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Glossary » empirical methods

empirical methods

any of a large number of methods which are based on measurement — in user interface design, this usually means measuring the activities of people as they use computer systems. This specifically does not include theoretical methods, analytic methods, usability inspection, prototyping, and graphic design methods. General classes of empirical methods include:

  • experiments and quasi-experiments, including many types of user testing
  • observational approaches: contextual inquiry, ethnography
  • systematically collecting reports from people: interviews, surveys, focus groups, and diary studies