USERindex and Inclusive Design

The USERindex is a benchmarking score created in 2014. To date, the USERindex has been used in over 450 studies across 50 countries and has been adopted by companies worldwide as their default benchmarking system. 

The USER in USERindex represents 4 dimensions: Usefulness, Satisfaction, Ease of use and Reliability. Capturing these aspects of the experience has become crucial as digital technology is now more prevalent in consumers’ daily lives than ever.

One USERindex for All

The USERindex was originally developed with digital products such as websites and mobile apps in mind. Soon after, it was successfully used to measure both the digital and hardware experiences of IoT devices. 

In the past few years, we have piloted the USERindex in inclusive design UX studies with participants with disabilities and people who use assistive technologies. Our conclusion is that the USERindex is suitable for capturing and measuring the experience of participants in inclusive design UX studies.  

This is encouraging, since a significant portion of the world’s population has a disability of sorts; about 15 percent of the world’s population and 30 to 50 percent of older adults in the US. And let’s not forget people all over the world who break their arm or lose their glasses, resulting in a temporary disability.

Best Practices 

Here are a few best practices for interpreting scores in inclusive design UX studies.

Track Disability and Assistive Tech

Benchmarks such as the USERindex rely on self-reported feedback as the user rates the statements. A person’s frame of reference can significantly influence their ratings. For example, screen reader users are accustomed to challenging user experiences. As a result, what may seem a poor experience to some is a “good” experience for screen reader users. This can skew the ratings and it is thus a good idea to track both the disability and the assistive technology used. 

Define User Personas Based on Assistive Tech

The different types of disabilities (e.g. vision, cognitive, motor impairment) are broad categories that cover a number of conditions and severity of these conditions. This variety makes it challenging to define user personas based on condition. We have found that defining user personas primarily based on assistive technology works well to collect consistent data points since the experience heavily depends on the type of assistive tech used.

Learn Through Detailed Analysis

The USERindex is represented as a single score. Yet, reviewing the scores for each statement and dimension across participants can be very insightful and help identify specific areas where the digital product may be particularly lacking.

Our world needs to be inclusive; access to a benchmarking score to measure the digital experience for everyone is simply a must have.