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Usability Testing of the 2014 Census Test Online English Instrument

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Executive Summary

In April 2014, the Human Factors and Usability Research Group, part of the U.S. Census Bureau’s Center for Survey Measurement, conducted a usability evaluation of a proposed online instrument to be used by respondents selected for the 2014 Census Test who chose to report online. The instrument would also be used to collect information from respondents who called the Census Bureau’s telephone call center and complete d the survey with an interviewer.

This usability evaluation had several objectives:

  • to conduct usability testing of both the Spanish and English versions of the instrument and to determine if there were any issues in the instrument in either language;
  • to obtain feedback on the different race screen designs and edit messages used in the different versions of the 2014 online instrument, and the new relationship categories, which included the distinction between “same-sex” and “opposite-sex” spouses and unmarried partners; and
  • to obtain feedback on the draft email message, which would be sent to people in a 2014 Census Test panel.


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