effective and less efficient. And what is true for people and products is true for measurement. The wording of items and the response options we

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Uncovering usability problems is at the heart of usability testing. Problems and insights can be uncovered from observing participants live in a usability lab, using heuristic evaluations, or watching videos of participants. But if you change the person looking for the problems (the evaluator), do you get a different set of problems? The Evaluator Effect It’s been 20 years since two influential papers (Jacobsen, Hertzum,

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How satisfied are you with your life? How happy are you with your job or your marriage? Are you extroverted or introverted? It’s hard to capture the fickle nature of attitudes and constructs in any measure. It can be particularly hard to do that with just one question or item. Consequently, psychology, education, marketing, and user experience have a long history of recommending multiple items

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You don't need to be a data scientist, database admin, or statistical maven to conduct quantitative research. You must, however, have a good grounding in some fundamental concepts to make the most of the efforts. While there are a number of skills, techniques, and concepts you'll want to be familiar with, I think it's essential to master these five: reliability, validity, statistical significance, experimental validity,

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Reliability is a measure of the consistency of a metric or a method. Every metric or method we use, including things like methods for uncovering usability problems in an interface and expert judgment, must be assessed for reliability. In fact, before you can establish validity, you need to establish reliability. Here are the four most common ways of measuring reliability for any empirical method or

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