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The Usability Blog
A Practical Guide to User Experience Insights

Usability Testing

Finding a Healthcare Provider

Part 1: Searching for a Doctor or Medical Provider Now that more Americans are covered by medical insurance, it’s likely many will visit their selected medical plan’s website to look for a doctor. Recently we looked at the public version of “Find a Doctor/Provider” functions on several medical insurance sites, and found that the options… read more

[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

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

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

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

A 30 Second Analysis of PineSol.com – The Cluttered Homepage

One short visit to Pine-Sol’s homepage will leave you with a bigger headache than inhaling the cleaning solution. Several words come to mind, including overwhelming, confusing, and even garish. The site seems to embrace the idea that if one eye-catching advertisement is good, wouldn’t an entire page of them be even better? Thus, everything on… read more

Cross Platform UX Research in the Multi-Screen World

Long gone are the days when customers visited a site on just a PC. Customers are now commonly shopping, researching and purchasing across multiple devices. Because of this, it has become crucial to test the user experience across phone, tablet, and desktop platforms to ensure we meet customers’ ever-growing expectations of convenience. Jason Vasilas, Senior… read more

Usability Testing Healthcare.gov

It’s a topic that has dominated the headlines everywhere – all the way from trusted news sources like MSNBC, CNN, and Fox News to comedy programs like Weekend Update on Saturday Night Live – there are issues with the recently launched Healthcare.gov website. During the first month it was open for enrollment, 106,185 customers signed… read more

Usability Can’t Save the World

….well, duh, doesn’t everybody know that? To be more specific, then, usability can’t always save your product or company. Here’s why: sometimes customers struggle to use a product because its core premise or the way it was built is unfocused. The foundation is faulty. This could be because there are too many stakeholders at odds fighting… read more

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CLIENT TESTIMONIALS

“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