Day#234: Demand Characteristics in UX

Day#234: Demand Characteristics in UX

Hey Uxers! Today I wanted to chat about something I learnt from the Stanton Prison experiment video I watched recently, you can check out my post here with a link for the videos I watched and my thoughts on the experiment and its relation to UX.

The video discusses how Demand Characteristics can change the outcomes of a study very significantly, basically Demand characteristics relates to participants knowing what to expect in a study and then wanting to make the researchers happy and thus perform in a way that the researchers would like in order to perhaps prove the hypothesis correct which was being tested. In UX, it is always common knowledge that participants in usability tests should not feel like they are being tested and Uxers are encouraged to instead state that there are no right or wrong answers. However this is not where Demand Characteristics end in UX, the script you create for the day needs to also have carefully constructed questions that do not guide the participants to the outcomes that you would like. Even when seeking qualitative research one should always ask neutral questions to ascertain the participants core emotions and feelings on a particular step or entire user journey. Check out the video below for a basic outline of Demand Characteristics

All in all understanding that as human beings we are social creatures who are driven by impulses which we ourselves do not even understand at times, will help with knowing why questions need to be phrased in a certain way and why telling your participants that their answers are great either way is a good method to follow. Knowing the why always helps me remember something easier and I hope it has helped you understand the psychology behind usability script prep a bit better. Happy researching until next time..

Bye for now!

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