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Preparing for Your Performance Review - Time to Stress or Time to Shine?

career development / organizational performance / featured

In the spirit of National Career Development Week, November 10-14, FMG's organizational performance team is eager to share tips on how you can make your performance review a chance to build on your career, not just on your anxiety. Preparing for a performance review can be a daunting and intimidating task, but it doesn't have to be. Some of that stress engendered by an annual review can be alleviated if you keep a few simple things in mind and do a little preparation.

Performance Review Comic

  • Keep an open dialogue with your supervisor. One of the things that make performance appraisals nerve-wracking is the fear of hearing something you... more
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Eye Tracking for Forms and Surveys - Not Always a Good Idea

featured / user experience / eye tracking

Eye tracking is getting to be more and more popular and easy to use in usability testing. The eye-tracking technology is getting smaller, more affordable, and easier to use, and with these changes, more and more clients are eager to incorporate it into their UX work. But it is not always a useful methodology, especially when we are testing forms and surveys, where participants may look away while they are filling in their responses. In a recent book chapter in Eye Tracking in User Experience Design(1), Caroline Jarrett and I explore what eye tracking can tell us about the user experience of forms and surveys. We also discuss when eye tracking is appropriate and when it can be misleading. Here I share... 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 have done... more

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Work and Family are Top Priorities in October - National Work and Family Month

featured / organizational health / in the news

Negotiating the demands of work and home life is a familiar struggle for working adults. Many of us have felt stressed or tired upon returning home from work, been late to work because of commitments at home, or had to cancel a personal appointment because work was busy. According to a recent Pew Research Center survey, 56% of working moms and 50% of working dads say they find it very or somewhat difficult to balance work and family responsibilities. Furthermore, although much attention is focused on working parents in particular, conflict between work and home life occurs for any worker who has demands stemming from providing support to other family members, pets, self-care activities, and other commitments. October is National Work &... more

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Respecting Your Participants - Ethical Considerations in Focus Groups

focus group / market research / research design / featured / blog / qualitative

Focus groups, unlike some other forms of research, can feel quite informal. In fact, some of the best groups can look more like a table of friends chatting than a formal data collection effort. However, researchers always need to remember that focus groups (as well as one-on-one interviews and other qualitative methods) are research, and the same ethical requirements apply. If you’re working with a governmental agency or a university, you may need to have your project reviewed by an Institutional Review Board (IRB) or by the federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB). But even when your focus group effort does require these formal reviews, it is still important for researchers to remember their ethical responsibility to their participants.

The most fundamental ethical... more

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