Usability survey validation, please help

17 Aug 2011 - 10:50pm
5 years ago
2 replies
904 reads

Hi all, I am creating a usability survey that encompasses some of the specifics tasks to my project. I want to validate the survey by comparing it to similar surveys as well as dissimilar surveys (to also hopefully discount of some unrelated potentially influencing factors.) Can anyone recommend some good surveys unrelated to usability that I can use for this. Some Ideas would be job satisfaction, emotional intelligence etc. All ideas are welcome, including good old related usability surveys (i.e. SUS, SUM) I may be missing some.


18 Aug 2011 - 2:39pm
Dana Chisnell


  I'm wondering: 

  • what you're hoping to learn in the survey
  • what you want to accomplish with the survey
  • what you're going to do with what you find out
  • how many times you'll administer it
  • who it goes to
  • why you're doing a survey rather than using some other method



18 Aug 2011 - 3:20pm
Caroline Jarrett

Dana asked some great questions.

I'd also like to add: comparing your survey with other ones (similar or not) isn't a bad idea, but it's part of your literature review not part of the validation process.

To validate your survey, you need to test it with users, preferably in three stages;

1. Interview your users about the topics in your survey to find out whether you are even talking to them about the right topics, and to establish a common vocabulary. This helps you to create a proper list of questions.

2. Test your new list of questions with your users in a cognitive interview (pretty much like an ordinary usability test, but getting them to articulate all their thought processes as they answer). This helps you to refine your questions before you build them into a questionnaire.

3. Pilot test your questionnaire with a small sample of users, including testing the survey invitation and any reminders you plan to send.


Caroline Jarrett


Currently working on "Surveys that Work: Using surveys in user experience design" to be published by Rosenfeld Media

Syndicate content Get the feed