Introduction to Volume 14, Issue 1

For our November 2018 issue, we start with an editorial from Jim Lewis, “Is the Report of the Death of the Construct of Usability an Exaggeration?” In this essay, he argues that the construct of usability is not at a dead end as recently suggested in an important paper by Noam Tractinsky, but instead has been and should continue to be fruitful in user experience research and practice.

In addition to the editorial, this issue includes three research papers: one on a structural model for uniting user, customer, and brand experience; one discussing three contexts for evaluating organization usability; and one with a comparison of two rating scale formats.

The first article is “A Structural Model for Unity of Experience: Connecting User Experience, Customer Experience, and Brand Experience,” by Hye-jin Lee, Katie Ka-hyun Lee, and Junho Choi. Using structural equation modeling and data from smartphone users, they examined the effects of user experience on brand equity mediated by customer experience with the goal of helping businesses establish strategies regarding which elements of user experience relate to customer and brand experiences.

The second article is “Three Contexts for Evaluating Organizational Usability,” by Morten Hertzum. Although the match between user and system can be evaluated in the lab, other aspects of organization usability such as organization/system and environment/system matches cannot. Dr. Hertzum proposes three evaluative contexts for in situ evaluation—pilot implementation, technochange, and design in use—and describes their aims, scope, examples, and challenges.

In the third article, “Comparison of Item Formats: Agreement vs. Item-Specific Endpoints,” Jim Lewis reports the results of an investigation of the extent to which items constructed with an agreement format were affected by acquiescence bias relative to responses to a matched set of items designed with item-specific formats. Of 14 comparisons of matched agreement and item-specific formats, 12 were not statistically significant, and for the remaining two items the means of the agreement versions were significantly lower than those for the item-specific versions—the opposite of the expected result if agreement items were affected by an acquiescence bias.