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Going out on the proverbial legal ledge: using social media for applicant screening

behavioral research / conferences / social media research / blog

The growth and acceptance of social media sites across generations has been well-documented. Given the popularity of Facebook and Twitter and the unfiltered type and amount of information that individuals post about themselves, it is not surprising that some businesses view social media as a quick and inexpensive way to learn additional information about and potentially screen applicants (1).

While businesses are hoping to get an unfiltered picture of their applicants, they might also be getting information unrelated to the job that could lead to illegal employment decisions. That is, U.S. Federal law prohibits businesses from making employment decisions that discriminate against individuals of certain protected classes: race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information (2).... more

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Your Web-Based Survey Should be “Medium Rare”

behavioral research / user experience / blog

On Wednesday evening, I had dinner at Medium Rare , a fun, friendly, neighborhood restaurant in the Cleveland Park neighborhood of Washington DC, where “customers can just relax, and have a simple yet exceptional meal served to them.” This was my third time there, and each time I go, I am amazed by how busy it is. Honestly, it’s good but what’s so fantastic is the experience – there is a pre-fixed menu of artisan rustic bread, mixed green salad, and culotte steak and fries – the only thing you have to choose is the temperature of your steak. Even their wine and beer lists and the dessert menu are short. Everything is prepared well and consistent – something many people,... more

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The Most Wonderful Time of the Year - Conference Season

conferences / current events / usability / user experience / company events / blog

April is a really exciting month as it kicks off the start of the busy conference season and plenty of speaking engagements. My calendar seems pretty booked and I am excited to meet new people and talk about UX with others in the DC/NoVa area, and at conferences across the country. Here is a brief rundown of what’s to come – hope to see you at a few:

Tuesday, April 8 - DC Web Women’s Code(Her) Workshop Series: I will be teaching about integrating usability testing methods in development. This should be eye-opening and encourage lots of conversation because many people do not even know that they can or should test their products even as early as during the coding stage. (David discussed this last... more

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The bigger victory: Nationals star discusses struggle to quit dip as National Public Health Week begins

behavioral research / health research / social marketing / youth / blog

The Nationals’ home opener may not have gone as planned, but yesterday they came through with the win and a stellar kickoff to another opening day – that of National Public Health Week (NPHW).

Ian Desmond delivered the game-winning homer against the Braves, but the “bigger victory” he spoke of after the game was going the entire game without dip. Like many other tobacco users, Desmond began his habit as a teenager – underscoring the importance of prevention efforts (a key theme of this year’s NPHW).

Nationals star Ian Desmond

Through his description of his struggle to quit, Desmond highlighted several themes potentially key to the success of prevention efforts.

  1. Tradition. Smokeless tobacco... more
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Iterative Design: Three Prototyping Guidelines

usability / user experience / blog

Designing a website or mobile application from scratch is tough. Getting the creative juices flowing is no easy feat. When you do get lucky and think of something new, it can be hard to execute your plans as you had originally intended. Following through with lofty goals for your UI can seem impossible, especially when you take a look at the coding requirements. A seemingly endless mountain of code can dissuade someone from continuing the development of their web tools. Recent FMG research using iterative prototyping and usability testing can turn the mountain of code into a mole hill.

FMG’s User Experience Lab recently worked on a series of usability studies using iterative prototypes. Prototypes are a very helpful tool to use during the design... more

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Focus Group Best Practices: Dry Run

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

Getting ready to start a focus group project can be stressful. You probably have a huge list of data you need to collect, and not that many groups to do it in. If a line of questions doesn’t work, or an activity is a flop, you may not have time to make changes. One strategy that can help you make every group as useful as possible is to do a dry run.

When we’re getting ready to start a focus group project, we ask people office to act as test participants, bring them together in a room, and use the moderator’s guide to conduct a mock group. This gives us opportunity to test the questions, try out activities, and establish how long things will take.... more

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