data reliability indicator, coefcient of variation, color-coded data tables, usability
This study was the third round of usability testing for the Data Reliability Indicator forAmerican Community Survey (ACS) data tables proposed by the sponsor team. Sixteen prototype tables with a data reliability indicator based on an estimate's coefficient of variation were tested. Each reliability indicator had three levels: "Reliable," "Somewhat Reliable," and "Not Very Reliable." We tested whether the location of the data reliability legend, whether the indicator was color-coded or plain text, and whether the "Reliable" or "Not Very Reliable" level was listed first in the legend made a difference in the accuracy, efficiency, or user satisfaction of data users in responding to the tasks.
The usability goals for response accuracy and user satisfaction were met for all of the conditions, but the goal for efficiency was not met for several conditions, mostly for easy and medium difficulty tasks.
More detailed results and potential usability issues are discussed.
Kathleen T. Ashenfelter and Victor Quach. (2010). Data Reliability Indicator Based on the Coefcient of Variation: Report for the Third Round of Usability Testing. Statistical Research Division Study Series (Survey Methodology #2010-10).U.S. Census Bureau. Available online at <http://www.census.gov/srd/papers/pdf/ssm2010-10.pdf>.