The 10 Most Popular UX Articles from 2012

Jeff Sauro, PhD

2012 was a busy year for us at Measuring Usability LLC.

We worked with dozens of great clients on many interesting projects.

We hosted the successful Lean UX Denver conference and released two books. We doubled our office space and welcomed three new analysts to the team.

On our servers saw 596k visitors and 1.6 Million page views in 2012.

We wrote 49 articles and created two calculators.  The 10 most popular articles each received at least 10,000 page views with the top three seeing more than 20,000!

Here they are in ascending order.

  1. Over Messaging the User Experience :  While the look of our interfaces has changed over the years, the seeming constant demand to respond to dialogue boxes and information alerts hasn’t.  Jef Raskin, one of the original Apple Designers, described inefficient interfaces as those that required user input but provided nothing in return.   Here are several examples of inefficient and bothersome messages we all endure.
  2. 5 Valuable Skills for UX Professionals : Regardless of whether you’re more on the research side or more on the design side of the User Experience, here are five skills that will make you more valuable and effective in your job: Coding, Design, Sales, Empirical Methods, and Communication and Empathy.
  3. Comparison of Usability Testing Methods : There are three core ways of running usability tests: Lab-Based, Remote Moderated and Remote Unmoderated.  Each has their place in measuring the user experience and this article provided several comparison points.
  4. 9 Biases in Usability Testing: Usability testing is artificial. We do the best we can to simulate a scenario that is as close to what users would actually do with the software while we observe or record them. However, no amount of realism in the tasks, data, software or environment can change the fact that the whole thing is contrived. This article provides a reminder of the subtle biases that creep into moderated and unmoderated usability tests.
  5. 10 Things to Know about Net Promoter Scores and the User Experience : Increasingly companies are adopting the Net Promoter Score as the corporate metric. In many companies, all metrics, including user experience metrics, should roll up to the Net Promoter Score. This article provides a good starting point if you need to tie changes in the user experience to NPS.
  6. Nine Misconceptions about Statistics and Usability : There are many reasons why usability professionals don’t use statistics and I’ve heard most of them. Many of the reasons are based on misconceptions about what you can and can’t do with statistics and the advantage they provide in reducing uncertainly and clarifying our recommendations.
  7. 7 Core Ideas about Personas and The User Experience : Personas are a widely used in UX Research with 65% of practitioners reporting using them on projects. Here are seven core ideas everyone in the UX field should know about personas.
  8. How to Conduct a Usability Test on a Mobile Device : When it comes to testing websites there are many unmoderated and moderated solutions.  But if you’ve ever tried to evaluate an app or website on a mobile phone or tablet there are fewer options. This article shows you how we test mobile apps and devices in our lab. We even designed and produced the Mobile Observation Device : MOD 1000 for an out of the box solution for mobile testing.
  9. 5 Examples of Quantifying Qualitative Data : Here are five examples of how you can take common qualitative approaches to assessing the user experience and convert them into numbers which can then be treated with a range of statistical procedures.
  10. 10 Benchmarks for User Experience Metrics: Quantifying the user experience is the first step to making measured improvements. One of the first questions with any metrics is “what’s a good score?”. Like in sports, a good score depends on the metric and context. Here are 10 benchmarks with some context to help make your metrics more manageable.


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