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Working Paper Number rsm2018-19
Lucia C. Lykke and Yazmin A. García Trejo
Component ID: #ti1955685053


In December 2017, researchers at the Center for Survey Measurement (CSM) conducted usability testing of the new Web version of the 2020 Census Barriers, Attitudes, and Motivators Survey (CBAMS). CSM researchers interviewed five Spanish-speaking usability participants using mobile devices and a laptop computer. The purpose of the testing was to determine how well participants were able to complete the survey online, including logging in and out of the survey, answering the questions, and submitting the survey. The major findings were as follows. First, Spanish speakers had difficulty beginning the survey. Specifically, participants had trouble entering the URL from the introduction letter and following the instruction to use an eight-digit user ID to log into the survey. Second, one participant was permanently locked out of the system because he or she did not select a security question and did not know his/her PIN. Third, several participants had trouble figuring out where to enter their user ID numbers on the Splash Page. Fourth, one participant on a mobile device did not see one of the questions due to poor spacing on the mobile rendering of the question. Additional medium and low priority usability issues are reported, as well as comprehension issues regarding the questions themselves. One notable cognitive finding was that none of the five participants could accurately explain the purpose of the survey, tending to conflate the CBAMS with the census questionnaire. The 2020 CBAMS team implemented all the recommendations included in this report in order to improve the usability of the survey for Spanish-speaking respondents.

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