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Fors Marsh Group (FMG) Awarded Federal Contract for Website User Experience Research

news / user experience / ux / federal contracting / government / featured
The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has awarded Fors Marsh Group (FMG), LLC, a contract to conduct user experience research to improve the Commission’s website. FMG will evaluate the user experience of www.usitc.gov through a variety of different research methods, which include a heuristic evaluation, usability test with several audience segments, as well as a card sort to provide insight on the information architecture for the content. The research will result in findings and recommendations that aim to improve the navigation, content and features of the website for its constituents. "FMG understands the importance of this website as travelers, businesses and government leaders need to find information quickly and conduct online transactions seamlessly." said Dr. Sean Marsh, FMG’s Chief Executive Officer. "We are thrilled... more
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Threats to User Experience Research Validity

featured / ux / usability
Many parallels can be drawn between experimental psychology research and summative user experience research. In experimental research, we take a systematic and scientific approach to understanding the effect of the manipulation of one or more variables, while holding other variables constant. User experience (UX) research is usually more qualitative in nature, but at FMG, we feel that UX deserves the same systematic and scientifically rigorous treatment as experimental research. In most laboratory experiments, researchers only have a small number of variables that change and these studies are tightly controlled. Independent variables are those factors manipulated by the experimenter or demographic in nature, while dependent variables are where the effects of the independent variable are measured. In UX testing, we have many independent variables (for example,... more
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Eye Tracking in UX Design and UXPA's User Focus Conference Made for a Busy October

featured / eye tracking / ux / usability
It’s been a busy October for FMG’s UX team. The week of October 13 was jam-packed with two professional conferences both chaired by our team lead, Dr. Jennifer Romano Bergstrom. David Hawkins presented at the Eye Tracking and UX Design Conference, while the rest of the team (Jake Sauser, Jon Strohl, Christian Gonzalez, and Jen Romano Bergstrom) presented at UXPA's User Focus DC 2014 Conference. To share our experiences with you, I'm including a few of the UX team's favorite takeaways. Eye Tracking and UX Design on October 16, 2014 Eye Tracking in UX Design David Hawkins and Jen Romano Bergstrom presented “Eye Tracking the User Experience of Forms and Surveys.” They talked about the studies we... more
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Jumping Right In -Two Workshops Highlighting Eye Tracking and User Experience

featured / eye tracking / ux / usability
After joining Fors Marsh Group a few weeks ago, I’ve had the privilege of attending a few events in the DC-area. The first two workshops I attended were fantastic and both shed light on the benefits of eye tracking and mobile usability. DC-AAPOR’s Eye-Tracking Workshop at Gallup Institute on Friday, Sept. 19, 2014 Dr. Jennifer Romano Bergstrom led a day-long workshop that introduced eye tracking, why we should/want to do it, the pros and cons, protocols for conducting, what we learn from eye tracking, and the best way to position it to clients. The participants came from very different backgrounds, and to my surprise, not many were UX practitioners. What we all had in common was that we were interested in learning more about eye... more
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An Introduction to Bayesian Data Analysis for UX Applications

featured / usability / ux / quantitative / blog
Quantitative methods are an essential part of user experience (UX) research. They allow researchers to provide accurate estimates of user performance in terms of errors and response time. However, because of the constraints of traditional statistical approaches, the small sample sizes and high variability of most UX studies preclude meaningful inferences in most situations. In this post I will present Bayesian Data Analysis as a viable alternative and one well suited to address challenges and settings common to UX researchers.

Belief versus ‘the long run’

Traditional, frequentist approaches refer to long run frequency, or how likely an event would occur over N number of replications. To illustrate this, imagine flipping a coin. If the coin is fair, after flipping it 20 times you should get... more
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Conference Season Not About to Slow Anytime Soon – Looking Ahead to Fall

ux / conferences / usability
On July 22 and 23, Fors Marsh Group sponsored and attended the DC Chapter of the American Association of Public Opinion Research (DC AAPOR) Summer Conference. In addition to poster presentations, there were three panels that provided some great information worth sharing. The first panel focused on incentives and adaptive design, in which the speakers discussed new findings, such as the fact that a $5 dollar incentive results in a 16% increase in response rate compared to no incentive at all. That number increases to 22% with a $10 dollar incentive. In other words, spending money up front to incentivize your respondents to complete the survey leads to a dramatic increase in response rate, and the more you incentivize, the better response you’ll... more
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The ROI of UX Research

ux / featured / usability
It would be tough for anyone to argue that user experience (UX) testing prior to launching a product is not beneficial – we only need to look at Healthcare.gov and Lawn Darts to see why. The success of design changes following a UX study can be easily assessed with traditional metrics like error rates and Likert scale satisfaction ratings. These traditional metrics make it easy for UX researchers to pinpoint successful and troublesome areas of a product. However, how do traditional metrics of user experience, like errors and satisfaction, impact the bottom line? To see how tough that question is to answer, imagine you are proposing a usability study to a CEO. He has heard your spiel on assessing the user experience. You’ve... more
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