Introduction to Volume 15, Issue 4

Our August 2020 issue features an essay from Douglas Gillan, “Usability Issues in Human-Robot Interaction.” This essay describes the variety of robots with which humans currently interact and with whom we will interact in the future. To avoid the “productivity paradox” that followed the introduction of computers to the general workplace, it is very important to identify and address the usability problems that will surely arise as human interactions with robots become more common.

In addition to the essay, this issue includes three research papers, two on professional UX work practices and one on the most widely used method for assessing psychometric reliability of standardized questionnaires.

The first article is “How Professionals Moderate Usability Tests,” by Rolf Molich and colleagues. The paper is based on findings from the tenth Comparative Usability Evaluation (CUE) study. Based on the observations of 15 experienced usability professionals and two graduate students, they found considerable variation in moderation practices, including time management, prompts/interventions, interaction styles, and use of positive participant feedback.

The second article is “Positive Developments but Challenges Still Ahead: A Survey Study on UX Professionals’ Work Practices,” by Yavuz Inal and colleagues. They identify key issues collected from UX professionals surveyed in five countries, concluding that the professionals surveyed appeared to have considerable work experience and confidence in their expertise.

In the third article, “On the Usage of Cronbach’s Alpha to Measure Reliability of UX Scales,” Martin Schrepp discusses five issues that UX researchers and practitioners should be aware of when interpreting the widely used Cronbach’s (Coefficient) Alpha in validation studies of UX questionnaires.