Usability, Customer Experience & Statistics

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Reflecting on the One-Way Mirror

Reflecting on the One-Way Mirror

Jeff Sauro • November 28, 2016

One-way mirrors are an enduring symbol of interrogation, psychology experiments, focus groups, and usability tests. Researchers once considered it essential, but in the last few years I've seen companies moving away from the mirror. Here are some advantages and disadvantages of the one-way mirror.[Read More]


The Difference between Observed and Latent Variables

The Difference between Observed and Latent Variables

Jeff Sauro • November 22, 2016

Latent, or hidden, variables differ from observed variables in that they aren't measured directly. Instead we use observed variables and mathematically infer the existence and relationship of latent variables. This is the core method behind many powerful techniques such as: factor analysis (finding underlying constructs), cluster analysis (card sorting), latent class analysis (segmentation analysis) and structural equation modeling (verifying constructs).[Read More]


The Facilitation Spectrum: From Babysitter to Therapist

The Facilitation Spectrum: From Babysitter to Therapist

Jeff Sauro • November 15, 2016

Facilitation is a valuable skill for collecting data from participants. It's used extensively with several methods including usability tests, in-depth interviews, and focus groups. Not all studies involving a facilitator are created equal though. A good facilitator needs to adjust his or her facilitation style based on the type of study and particular research goals. You can think of the facilitator styles needed for each type of study on a spectrum, from babysitter to therapist. The amount of talking, probing, assisting, and investigating the reasons behind actions and utterances depends on where your study is on this spectrum. Identifying the role and expectation for the facilitator ensures you're getting the right data to answer your research questions and helps studies run smoothly.[Read More]


5 Ways to Increase Study Participation Rates

5 Ways to Increase Study Participation Rates

Jeff Sauro • November 8, 2016

A lot of work goes into planning a study, from customer surveys and unmoderated usability studies to market segmentations. Without enough of the right participants agreeing to participate and completing your study, the generalizability of your findings are limited. Here are five approaches you can use to get the right people to participate in your studies. In many cases you can combine these approaches to achieve higher participation rates.[Read More]


The Origins and Evolution of Thinking Aloud

The Origins and Evolution of Thinking Aloud

Jeff Sauro • November 1, 2016

Having participants think aloud as they use an interface is a cornerstone technique of usability testing. It's been around for much of the history of user research. It's used to help uncover problems in an interface by allowing a researcher to understand the thought process of a user. To better understand both the method and its application, it helps to know where it came from and how it's evolved. And like the field of User Experience in general, the roots of thinking aloud has its genesis in other fields with over a century of history and evolution.[Read More]

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About Jeff Sauro

About Jeff Sauro

Jeff Sauro is the founding principal of MeasuringU, a company providing statistics and usability consulting to Fortune 1000 companies.
He is the author of over 20 journal articles and 5 books on statistics and the user-experience.
More about Jeff...