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We did an UX survey for an application with employees at the company creating it (who know the program for some time now) and the result are all in all very average. The software seems to be perceived as usable but not perfect, performance is fine but could be improved, functions are found most of the time but not always and so on.

How can such a result be reviewed? How do employees tend to evaluate their own product (over-/underrate)? I know that they are not the best survey candidates but they are the only ones available at the moment.

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For a lot of usability problems users will just 'get used to it' over time and it will become the 'new normal'. (and if there were any 'showstopper' problems these will have been fixed). So over time it will become average. –  PhillipW May 29 '12 at 10:15
    
@PhillipW there is a difference between bad-usability that people just 'get used to' compared with good-usability that is rated bad/average just because of resistance to change. Be careful with taking the approach that 'it's the users that are wrong, they'll just get used to it'. –  JonW May 29 '12 at 12:53
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up vote 4 down vote accepted

I think this is more a question of survey design than analysis. From what you say, answers given were average throughout. If you were to run the survey again, you could include questions with more free-text answers inviting more detailed responses, provide rating scales with less opportunity for 'average' responses (e.g. 4 point scales rather than 5 point scales). However for the position you are in, you could now:

  • hold follow-up interviews with users if you have their details
  • use contextual analysis to observe users using the software
  • observe users performing specific tasks, perhaps using a think-aloud protocol
  • ask users to compare their software with competitor software

These approaches would help you to drill down into the responses you have already and understand where the pain points are and how the software could be improved.

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+1 these all sound like good strategies to apply in a compromised survey context. –  AndroidHustle May 29 '12 at 8:22
    
Thanks for your comment. All good points. I think we'll have to go for further analysis by observing since the survey was anonymous and the scale did already discourage average results. I like the idea to compare our software with those of our competitors. I'm thinking about creating some problems which should be solved by our users with our software compared to the competition. –  Amenti May 30 '12 at 6:28
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