Nielsen Norman Group: Research Collection



During summer 2016, I interned at Nielsen Norman Group as an research assistant, mentored by Jakob Nielsen. I worked on 3 different projects in different perspectives of user research globally. Links below will lead you to the report articles on NN/g official website with the study process and findings:


What's more, here is a video featured in NN/g's Youtube channel that Dr. Nielsen was interviewing me on my projects and experience during the summer!


WeChat Study

This is the first time NN/g planned to run local studies in China, and WeChat is definitely one of the key reasons for it. This giant app, with its 700 million user base, has caught attention around the globe. From a instant messaging (IM) app to an integrated ecosystem, WeChat proved success in business and user experience. With initial interest in conversational UI implementing in WeChat, more surprising findings were revealed during the study - some were even unexpected to me, as a 5 year WeChat user.

Approach: Diary study, usability testing (lab setting)
Supervisor: Jakob Nielsen, Raluca Budiu
Process: Each step and deliverables are shown in the following figure ↓

WeChat is shaping people’s life in China, both online and offline. It’s amazing to see how WeChat penetrates in all aspects of user experience, setting up new standards, serve and educate users with its integrated experience.
For detailed findings, please check this article I published with Dr. Nielsen: WeChat: China’s Integrated Internet User Experience

A bonus finding from this study was published with Dr. Budiu, on QR code and shake gesture in WeChat: Scan and Shake: A Lesson in Technology Adoption from China’s WeChat. It's fascinating to explore the reasons behind some interactions we take for granted!


Web-wide Usability Study 2016

This is the 3rd time NN/g run this web-wide usability study since 1990s. The goal is to reveal the enduring usability problems for the websites, in this era when people taking good sites as granted. Site choices include from different sizes of companies, non-profit, government, e-commerce, entertainment, etc. These prominent mistakes will serve as reference for UX professionals to avoid.

Approach: Remote unmoderated usability testing for 120 participants on
Supervisor: Amy Schade, Jakob Nielsen
Process: Literature review, site picking, task writing, video analysis (place tags and time stamps, grade severity of UX problem, categorize findings, capture user quotes, note general trends), report composition
Findings: We developed our 2016 top 10 web-design mistakes from tons of our findings from analysis. Also visit the older but classic ones from studies before and see what's improving and what's still hurting our experience: 1996 original version, 1999 version, 2002 version, 2005 version


Web Complexity Study

It’s common to see more and more Bootstrap-style simple sites here in the US, with one column content, large background photos, smooth transitions and clean visual design. But what about China? Foreigners often say Chinese sites are overly complicated in architecture, busy design, or just overloaded with information and links:


But do real Chinese users share the same feeling? 
Only empirical testing and comparison among foreign and Chinese users would tell! I designed and conducted the tests for 12 users, half Chinese and half foreigners with experience in China, to test on 14 websites spanning on a range of design complexity.

Approach: Remote usability testing
SupervisorJakob NielsenRaluca Budiu
Process: Test plan, recruitment, conducting, video coding and analysis
Findings: Together with Dr. Nielsen, findings from this study was summarized in our article: Are Chinese Websites Too Complex? We used real testing results to demystify the "Super Power" of Chinese users. Enjoy!



And More? Learned to be a REAL UX Researcher!