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Glossary » comparative study

comparative study

a study whose purpose is to compare 2 or more products, such as a user testing comparison to make sure that a new version of a product has fewer problems than the prior version. Another type of comparison is a competitive analysis to see which of 2 products is superior.

A comparative study might best be considered in contrast to a criterion test, where a single product is tested against some absolute criteria of usability. For instance, a criterion test might be used to confirm that “a user can start up this application in 10 seconds or less”, whereas a comparison might show that “version 3 of this software starts up 50% faster than version 2″.