Posted by: bbannan | March 17, 2009

Severity and frequency in user research – Katie

I was reading the following website when I came across this discussion of distinguishing between severity and frequency in user research. I’ve included a portion of that discussion here as I think it is important to talk about during this first round of user research for our projects.

“The number of users affected determines the frequency of a problem. To be most useful, the severity of a problem should be defined by analyzing difficulties encountered by individual users. Both frequency and severity data can be used to prioritize usability issues that need to be changed. For example, designers should focus first on fixing those usability issues that were shown to be most severe. Those usability issues that were encountered by many participants, but had a severity rating of ‘nuisance,’ should be given much less priority.”

This is similar to the discussion we were having a couple weeks ago with Dr. Williams van Rooij regarding distinguishing between the must haves and the nice to haves. As we all doing our research are you having to assess the severity vs frequency in the data you are gathering? Where are you focusing your energy?



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