Methodologies

Cognitive testing

We conduct qualitative, one-on-one research in which we ask target users to try-out products and technologies. We design research studies that use think-aloud data to determine whether users understand and can appropriately interpret how to interact with products.

Experimental and quasi-experimental studies

Experimental studies or Randomized Control Trials (RCTs) involve the use of randomization to control for extraneous factors–enabling us to make stronger inferences about the impact of a program. Quasi-experimental studies are those that do not include randomization but, if well-designed, can still be rigorous enough to make inferences about program impacts. Pre- and post-tests help us to measure the impact of a program. In a typical research design, we administer pre-tests to a control group and a treatment group. Then, we expose treatment group members only to the program that we are studying. The next step is to administer the post-test to both groups. This design enables us to draw conclusions about changes over time that may be attributable to the program alone.

Focus groups

Focus groups typically include 6-8 participants. Focus groups are useful for gathering data on what appeals to target audience members, what their needs are, and what they like or don’t like about certain programs or products.

Interviews (Phone or in-person)

We conduct one-on-one interviews with participants over the phone, during Web conferences, and in-person. Interviews help us to gather in-depth information from participants that cannot be gleaned from surveys or focus groups.

On-site observations and site visits

We conduct field research in a wide variety of settings, including workplaces, medical centers, retail stores, and schools. CEG has specific expertise in evaluating educational programs in formal school settings as well as informal learning environments.

Surveys (Web-based or in-person)

We develop and administer surveys on the Web, in-person, and through the mail. Surveys enable us to gather data from large numbers of participants across a wide range of settings. Using Web-based surveys, sample sizes can easily reach into the thousands.

Usability testing

Usability testing is the evaluation of products to ensure that they are intuitive and easy-to-use. We conduct usability testing in a variety of settings: In-person at research labs convenient to your location, in real-world settings, and remotely, using web-based software. We perform usability testing at various stages in the development cycle. Usability testing involves engaging users in task-based scenarios informed by our own user research. We use think-aloud methodology and collect and analyze observational data as well as subjective user feedback so we can make recommendations for enhancing the usability and accessibility of your product. The typical usability test involves 6-8 end users. However, if your develop a complex product or want to reach a highly diverse audience, we may include more participants in the testing. We work collaboratively with you to develop task-based scenarios. We encourage our clients to observe all testing activities.

 

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