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49 Cards in this Set

  • Front
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a systematic process of collecting, analyzing, and interpreting information (data) in order to increase our understanding of the phenomenon about which we are interested or concerned


Evaluation is the systematic assessment of the worth or merit of some object

Formative evaluation

evaluation performed “during design to check that the product continues to meet user’s needs”

Summative evaluation

“Evaluations that are done to assess the success of a finished product”


a scientific procedure undertaken to make a discovery, test a hypothesis, or demonstrate a known fact. (Something is manipulated to explore cause-and-effect)

null hypothesis

states that there is no difference between conditions

control group

a group of subjects that did not get the treatment

independent variables

what the researcher manipulates

dependent variables

what the researcher measures

confounding variables

something the researcher is not studying, but may not be able to control


having half of the subjects experience conditions in one order and the other half experience conditions in the opposite order


research shares similarities with the traditional experimental design or randomized controlled trial, but they specifically lack the element of random assignment to treatment or control

Ex-post facto research

"research involves looking at existing circumstances” to explore potential influences of one or more variables on another.

prediction research

researching if two variables are related to each other or if they are correlated

descriptive/observational research

The purpose of the study is to describe the state of something as it currently exists through numbers. Study may involve looking at qualitative data and converting it to numerical form.

inter-rater reliability

the degree of agreement among raters


Looks at a specific culture or group of people. Data is often collected through observation and interviews.

participant observer

The researcher may even try to become an “insider” in the group.

Phenomenological research

Investigates what it is like for someone to experience a phenomenon

content analysis

Researcher might look for "patterns, themes, or biases" present in a "particular body of material", such as articles or videos. Important to clearly define the body of materials to be studied.

case study

Something specific is examined for a period of time in all of its complexity. Data collection may involve observations, interviews, and the study of videos or documents. Findings may not generalize to other contexts.

usability testing

Involves testing whether a product is usable in a controlled environment

user test

a key component to usability testing, what a user does to test the product

satisfaction questionnaire

a key component to usability testing, asks users what their experience was like after testing


measures what it is supposed to be measuring


refers to how well a research method can produce “the same results on separate occasions under the same circumstances”

informed consent form

A form indicating that the subject gave consent to partaking in an experiment and acknowledged all risks associated with it.

Institutional Review Board

a committee that has been formally designated to approve, monitor, and review biomedical and behavioral research involving humans

Double-blind experiment

an experimental method used to ensure impartiality, and avoid errors arising from bias. It achieves this by ensuring that the researcher(s) involved in the study is/are not aware of which group is the control versus the test

internal validity

“focuses on the viability of causal links between the independent and dependent variables”

external validity

“refers to the generalizability of the results and conclusions to other people and locations”


When two or more methods are used in a study in order to check the results. The idea is that one can be more confident with a result if different methods lead to the same result.

descriptive statistics

the analysis of data that helps describe, show or summarize data in a meaningful way such that, for example, patterns might emerge from the data

inferential statistics

Techniques that allow us to use these samples to make generalizations about the populations from which the samples were drawn.


An inferential statistics technique that can be performed to see if there is a significant difference between two group means.


a collection of statistical models used in order to analyze the differences between group means and their associated procedures

Statistical Significance

a number that expresses the probability that the result of a given experiment or study could have occurred purely by chance. This number can be a margin of error, or it can indicate a confidence level

within-subject effect

variable is something that varies (or is repeated) for each subject in the experiment.

between-subject effect

An experimental design for which subjects are randomly assigned to only one of the experimental conditions.


the collected data points between the groups have significantly different rates of change

practical significance

difference between two group means is meaningful in real world settings

field studies

the collection of information outside of a laboratory, library or workplace setting

Heuristic Evaluation

a usability inspection method that involves an expert applying a set of usability principles to a product to determine whether or not the interface conforms to the principles

Cognitive Walkthroughs

a usability evaluation method in which one or more evaluators work through a series of tasks and ask a set of questions from the perspective of the user. The focus of the cognitive walkthrough is on understanding the system's learnability for new or infrequent users

Pluralistic Walkthrough

centers on using a group of users, developers and usability professionals to step through a task scenario, discussing usability issues associated with dialog elements involved in the scenario steps
Methods for evaluating user traffic through a system

Keystroke Level Model (KLM)

a predictive model that attempts to determine a numerical prediction of user performance

Fitt's Law

This scientific law predicts that the time required to rapidly move to a target area is a function of the ratio between the distance to the target and the width of the target

ecological validity

the results of the evaluation can be reproduced in the environment where the evaluation takes place