Comments on the peak usability/spirit soft works 2004 Salary Surv ey for User Experience Design & Usability Professionals
14 Jan 2005 - 5:10am
10 years ago
Apologies for cross posting this
Having finally upgraded Acrobat so I could read these recently published
(but long awaited) salary surveys I was quite surprised with what I saw, and
am equally surprised that nobody else has commented on this.
I appreciate that these guys have put a lot of effort into analysing these
data but then 820 of us gave our time to filling out the survey.
Whilst there are some interesting data in the report, I am pretty appalled
with the report as it has been presented, particularly the fact that so much
of the data are not represented.
Here are a couple of points which sprang out:
- the word 'average' is used throughout the report. Which average is being
used? Mean? Median? Mode? Presumably the Mean is being reported but this is
not clear because often with salary data the Median is used, particularly by
- there is very little attempt to provide any 'descriptive statistics'
saying anything meaningful about the spread of the data. Not even basic
things like the highest and lowest values. What is the standard deviation?
What are the quartile ranges? Perhaps a picture of the range of values
reported? The UPA did a pretty good job of this in their 2000 report http://www.upassoc.org/upa_publications/upa_voice/survey/2000_survey.html
(I seem to recall the 2003 version being very good as well, but can no
longer find it online)
Salary surveys are a very useful tool for us as individual professionals
looking at our own situations, and also when we're recruiting. I am
extremely disappointed with this effort, which gives me very little
information I can actually use. I have no clues as to how the "averages"
presented may have been influenced by outliers for example. There is a
little interesting stuff here, such as the professions where UXD people have
worked before but very little else which is substantive.
I normally hand salary surveys to our HR department so that they have
something more accurate than standard IT salary surveys on which to judge
us. I will not be doing that with this report - what could they do with it?
All they could say is whether we were paid above or below "average", which
is little use without a look at the spread of the data, even a quartile
range would be handy. Some companies even have a policy of paying staff in
the upper quartile - how could they judge from this?!
It seems a great shame that this has been presented in this way, especially
when the UPA seem to be pretty good at presenting this information - why not
just copy the way the UPA do it?
I apologise to the authors of the report if these comments seem unduly
ungrateful or over-critical. It seems to me that some very basic elements of
descriptive statistics would greatly improve this report and I'm extremely
surprised that such is quite so absent from what was published.
Does anyone else have any comments on this? Am I being overly grumpy this
I look forward to the publication of the UPAs recent salary survey.
PS Perhaps the authors could publish the raw data so we can slice it up