Survey questions with context ambiguities are usually a sign that the researcher either doesn’t understand the context the respondent might draw upon when answering the question or the context within which the company might use the data. One way to address both kinds of context ambiguity is through cognitive interviewing: having test respondents thinkaloud while they answer survey questions. The interviews help ensure respondents are interpreting questions the way researchers intended and also that they are measuring what they intended. Here’s an example that shows why cognitive interviews are usually a good idea. It is from a survey asking about a large multinational bank.
Personally, my life’s dreams can’t be achieved through “prioritizing financial goals”. They in fact, aren’t related to financial goals and that is not the fault of this bank. Continue reading
I created and presented this summary as part of my usability testing class (HCDE 517) at the University of Washington. It covers basic question writing concepts that are applicable to both market researchers and usability researchers.
For me, the highlight of this article was Joe’s discussion on labeling the end points of scales. He reminds even us experienced question writers that: one’s choice of scale end points might activate two different cognitive structures instead of one. Measuring something as being “difficult” is not the same as measuring it as being “not at all easy”.
Diving into the emerging field of usability research after nearly a decade in traditional market research, I’ve learned that some concepts and processes are similar in both fields (e.g., surveys). There are, however, more differences than I expected. For example, when I first heard the term usability testing I translated that in my mind as in-depth interview. As I’ll discuss in a minute, there are significant differences even though the two concepts are related. Continue reading
The process for translating questionnaires is one thing that is exactly the same in Market and Usability Research. Jeff Sauro, a highly regarded usability professional, posted “4 Steps to Translating a Questionnaire” on his blog last month. Continue reading