Introduction to Volume 13, Issue 1

For our November 2017 issue, we start with an invited essay from Bill Gribbons on “Is It Time to Drop the ‘U’ (From UX)?”  In this thoughtful and provocative contribution, he argues for and considers the potential consequences of changing the way we refer to our field—specifically, changing from “User Experience” to “Experience Design.”

In addition to the editorial, this issue includes three research papers, one on the relationship between task-time parameters and user satisfaction, one presenting a new questionnaire for the assessment of mobile applications, and an investigation of ten 9-item variants of the System Usability Scale.

The first article is “Predicting Post-Task User Satisfaction With Weibull Analysis of Task Completion Times,” by Bernard Rummel.  In previous research, Mr. Rummel has shown that task completion times can be modelled with Weibull distributions, and that the three parameters of those distributions reflect different aspects of the task solution process.  The focus of the current study was to see how variation in those three parameters differentially affected user satisfaction.

The second article is “SUPR-Qm: A Questionnaire to Measure the Mobile App User Experience,” by Jeff Sauro and Pareezad Zarolia.  They describe the psychometric development of a new questionnaire (SUPR-Qm) for the assessment of user experience with mobile applications.  This may well be the first time a user experience questionnaire has been developed using Rasch analysis (as opposed to classical test theory), with very promising results.

The third is “Can I Leave This One Out? The Effect of Dropping an Item From the SUS,” by Jim Lewis and Jeff Sauro. The System Usability Scale (SUS) has proven to be a very flexible questionnaire for the assessment of perceived usability, but there are times when user experience practitioners might avoid using it because there is an item that just doesn’t work in their context of measurement (e.g., “I think I would like to use this system frequently” when the system is intended for infrequent use).  Using a very large database of completed SUS questionnaires, Lewis and Sauro investigated the effect of systematically removing single items from the SUS (i.e., assessing ten 9-item SUS variants), finding that there was a close correspondence between the magnitudes of the standard SUS and all 9-item variants.