Lead in to next slide: Let’s start by reviewing what we mean when we refer to Marketing Research, and what we mean when we refer to UX research.
So, we’re probably all familiar with Marketing Research in certain forms. Take, the focus group. Anyone else a fan of Mad Men? In the 50’s ad agencies LOVED doing focus groups. You know how it works, a group of people from your target demographic sit around a table and discuss a particular product, giving their opinions. This is one of the primary qualitative forms of research used in the marketing research field.
Then there’s quantitative marketing research techniques as well. An example is the large scale survey, which gets you statistically significant data on what your customers want and need, as well as their preferences on various topics. That data might be presented in a chart like this, showing which responses are significantly greater than others and showing breakdowns among the different segments you’re researching. The key here – you’re getting cold, hard numbers that you can put up in front of the higher ups and impress them with things like statistical significance and terms like confidence intervals. With both the qualitative & quantitative forms of market research, it’s important to recognize that they are largely opinion based. You’re getting what people say they want and need.
Then there’s UX research. We talk about our research techniques in different ways. First, there’s user research, which includes things such as contextual inquiry. These techniques are more ethnographic in nature…it’s all about getting out there in your user’s environment and understanding how they work, with a focus on observation vs. gathering opinions. You don’t get numbers but you do get things like this – workflow diagrams depicting how users go through specific tasks, and where breakdowns are in the process.
And of course, there’s the other bucket - usability testing. Usability testing can of course be qualitative and somewhat quantitative in nature, depending on the study design, but the goal is typically to observe how a user interacts with a product, and identify usability issues that bar them from accomplishing their goals and tasks. We often report our results in a manner like this – pointing out the specific issues we observed on a particular screen of a website or software application.
Ok, so when you look at the different research we produce, well, maybe we’re different. I mean look at all the ways we’re different, right?
In my mind, when it comes down to it, we’re really both working towards common goals. It really comes down to the customer.
So what if Jakob Nielsen and 50’s focus group Don Draper made an agreement…despite our differences, we’re going to start colloborating, for the greater good of our customers!
There’s many ways that Marketing Research can inform and supplement what we do as UX practitioners. Lead In to bullet 3: Have you ever heard a great suggestion from a user in a usability test? Maybe a great idea for a new feature? As an example, suppose that you’re a financial services company. And you hear customers telling you during a usability test that they want to be able to customize what appears on their homepage. Hm…well, that sounds like a good idea. But, before we create a whole initiative around this and allocate resources shouldn’t we first determine things like…. (click to next)
So on any given project it’s really not a matter of you need UX or you need Marketing Research, it all comes down to what is the problem we’re trying to solve, and then picking the right technique or combination of techniques to address that problem. Let’s walk through some typical problems and talk about what we’d do.
So, let’s walk through an example. Suppose we’re designing a new mobile application. There are a lot of different questions we’re going to need to answer…
Well, I don’t know about you but a usability test isn’t going to get us to the answer to all of those. Nor is a survey. A joint effort between the two disciplines is what’s needed to ensure we have all the research we need to make the app a success. A project like this would be a great opportunity for collaboration.
Placement of UX and Marketing Research in the company obviously can play a role here. I’m lucky, in my company we’re housed in the same department. If you’re not, the challenge, like when working with any new team, becomes how to start the conversation. Inviting your MR department to a usability will do more than just expose them to the technique. It will help them understand why UX research does work with small sample sizes. Encourage them to stay for a whole day of testing so they start to get how quickly issues are uncovered with just a handful of participants.
UX and Marketing Research: Why We Have to Work Together
UX and Marketing Research:Why We Have to Work Together Gina Bhawalkar Scottrade, Inc.
My Background• BS in Computer Science & BA in Psychology• MS in Human-Computer Interaction from Georgia Tech• Five years doing accessibility & user experience consulting• Hired to form Scottrade’s User Experience team in August ’09 – Online investing firm – Cater to the self-directed investor – Customers interact with us via multiple web & software products. – Housed in Scottrade’s Marketing department
We’re all familiar with Marketing Research… Qualitative (E.g. Focus Groups)
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Then there’s UX Research…User Research (e.g. Contextual Inquiry)
…Including Usability Testing. It was not immediately obvious which Some users thought there were too were calls and which were puts. many columns in the options chain and did not want all the columns. The ability to view more than one month’s options in an option chain is very desirable. Users liked the look back functionality; they were notSome users naturally right- sure the “Last” stock price in the banner was as of clicked on a row to the look back date. There was confusion on why the execute a trade but some Net, Bid, and Ask columns were blank. did not. Some users thought it unnecessary to list every option in a month. They wanted a way to limit it to x options on either side of the current price.
OK, So Maybe We’re Different. Marketing Research UX Research• Large samples • Small samples• What people say • What people do• Focused on what people’s • Focused on how people opinions are on a product use a product and would they buy it• Typically refers to • Typically refers to users customers• Opinion based • Observation based
We Have Similar Goals1. Create the best possible experience for our customers by performing the research to guide the decisions that our company makes.2. Use data (whether it be from a survey, focus group, usability test, etc.) to drive initiatives that ensure our customers have a satisfying experience doing business with us.3. Advocate for the customer.
How Marketing Research Can Inform UX Research• Understand customer attitudes & preferences around a particular topic.• Understand who to recruit for a usability study (based on leveraging customer segmentation work).• Validate UX findings (e.g. new feature ideas) on a larger scale.• Find out if unusual usage patterns are prevalent on a larger scale and should be addressed in the design.
How UX Research Can Inform Marketing Research• Based on usability test findings, or CI findings, Marketing Researchers can make hypotheses and test them on a larger scale.• Perform research that helps update and expand on survey findings – providing the “why”.• Marketing Research may uncover user preferences for a certain feature in a product, UX will tell you how to design it and make sure customers can use it.
The right technique really depends onthe problem you’re trying to solve.
Choosing the right technique Problem TechniqueWhat new features should we implement Marketing research – Surveyon our website?Which of these three design ideas should UX – Usability Testingwe move forward with for the redesign?Which types of people should we market Marketing research – Survey &this product to? Focus GroupsHow’s the general population currently Marketing research - Surveyfeeling about the state of the stock market?We’ve identified our key customer UX – Contextual Inquiry or Interviewssegments, but WHY do they behave in theways they do?
An Example: Designing a Mobile App • What features from our website should we put on the mobile app? • What should the theme of the app be? • How much is too much? • What features should be most prominent in the app? • Is the navigation structure easy to use? • Can users quickly find the information they need?
An Example: Designing a Mobile App• Use a Large Scale Survey To: – Identify key features to have in the app. – Determine which features should be most prominent.• Use Contextual Inquiry To: – Understand the larger context in which people would use the app.• Use Usability Testing To: – Understand how much is too much (where does the navigation structure break). – Is the navigation structure easy to use? – Can users quickly find the information they need?
Starting the Conversation• Set up an initial meeting to understand what they’re doing, what research they have, and what insight they can share.• Do a small project together to build rapport.• Invite your marketing research team to a usability test.• Encourage them to come to the meetings where you report your findings from a usability test and vice versa.• Think about ways to leverage one another’s work.