What is a confidence interval? I wanted to know that recently and turned to one of my favorite books: Measuring the User Experience, by Tom Tullis and Bill Albert. And here’s what they say:
“Confidence intervals are extremely valuable for any usability professional. A confidence interval is a range that estimates the true population value for a statistic.”
Then they go on to explain how you calculate a confidence interval in Excel. Which is fine, but I have to admit that I wasn’t entirely sure that once I’d calculated it, I really knew what I’d done or what it meant. So I trawled through various statistics books to gain a better understanding of confidence intervals, and this column is the result. Read More
You’ve just completed a readout of your latest ground-breaking research, presenting an hour-long slideshow, and hopefully, you’ve wowed your audience with what you’ve shown them. But all too often, after you’ve reported your research results, everyone returns to their workspace and develops a serious case of insight amnesia. Stakeholders quickly forget the juicy morsels of information that would make your company’s products better. Your insights remain stuck in your slide deck and may never again see the light of day.
There are two questions that arise from this dilemma: First, how can you make your research insights more readily available to product teams so they don’t have to slog through your deck to find them? There are multiple, well-known solutions to this problem. The second problem, which is the focus of this article, is how can you ensure that your product team uses your research insights? Read More
As a researcher, I want to understand how technology changes people’s lives, not wade through a bunch of data. Like a lot of people, I think in stories rather than numbers; in the tangible rather than the abstract. So, when I made it a goal to understand all of the data about the experiences people have with technology—not just the kinds of data that I was comfortable with—there were some big gaps in my knowledge.
First, I had to cross the threshold of my number aversion. This wasn’t too hard because, even though I love to dive into messy questions, I’m not thrilled with messy answers. I’m still relearning statistics—thanks to Khan Academy and The Cartoon Guide to Statistics—getting more confident with Excel, and gaining some basic skills in Tableau. Read More