The Usability Blog
A Practical Guide to User Experience Insights

[Webinar] The Importance of Early Design Usability Testing

Check out our newest webinar about the Importance of Early Design Usability Testing. User Experience Analyst, Matt Bruce, walks through some of the issues with healthcare.gov, and some of the changes that were made to fix them. The main lesson to learn here is that pre-emptive, or early design, usability testing is crucial to a site’s… read more

The Next Five Years of E-Commerce and M-Commerce

Internet Retailer recently took a closer look at what E-Commerce and m-commerce might look like in the next five years.  The results are not only fascinating but point to major shift in how consumers will approach online shopping in the next five years.  Our own Jeff Schueler, founder and President of Usability Sciences, provides this… read more

Research Needs Qualified Participants

In usability research, the qualifications of the participants are just as important as the qualifications of the researchers. Qualified participants represent the target users of the website or application by matching important demographical and motivational criteria. For example, ecommerce websites such as Amazon or eBay are used by shoppers of practically any age, gender, education… read more

Multi-Platform Users in the Majority

A recent study by comScore and highlighted in this Econsultancy article indicates that, as of December 2013, 56% of US consumers are considered multi-platform users – i.e., consumers that use both desktop and mobile devices in their daily lives.  This has huge implications for the omni-channel retailer as it further underscores the need for retailers… read more

The Omni-Channel Era of Retail

In their article, ‘The Digital Future of Stores’, the Internet Retailer reports that consumers have come to expect a company’s channels (including web, mobile, social media, in-store, etc.) be seamless and consistent, ushering forth what many are calling the omni-channel era of retail. The article discusses a number of emerging technologies and strategies that brick-and-mortar… read more

Accessibility: An easy way to find site barriers for customers

In the past it’s not been easy for companies to determine whether their sites are accessible so that they can be used by everyone, including users with visual impairments who use assistive technologies, such as screen readers, and users with physical impairments who don’t use a mouse or trackball. Groups such as the Worldwide Web… read more

Ignoring Mobile

It’s no surprise that mobile is important. Mobile internet usage, including mobile apps and mobile browsers, already accounts for more internet usage than desktops, according to both CNN and Nielsen. And last year, the usage share of mobile browsers hit 20%. In other words, generally 1 in 5 visitors to a website were coming from… read more

The Logic Behind an Online Survey

In a previous post, we discussed best practices with constructing an online survey in which we outlined basic guidelines and goals, including: Understanding survey objectives Understanding and using the different types of questions Keeping surveys simple and concise (brevity is golden) Proofing, editing and quality-testing Looking more closely at one of these guidelines – keeping… read more

Making Users Uncomfortable (On Purpose)

In this thought-provoking article, “Uncomfortable User Experience,” by Steve Benford et al., a new component of interactivity is discussed: deliberate use of discomfort as a part of an experience. The examples included in this article all violate the goal that usability professionals strive for—to create an easy and pleasurable user experience. Usability experts Joe Dumas and… read more


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“From beginning to end, everyone I interacted with from Usability Sciences was professional and thorough. I was impressed with the testing technology, the methodology and especially the team that led the project. This is one of the most impactful pieces of research I have ever delivered to my team. Thank you!”

Senior Director
Digital Media Television Networks

“USC managed tight timelines and a client team that was tough to wrangle, But more importantly, the quality of the work was exemplary. It's work I would hold up as "the way we should do things" and share as a case study across the organization.”

Group Product Director
Digital Marketing, Pharmaceutical Company