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Using Repertory Grids as a cross cultural research technique (aka measuring aesthetic perceptions)

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This is the presentation of a workshop I gave at User Friendly 2008 in Shenzhen, China. …

This is the presentation of a workshop I gave at User Friendly 2008 in Shenzhen, China.

It outlines the importance of aesthetics in influencing a user's perceptions of usability and presents a research methodology on how to measure this across cultures without introducing interviewer bias.

Published in: Design, Business, Technology

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  • 1. Using Repertory Grids as a cross cultural research technique (aka – measuring aesthetic perceptions) User Friendly Conference 24 October 2008 Shenzhen, China Anthony Sonego User Centred Design Specialist Telstra Product Management Ph: (02) 8576 2547 Mob: 0419 607 198 Anthony.Sonego@team.telstra.com
  • 2. Outline 1. Welcome! 2. Let me share a story with you BREAK (10 minutes) 3. Repertory Grids – an introduction 4. Elicitation 5. Analysis BREAK (5 minutes) 6. Class project 7. Summary 2 Anthony Sonego | User Friendly 2008: Shenzhen, China
  • 3. 1. Welcome! • Who am I? • What did I do in China? • What do I do now? • Who do I work for? 3 Anthony Sonego | User Friendly 2008: Shenzhen, China
  • 4. Who am I? 4 Anthony Sonego | User Friendly 2008: Shenzhen, China
  • 5. What did I do in China? I might talk a little bit here… Feel free to take notes if you want, but there’s no test at the end. ☺ 5 Anthony Sonego | User Friendly 2008: Shenzhen, China
  • 6. What do I do now? UCD Specialist Work as part of a Customer Experience team • User Centred Design • Visual Design • Engagement • Network Performance What type of work do we do? • We engage with the customer. We research, analyse, design and iterate… as well as have a healthy discourse on a myriad of topics related to UI and product development. 6 Anthony Sonego | User Friendly 2008: Shenzhen, China
  • 7. Who do I work for? Top 5 Australian company FY07 sales of A$23.7 billion 1.4 million shareholders Universal brand recognition 7 Anthony Sonego | User Friendly 2008: Shenzhen, China
  • 8. 2. Let me share a story with you • First – let’s revisit the topic • How did I learn about Rep Grids? • Laowei observations • What can the iPod teach us? • Aesthetics • The link between aesthetics and usability • The value of aesthetics in a global economy • Culture • Measuring aesthetic judgements and cultural differences 8 Anthony Sonego | User Friendly 2008: Shenzhen, China
  • 9. First - let’s revisit the topic “Using Repertory Grids as a cross “Measuring aesthetic perceptions cultural research technique.” using Rep Grids.” 9 Anthony Sonego | User Friendly 2008: Shenzhen, China
  • 10. How did I learn about Rep Grids? Like most things, somebody introduced me to them… 10 Anthony Sonego | User Friendly 2008: Shenzhen, China
  • 11. Laowei observations I might talk a little bit here too… Is function more important than form in China? If so, this may suggest that when making purchasing decisions aesthetic values have a lower importance than other factors such as price, availability, product support or technical feature set for the average Chinese consumer. 11 Anthony Sonego | User Friendly 2008: Shenzhen, China
  • 12. What can the iPod teach us? In 2005 the iPod was not as popular here as the rest of the world Why ? • Price? • Low market presence? “Considering that average Chinese mobile-phone buyers make far less than their American counterparts, it’s clear that folks will do whatever it takes to get the gadgets they want.” Salkever (2004) BusinessWeek online Maybe it had to do with aesthetic appeal? Discussion points: 1. Is a utilitarian perspective part of Chinese culture; function over form? 2. Globalisation – what impact will this have on customer perceptions? 12 Anthony Sonego | User Friendly 2008: Shenzhen, China
  • 13. Aesthetics (1 of 2) “A set of principles concerned with the nature and appreciation of beauty.” New Oxford Dictionary 2005 • 50 milliseconds is all it takes! (Lindgaard et al, 2006) • 3 levels of processing: visceral, behavioural, reflective (Norman, 2004) • Visceral (pre-cognitive) reactions impact emotional responses • Positive emotional responses lead to better outcomes “The emotional side of design may be more critical to a product’s success than its practical elements.” Norman, D.A. (2004) Emotional Design: Why we love (or hate) everyday things. New York, NY: Basic Books 13 Anthony Sonego | User Friendly 2008: Shenzhen, China
  • 14. Aesthetics (2 of 2) Do attractive things work better? • ATM usability perception in Japan (Kurosu and Kashimura, 1995) • ATM usability perception in Israel (Tractinsky, 1997) • ATM pre and post test usability (Tractinsky et al, 2000) • Search visualisation tools: perceptions and usage (Chawda et al, 2005) The research indicates that aesthetically pleasing systems are perceived to work better but no correlation to actually working better has been found presently. 14 Anthony Sonego | User Friendly 2008: Shenzhen, China
  • 15. The link between aesthetics and usability (1 of 4) ISO 9241 15 Anthony Sonego | User Friendly 2008: Shenzhen, China
  • 16. The link between aesthetics and usability (2 of 4) The effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction with which specified users achieve specified goals in particular environments. Effectiveness – the accuracy and completeness with which specified users can achieve specified goals in particular environments Efficiency – the resources expended in relation to the accuracy and completeness of goals achieved Satisfaction – the comfort and acceptability of the work system to its users and other people affected by its use 16 Anthony Sonego | User Friendly 2008: Shenzhen, China
  • 17. The link between aesthetics and usability (3 of 4) USABILITY FACTOR * Emergency dispatch Construction line worker Discrete personal use of technology Effectiveness 75% 15% 10% (minimise errors) Efficiency 15% 75% 15% (speed to process tasks) Satisfaction 10% 10% 75% (absence of frustration) * Examples are for illustrative purposes only. 17 Anthony Sonego | User Friendly 2008: Shenzhen, China
  • 18. The link between aesthetics and usability (4 of 4) Activity – how do we measure the following? 1. Effectiveness 2. Efficiency 3. Satisfaction 18 Anthony Sonego | User Friendly 2008: Shenzhen, China
  • 19. The value of aesthetics in a global economy 1. Knowing whether or not aesthetic differences exist between cultures means production can be targeted more specifically. 2. Aesthetics can offer a competitive edge to businesses – particularly when products are perceived to be functionally equal. 3. Good design may play a part in satisfying certain personal needs. “ ‘Self satisfaction’ is now the number one motivator in the big cities of Beijing, Guangzhou and Shanghai; it is the principle objective among the young, edging out ‘work hard and get rich’ among the 18-24 year olds. It has also become the predominant aspiration among the most affluent.” McEwen, William, Fang, Xioauang, Zhang, Chuanping & Burkolder, Richard (2006). Inside the Mind of the Chinese Consumer. Harvard Business Review. USA: Harvard Business School Publishing Corporation. Based on a Gallup Organiszation survey ranging over ten years from 1994 to 2004. 19 Anthony Sonego | User Friendly 2008: Shenzhen, China
  • 20. Culture (1 of 2) “Common values, attitudes and behaviour patterns that a particular social group share.” New Oxford Dictionary 2005 • Human made part of the environment (Herkovits, 1955) • A set of reinforcements (Skinner, 1981) • Collective programming of the mind (Hofstede, 1991) • Unstated standard way of doing things… adaptive and transmitted across time and generations (Triandis, 1994) 20 Anthony Sonego | User Friendly 2008: Shenzhen, China
  • 21. Culture (2 of 2) • Hofstede’s 5 dimensions − Power-distance − Collectivism vs. individualism − Femininity vs. masculinity − Uncertainty avoidance − Long vs. short-term orientation • Vitor, Hall and Trompenaar • Qifeng Yan (Nokia: UPA2006 presentation) − Complexity tolerance − Difficulty tolerance − Communication bandwidth − Preference of colour and shape − Explicit Vs Implicit way of communication − Perception of functions: Expanding Vs Convergent thinking But what if you want to discover what the dimensions are naturally, instead of applying existing classifications to your research? 21 Anthony Sonego | User Friendly 2008: Shenzhen, China
  • 22. Measuring aesthetic judgements and cultural differences Vatrapu and Perez-Quinones (2006) found that when conducting a structured usability evaluation of a website, if the interviewer was not from the same culture as the participants this had a significant effect on the results obtained. As researchers, we need to be aware of the potential for cultural bias during the interview process and to work at minimising these effects, at the same time ensuring that information is captured accurately. Enter the Repertory Grid technique which was designed to avoid, as far as possible, the limitations of a particular time and culture. 22 Anthony Sonego | User Friendly 2008: Shenzhen, China
  • 23. Break (10 minutes) 23 Anthony Sonego | User Friendly 2008: Shenzhen, China
  • 24. 3. Repertory Grids – an introduction • Personal Construct Theory • Background • Preparation • The Grid itself 24 Anthony Sonego | User Friendly 2008: Shenzhen, China
  • 25. Personal Construct Theory • systematic account of the way people construct explanations • expressed formally in 1955 by American clinical psychologist George Kelly • not widely appreciated in psychology circles who think that knowledge comes from a discovery of truths • PCT asserts that knowledge development involves a process of invention consistent with experience • informs thinking in the field of consumer psychology 25 Anthony Sonego | User Friendly 2008: Shenzhen, China
  • 26. Background • a construct consists of distinction meaningful to the individual • two poles – constructs and constraints • individuals have their own, personal, constructs • systematically compare and contrast important aspects or elements of that situation • rate these elements/products • insights are gained on a level that has not been predetermined by the interviewer’s focus, such as from questionnaires or surveys So, Repertory Grids provide us with both qualitative and quantitative data that has not been influenced by the culture of the interviewer. 26 Anthony Sonego | User Friendly 2008: Shenzhen, China
  • 27. Preparation You will need to… • Organise for a translator • Create a screening questionnaire • Consider a consent form (translated) • Schedule interview times with your translator • Allow for travel • Prepare your presentation materials 27 Anthony Sonego | User Friendly 2008: Shenzhen, China
  • 28. The grid itself A grid consists of four parts: 1. A Topic: it is about some part of the person's experience 2. A set of Elements: which are examples or instances of the Topic. 3. A set of Constructs: these are the basic terms that the client uses to make sense of the elements, and are always expressed as a contrast. 4. A set of ratings of Elements on Constructs: Each element is positioned between the two extremes of the construct using a 5- or 7-point rating scale system 28 Anthony Sonego | User Friendly 2008: Shenzhen, China
  • 29. 4. Elicitation • Group Elicitation • Individual Elicitation 29 Anthony Sonego | User Friendly 2008: Shenzhen, China
  • 30. Group Elicitation Useful when interviewing many at once – saves time. Provides a uniform set of constructs/constraints which makes analysis easier! Potential for social hierarchies to influence the collection of constructs. Class Activity: • What qualities make a good foreign language teacher? 30 Anthony Sonego | User Friendly 2008: Shenzhen, China
  • 31. Individual Elicitation No uniform set of constructs that participants are compelled to adhere to. Used to freely record the words each participant uses. Analysis is more complex. Class Activity: • What do you find aesthetically pleasing about each portable media player? Construct Element 1 Element 2 Element 3 Element 4 Element 5 Constraint 31 Anthony Sonego | User Friendly 2008: Shenzhen, China
  • 32. 5. Analysis • Qualitative • Quantitative 32 Anthony Sonego | User Friendly 2008: Shenzhen, China
  • 33. Qualitative (1 of 2) Content analysis: (Please refer to A3 sized charts) 232 individual constructs – reduced to 9 key construct areas Literal or straightforward: “simplicity of controls” Degree of liberty required: “attention to detail” A great source of “rich” data! 33 Anthony Sonego | User Friendly 2008: Shenzhen, China
  • 34. Qualitative (2 of 2) Evaluating the constructs: (Please refer to A3 sized charts) Can graphically represent key dimensions for the whole sample size, as well as the individual cultures. Despite some visible differences in the blue graph, a chi square analysis of the average of the responses revealed that there was no statistical significance between the two groups to the extent to which they endorsed each construct: Chi Square (8) = 9.806, p>0.05 (CV=15.607) 34 Anthony Sonego | User Friendly 2008: Shenzhen, China
  • 35. Quantitative (1 of 4) Rep Grid IV Data output example 35 Anthony Sonego | User Friendly 2008: Shenzhen, China
  • 36. Quantitative (2 of 4) • Can get tricky here – stay with me. ☺ • Homogeny comes at a cost… • Value reversals • Weighting of responses 36 Anthony Sonego | User Friendly 2008: Shenzhen, China
  • 37. Quantitative (3 of 4) • Once all participant data has been correlated and put on the same scale, further insights can be gained. • Overall mean and standard deviation for each construct category. 37 Anthony Sonego | User Friendly 2008: Shenzhen, China
  • 38. Quantitative (4 of 4) • Individual product comparisons can also be made. • Useful for identifying differences in aesthetic appreciation between cultures. • Highlights dimensions that require attention for product development. 38 Anthony Sonego | User Friendly 2008: Shenzhen, China
  • 39. Break (5 minutes) 39 Anthony Sonego | User Friendly 2008: Shenzhen, China
  • 40. 6. Class project • Mobile phones or business cards – you decide ☺ • Discussion 40 Anthony Sonego | User Friendly 2008: Shenzhen, China
  • 41. Mobile phones or business cards I tried to choose an item that most of us would have with us today. So, take me through it! 41 Anthony Sonego | User Friendly 2008: Shenzhen, China
  • 42. Discussion 1. What did you find easy? 2. What did you find difficult? 3. Were there any problems you encountered? 4. How did you overcome them? 42 Anthony Sonego | User Friendly 2008: Shenzhen, China
  • 43. 7. Summary • Wrapping up! • A final tip • A resource list of available software 43 Anthony Sonego | User Friendly 2008: Shenzhen, China
  • 44. Wrapping up! • In relation to Customer Experience, aesthetics matter! • Aesthetic recognition triggers a visceral reaction, which influences our emotional and reflective responses. • Attractive products or systems are perceived to be easier to use. • In a global market place, aesthetics can be used to drive development, differentiate your product and create a connection with your customers to enhance the user experience. • Traditionally, usability research has not focussed on measuring aesthetic perceptions. • The Repertory Grid allows users to construct their own meaning of a product or experience, without interviewer bias affecting the outcome. • It consists of two processes: elicitation (group or individual) and analysis. • Both qualitative and quantitative insights can be drawn from the data. 44 Anthony Sonego | User Friendly 2008: Shenzhen, China
  • 45. A final tip Remember the golden rule… Do not prompt - allow the user to provide their own understanding of the product or experience. ☺ 45 Anthony Sonego | User Friendly 2008: Shenzhen, China
  • 46. A resource list of available software SOURCE: http://www.epca-net.org/Default.aspx?pageId=42152 46 Anthony Sonego | User Friendly 2008: Shenzhen, China
  • 47. Thank-you ☺ 47 Anthony Sonego | User Friendly 2008: Shenzhen, China