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Quantifying the User Experience: Practical Statistics for User Research [Paperback]

Jeff Sauro , James R Lewis

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Book Description

15 Mar 2008

You're being asked to quantify usability improvements with statistics. But even with a background in statistics, you are hesitant to statistically analyze the data, as you may be unsure about which statistical tests to use and have trouble defending the use of the small test sample sizes associated with usability studies.

The book is about providing a practical guide on how to use statistics to solve common quantitative problems arising in user research. It addresses common questions you face every day such as: Is the current product more usable than our competition? Can we be sure at least 70% of users can complete the task on the 1st attempt? How long will it take users to purchase products on the website? This book shows you which test to use, and how provide a foundation for both the statistical theory and best practices in applying them. The authors draw on decades of statistical literature from Human Factors, Industrial Engineering and Psychology, as well as their own published research to provide the best solutions. They provide both concrete solutions (excel formula, links to their own web-calculators) along with an engaging discussion about the statistical reasons for why the tests work, and how to effectively communicate the results.

  • Provides practical guidance on solving usability testing problems with statistics for any project, including those using Six Sigma practices
  • Show practitioners which test to use, why they work, best practices in application, along with easy-to-use excel formulas and web-calculators for analyzing data
  • Recommends ways for practitioners to communicate results to stakeholders in plain English

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Quantifying the User Experience: Practical Statistics for User Research + Excel and R Companion to Quantifying the User Experience: Rapid Answers to over 100 Examples and Exercises
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"Quantifying the User Experience will make a terrific textbook for any series of UX research courses.I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to integrate quantitative data into their UX practice."--Technical Communication, May 2013 ".as a whole, it provides a pragmatic approach to quantifying UX, without oversimplifying or claiming too much. It delivers what it promises. This book is valuable for both practitioners and students, in virtually any discipline. It can help psychologists transfer their statistical knowledge to UX practice, practitioners quickly assess their envisioned design and analysis, engineers demystify UX, and students appreciate UX's merits."--ComputingReviews.com, March 19, 2013 "The most unique contributions of this book are the logic and practicality used to describe the appropriate application of those measures.Sauro and Lewis strike a perfect balance between the complexity of statistical theory and the simplicity of applying statistics practically. Whether you wish to delve deeper into the enduring controversies in statistics, or simply wish to understand the difference between a t-test and Chi-square, you will find your answer in this book. Quantifying the User Experience is an invaluable resource for those who are conducting user research in industry."--User Experience, Vol. 13, Issue 1, 1st Quarter "Written in a conversational style for those who measure behavior and attitudes of people as they interact with technology interfaces, this guide walks readers through common questions and problems encountered when conducting, analyzing, and reporting on user research projects using statistics, such as problems related to estimates and confidence intervals, sample sizes, and standardized usability questionnaires. For readers with varied backgrounds in statistics, the book includes discussion of concepts as necessary and gives examples from real user research studies. The book begins with a background chapter overviewing common ways to quantify user research and a review of fundamental statistical concepts. The material provides enough detail in its formulas and examples to let readers do all computations in Excel, and a website offers an Excel calculator for purchase created by the authors, which performs all the computations covered in the book. An appendix offers a crash course on fundamental statistical concepts."--Reference and Research Book News, August 2012, page 186-7

About the Author

Jeff Sauro is a six-sigma trained statistical analyst and founding principal of Measuring Usability LLC. For fifteen years he's been conducting usability and statistical analysis for companies such as PayPal, Walmart, Autodesk and Kelley Blue Book or working for companies such as Oracle, Intuit and General Electric.
Jeff has published over fifteen peer-reviewed research articles and is on the editorial board of the Journal of Usability Studies. He is a regular presenter and instructor at the Computer Human Interaction (CHI) and Usability Professionals Associations (UPA) conferences.
Jeff received his Masters in Learning, Design and Technology from Stanford University with a concentration in statistical concepts. Prior to Stanford, he received his B.S. in Information Management & Technology and B.S. in Television, Radio and Film from Syracuse University. He lives with his wife and three children in Denver, CO.

Dr. James R. (Jim) Lewis is a senior human factors engineer (at IBM since 1981) with a current focus on the design and evaluation of speech applications and is the author of Practical Speech User Interface Design. He is a Certified Human Factors Professional with a Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology (Psycholinguistics), an M.A. in Engineering Psychology, and an M.M. in Music Theory and Composition. Jim is an internationally recognized expert in usability testing and measurement, contributing (by invitation) the chapter on usability testing for the 3rd and 4th editions of the Handbook of Human Factors and Ergonomics and presenting tutorials on usability testing and metrics at various professional conferences.
Jim is an IBM Master Inventor with 77 patents issued to date by the US Patent Office. He currently serves on the editorial boards of the International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction and the Journal of Usability Studies, and is on the scientific advisory board of the Center for Research and Education on Aging and Technology Enhancement (CREATE). He is a member of the Usability Professionals Association (UPA), the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES), the Association for Psychological Science (APS) and the American Psychological Association (APA), and is a 5th degree black belt and certified instructor with the American Taekwondo Association (ATA).

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Customer Reviews

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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great 28 July 2012
By hans hartman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Whether you're conducting large sample research projects or small ones, "Quantifying the user experience" is the most comprehensive and pragmatic statistical handbook I've seen that systematically explains various statistical methods for drawing reliable conclusions or determining the optimal sample sizes. Great resource for conducting surveys, A/B tests or (and here they really shine) small sample usability testing projects.

Rather than starting with a description of various statistical theories, the authors begin with specific user research scenarios and then introduce the theoretical methods they feel most suitable for planning or analyzing these scenarios. They don't shy away from sharing their pragmatic preferences for particular methods, based on their own experience working in the field.

I find the book useful also beyond user experience testing scenarios - it is a great resource for any user-oriented research, including various types of marketing research.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great resource for quant work in user research! 6 July 2012
By John Dirks - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I've been waiting for a book like this for a long time. Most of my user research consulting work is qualitative, but I'm periodically faced with running benchmark usability studies or designing other quantitative user research projects that involve inferential statistics. No more dusting off old college stats textbooks. This book and its Excel and R Companion book are a one-stop shop for determining appropriate quantitative research methods and statistical tests to use in UX work. The authors draw many practical examples from usability studies, tie statistical theory together with practice when using small sample sizes, and even include a crash course in statistical concepts as an appendix. I've been a fan of Jeff Sauro's website for several years now and am very pleased that he and Jim Lewis have authored this exceptional resource.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars so useful for evaluations validity 6 Jun 2012
By Daniel B. - Published on Amazon.com
This book will be very useful for all the designers that wish to bring scientific validity in their services and products evaluations (and there is a lot of work ahead in this domain...), thanks to all the interesting indications and computations it contains.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Valuable book for both researchers and managers 22 May 2012
By Dean Barker - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Extremely valuable book. Will be useful for practitioners and managers of user experience. I've been practicing user research for two decades and a book like this is long overdue. The authors cover the foundations of quantitative user research and present a number of leading edge ideas. They present complex formulas in a way that allows those with just basic skills in statistics to still leverage the techniques presented. They even show you the back of the napkin math on the back of a napkin!

The decision maps for application of specific techniques and the discussion of statistical controversies will be particularly useful for intermediate practitioners. Also, there are copious references which provide for additional learning, reference, and citations to apply to your own research.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Real world insights into usability statistics 6 May 2012
By J. O'Farrell - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Quantifying the User Experience - Practical Statistics for User Research has been instrumental in my thesis and dissertation related to ERP usability analysis. Sauro and Lewis combine to bring real work pragmatic examples of methods for analyzing data esp., as it relates to small populations of data - often what you have as you process your experiments. The information is laid out very clearly, with examples of usability statistical operations throughout the book. I highly recommend this book to anyone doing usability research and analysis.
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