Innovative research techniques

Progress provides user research and usability services that help you to understand your customers by watching them use your interactive product. We believe that direct user research is the most effective way to truly understand the user experience.



Usability testing is a time-tested evaluative approach to comparing products, benchmarking or collecting satisfaction metrics. We handle all aspects of a usability study: participant recruiting, study design and measures, session moderation, data analysis, and reporting of findings and recommendations.


User research is a combination of multiple methods for gaining insight into into needs and behaviors from real people, your customers. The core activity of user research involves watching people actually use a product or prototype, instead of just asking their opinions. 

Remote Usability Research

Our experienced moderators  speak with customers from across the country while you and your team observe from anywhere - a conference room, your iPad, iPhone or Android device, all in real-time.

Robotics Research

Autonomous consumer devices are becoming more commonplace. We conduct in-context robotics research to ensure they're usable and useful.

Mobile Usability Research

We are leaders in the field of mobile user experience research. Participant sessions are webcast in secure live HD as they happen.

Leading brands choose Progress.

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What we're up to





People tend to rate attractive designs as more usable and desirable than those deemed less attractive. We often see this effect in practice when we conduct user research studies between competing design versions - with functionality essentially equal but some more aesthetically acclaimed than others.

This phenomena is due to the effects of human perception and emotional attachment on an otherwise objective interface (wait...what?, let's try that again):

  • First impressions matter.

  • People are often more forgiving of attractive things (and people).

  • We form subtle emotional bonds with all kinds of things that we find attractive. 

"When human features look and move almost, but not exactly, like natural human beings, it causes a response of revulsion among human observers."

We recently gave a presentation on UX and consumer robotics and one of the most compelling topics we discussed was the Uncanny Valley - a design principal that states that the more human-like a design tries to be, the creepier it is. This is true for any type of interactive design: robots, video games, avatar assistants, etc.

The Observer Effect is a phenomena that states that when we measure something, we change  the thing that is being measured. For example, we can't measure the tire pressure in a tire without letting some of the air out (and thus changing the overall pressure). This principle is also evident in user research and is especially relevant when asking a research participant to fill out a survey.