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Basing Your Decision on "9 out of 10 Experts"? Not So Fast

blog / featured / customer experience / ux / qualitative research
 Fors Marsh Group using qualitative data the right way, making decisions on 9 out of 10 experts

Evidence-based decisions. This phrase has gained popularity in the public sphere, reflecting a desire for people to base their actions on proof that they have a reason to expect a certain outcome. Unfortunately, it is easy to use good data in a bad way, even with the best of intentions. Professionals need to be ever-vigilant not to mislead people with evidence, and consumers of information need to be wary about what they are being told.

How can you mislead people... more

FMG Launches Customer Experience (CX) Division

featured / news / customer experience / consumer behavior / applied cognition / ux
In March, Fors Marsh Group (FMG) launched the Customer Experience (CX) division to address the growing industry demand for improving customer experiences with products, websites, and services. The CX division will offer clients deeper insight into how their customers use their services and will provide clients with solutions to improve the experience and measure their impact. "The Customer Experience division launch stems from the growing consumer-facing client portfolio FMG gained in 2017," explains Kinsey Gimbel, CX Director. "Leveraging FMG’s user experience (UX) and technology capabilities to collect rich data around a product’s usability, CX experts interpret the data to extract meaningful insight and provide actionable intelligence that helps clients ensure their services achieve the intended outcomes." "Over the past two years, FMG has executed a... more

Pupillometry: The Next Great Metric in UX Research?

featured / blog / customer experience / user experience / ux / cognitive research / eye tracking

 Fors Marsh Group, FMG, pupillometry, UX research, eye tracking, Human-Computer Interaction International Conference

Last year, FMG’s user experience (UX) team presented "Exploring the Relationship Between Eye Movements and Pupillary Response from Formative User Experience Research" at the Human-Computer Interaction International Conference. The study examined the relationship between pupil diameter and fixations in the context of a usability task. Specifically, our team used UX-generated data to explore whether fixation measures and pupil diameter measures correlate, and under which conditions this relationship occurs for this type of study.

The measurement of changes in pupil diameter due to presentation of... more

When Qual Met UX: FMG QRCA Conference Recap

featured / applied cognition / communication research / conference / qualitative research / qualitative / focus group / user experience / ux / usability

 Fors Marsh Group (FMG) attends Qualitative Research Consultants Association (QRCA)

In February, FMG presented at the Qualitative Research Consultants Association (QRCA) annual conference in Phoenix, Arizona. FMG senior researcher Jon Strohl and I had the opportunity to present to a very engaged and welcoming group of attendees. Our presentation, When Qual Met UX: How to Combine Traditional Qualitative Methods and User Research Approaches to Satisfy Your Clients and Add Value to Your Findings, focused on how qualitative researchers can integrate elements of user experience research methodology into their work. For this presentation, we drew from our experience working... more


District of Columbia Civic Engagement Makes Local Government Forms Work!

featured / ux / user experience / usability / government / blog
Have you ever received a government form and struggled to complete it? Maybe you were confused by the instructions, unsure which boxes to use to enter information, or scratching your head about the terminology. You are not alone! We’ve all struggled at times with completing what we think should be a simple form. Although they can give us a headache at times, forms are absolutely critical—they are the primary way we interact with the government. DC Government agencies, with the support of The Lab@DC, have made a commendable, concerted effort to improve DC Government forms. The Lab@DC’s mission is to apply scientific insights and methods to inform DC Government’s most important decisions. About three months ago, three user experience (UX) researchers from Fors... more

UX and the Future of Personalization

ux / user experience / conferences / eye tracking / cognitive research / featured
Earlier this month, several FMG researchers attended the User Experience DC (UXDC) Conference hosted by the DC Chapter of the User Experience Professionals Association (UXPA). Fors Marsh Group Presents at UXDC 2017 One of the presentations I attended was John Whalen’s talk titled, "The Future of UX is here: AI and Cognitive Design." In his talk, Dr. Whalen discussed artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and augmented cognition, with the fundamental point that as these technologies emerge, user experience research needs to expand on traditional usability testing and design thinking to ensure a user-centered design. One takeaway from the session was that command styles vary widely when users interact with... more

FMG and Facebook Partner to Challenge Human Factors Students at 3rd Annual Usabil-a-thon

ux / user experience / human factors / applied cognition / community / featured
The third annual Usabil-a-thon was held this past weekend at the Fors Marsh Group User Experience Research Lab and offices in Arlington, VA. Twenty graduate students from George Mason University tested their skills by participating in the 12-hour applied research challenge and competition. The Usabil-a-athon brings together industry and academia as a platform to showcase and promote the field of human factors and user experience research. George Mason University | Human Factors & Applied Cognition Students at Fors Marsh Group Fors Marsh Group and Facebook collaborated to create the program for this year’s event which challenged students to create a photo-sharing and visual-messaging app that would resonate with... more

Fors Marsh Group (FMG) Awarded Federal Contract for Website User Experience Research

news / user experience / ux / federal contracting / government / featured
The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has awarded Fors Marsh Group (FMG), LLC, a contract to conduct user experience research to improve the Commission’s website. FMG will evaluate the user experience of through a variety of different research methods, which include a heuristic evaluation, usability test with several audience segments, as well as a card sort to provide insight on the information architecture for the content. The research will result in findings and recommendations that aim to improve the navigation, content and features of the website for its constituents. "FMG understands the importance of this website as travelers, businesses and government leaders need to find information quickly and conduct online transactions seamlessly." said Dr. Sean Marsh, FMG’s Chief Executive Officer. "We are thrilled... more

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

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... more

Jumping Right In -Two Workshops Highlighting Eye Tracking and User Experience

featured / eye tracking / ux / usability
After joining Fors Marsh Group a few weeks ago, I’ve had the privilege of attending a few events in the DC-area. The first two workshops I attended were fantastic and both shed light on the benefits of eye tracking and mobile usability. DC-AAPOR’s Eye-Tracking Workshop at Gallup Institute on Friday, Sept. 19, 2014 Dr. Jennifer Romano Bergstrom led a day-long workshop that introduced eye tracking, why we should/want to do it, the pros and cons, protocols for conducting, what we learn from eye tracking, and the best way to position it to clients. The participants came from very different backgrounds, and to my surprise, not many were UX practitioners. What we all had in common was that we were interested in learning more about eye... more

An Introduction to Bayesian Data Analysis for UX Applications

featured / usability / ux / quantitative / blog
Quantitative methods are an essential part of user experience (UX) research. They allow researchers to provide accurate estimates of user performance in terms of errors and response time. However, because of the constraints of traditional statistical approaches, the small sample sizes and high variability of most UX studies preclude meaningful inferences in most situations. In this post I will present Bayesian Data Analysis as a viable alternative and one well suited to address challenges and settings common to UX researchers.

Belief versus ‘the long run’

Traditional, frequentist approaches refer to long run frequency, or how likely an event would occur over N number of replications. To illustrate this, imagine flipping a coin. If the coin is fair, after flipping it 20 times you should get... more

Conference Season Not About to Slow Anytime Soon – Looking Ahead to Fall

ux / conferences / usability
On July 22 and 23, Fors Marsh Group sponsored and attended the DC Chapter of the American Association of Public Opinion Research (DC AAPOR) Summer Conference. In addition to poster presentations, there were three panels that provided some great information worth sharing. The first panel focused on incentives and adaptive design, in which the speakers discussed new findings, such as the fact that a $5 dollar incentive results in a 16% increase in response rate compared to no incentive at all. That number increases to 22% with a $10 dollar incentive. In other words, spending money up front to incentivize your respondents to complete the survey leads to a dramatic increase in response rate, and the more you incentivize, the better response you’ll... more

The ROI of UX Research

ux / featured / usability
It would be tough for anyone to argue that user experience (UX) testing prior to launching a product is not beneficial – we only need to look at and Lawn Darts to see why. The success of design changes following a UX study can be easily assessed with traditional metrics like error rates and Likert scale satisfaction ratings. These traditional metrics make it easy for UX researchers to pinpoint successful and troublesome areas of a product. However, how do traditional metrics of user experience, like errors and satisfaction, impact the bottom line? To see how tough that question is to answer, imagine you are proposing a usability study to a CEO. He has heard your spiel on assessing the user experience. You’ve... more