Category : Usability

User Research Methods & Measuring UX (NYC pt. 2)

The User Research Methods course was about the many different ways of measuring the User Experience (UX). Any method from qualitative (“it feels wrong”) to quantitative measurements (“31% of people click on this button”). The course showed us how to differentiate between self-reported data (what people say they do) vs. behavioural data (what people actually do). A short list of the different research methods includes:

  • Usability lab studies
  • Ethnographic field studies
  • Eye tracking / Click tracking
  • Remote usability studies
  • A/B testing
  • True intent studies
  • Focus groups
  • Interviews
  • Card sorting
  • Customer feedback
  • Surveys

Each of these has its own pros and cons, and each has its own best time to be used.  The ones we use the most at Red Carpet Web Promotion tend to be A/B testing, Remote and In-lab usability studies, Click tracking, and Surveys.

The Measuring User Experience course was about when to measure a website, and how to know if the data you have is significant or not.  The course taught us when to use formative testing (early in the design) or summative testing (to compare a final product with previous versions or with the competition); How many tests and subjects to use, and how to account for errors, either random or systematic.  All of these put together allows us to do superior and more appropriate testing, and to sort through the data to get to the good stuff.

The result of these courses was to bring much more vigilance to significant errors when Red Carpet Web Promotion runs tests.  We also have expanded the types of tests we can do.

Our goal is to maximize your ROI, and this can’t be done if people don’t have a good user experience.  A quick first test is usually simple, and will bring in oodles of high-quality data that might never have occurred to you.

So sign up quick for your UX testing, because the longer you wait, the more conversions you are missing out on.

See part 1: UX Basic Training in NYC

UX Basic Training in NYC (pt. 1)

Last September, I attended some usability training courses in New York City offered by the Nielsen Norman Group (  I took UX Basic Training, Measuring User Experience, and User Research Methods.  In my own experiences, I have found that a site with a poor UX will not do as well in the search engine results.  This comes as a result of people not liking the site, and thus not linking to it.  This in turn informs the search engines that the site is poor, and thus the search engines drop its rankings in the Search Engine Result Pages (SERP).

  • An excellent UX is thus REQUIRED for your website to achieve higher rankings in the SERPs.

In taking these courses I have become UX Certified and may now be addressed as: Shawn Campbell UXC (Ha!).  With one more course, I will become a UX Research Specialist (probably next September).

The first course, UX Basic Training, explained UX beyond the website and into everyday life. Problems like a bathroom scale that is too complex to use, or a teapot that drips every time you pour it, these are usability problems that affect the user experience.  We learnt which research methods to use and how to analyse the data we acquired.  We learnt how to use the data to improve the user experience, and how to make UX an important part of any service or product.  With this knowledge, we can now properly evaluate how to measure their usability.

A great take away from this course was to always make sure that your core service was easy to use, and that the peripherals did not interfere with the usability of that core service.

See part 2: User Research Methods & Measuring UX