Pragmatic Voice-of-the-Customer Research Discovering Unmet Market Needs Through  Simplified Contextual Inquiry by John Law...
What is “Contextual Inquiry”? <ul><li>Field studies observing users in their native environment </li></ul><ul><li>Origins ...
Purpose of contextual inquiry <ul><li>“ If necessity is the mother of invention, then if you don't know what the users nee...
The Iceberg What customer says they want What they really need Software Product Management / Market Research / New Product...
What you gain <ul><li>In-depth understanding of user needs </li></ul><ul><li>Authoritative knowledge of your target market...
Traditional contextual inquiry <ul><li>Team of people </li></ul><ul><li>Travel to location </li></ul><ul><li>1-2 sessions ...
Pragmatic contextual inquiry <ul><li>Light-weight, accessible alternative for software products and web applications </li>...
Methodology – 7 simple steps <ul><li>Plan </li></ul><ul><li>Solicit participants </li></ul><ul><li>Screen candidates </li>...
Planning – Think it through <ul><li>Objectives </li></ul><ul><li>Logistics & technology requirements </li></ul><ul><li>Pro...
Recruiting participants <ul><li>Use targeted ads on user “watering holes” sites </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Emphasize that it en...
Screening candidates <ul><li>Use an online survey tool </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Include brief overview of study </li></ul></u...
Sample screener  survey Columbia University Dept. of Computer Science
Selection and scheduling <ul><li>Review survey response to select participants based on qualifications and schedule fit </...
Sample email correspondence Software Product Management / Market Research / New Product Development
Observe and record <ul><li>Internet-based tools for remote observation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Web conferencing services (We...
UserVue observation console Software Product Management / Market Research / New Product Development
UserVue user’s view
Benefits to your product portfolio  <ul><li>Ease-of-use enhancements </li></ul><ul><li>Ingenious differentiating features ...
Summary <ul><li>Simple, inexpensive market research </li></ul><ul><li>In depth understanding of problem space </li></ul><u...
Thank you <ul><li>John Law  </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.linkedin.com/in/johnlaw </li></ul><ul><li>Related resources </li>...
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Pragmatic Contextual Inquiry ( John Law)

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Pragmatic Contextual Inquiry ( John Law)

  1. 1. Pragmatic Voice-of-the-Customer Research Discovering Unmet Market Needs Through Simplified Contextual Inquiry by John Law Product Management View Webinar September 19, 2007
  2. 2. What is “Contextual Inquiry”? <ul><li>Field studies observing users in their native environment </li></ul><ul><li>Origins in ethnography (branch of anthropology) </li></ul><ul><li>“ Go where the customer works, observe the customer as he or she works, and talk to the customer about the work.” Holtzblatt & Beyer </li></ul><ul><li>Enables a thorough understanding of your target-users’ work practices </li></ul>Software Product Management / Market Research / New Product Development
  3. 3. Purpose of contextual inquiry <ul><li>“ If necessity is the mother of invention, then if you don't know what the users need you can't invent.” Dan Bricklin </li></ul><ul><li>Use to... </li></ul><ul><ul><li>generate breakthrough new product ideas </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>develop marketing strategies </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Don’t use for... </li></ul><ul><ul><li>quick and dirty projects </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>narrow scope projects </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. The Iceberg What customer says they want What they really need Software Product Management / Market Research / New Product Development
  5. 5. What you gain <ul><li>In-depth understanding of user needs </li></ul><ul><li>Authoritative knowledge of your target market </li></ul><ul><li>Clear perspective for establishing product development priorities </li></ul><ul><li>Spotting compensatory behaviors </li></ul>Software Product Management / Market Research / New Product Development
  6. 6. Traditional contextual inquiry <ul><li>Team of people </li></ul><ul><li>Travel to location </li></ul><ul><li>1-2 sessions per day </li></ul><ul><li>Barriers to this method </li></ul><ul><li>Resource intensive and expensive </li></ul><ul><li>Time consuming for product managers </li></ul><ul><li>Intrusive to customers/users </li></ul>Software Product Management / Market Research / New Product Development
  7. 7. Pragmatic contextual inquiry <ul><li>Light-weight, accessible alternative for software products and web applications </li></ul><ul><li>Advantages to this method </li></ul><ul><li>Leverage internet-based utilities </li></ul><ul><li>Automate recruiting and screening participants </li></ul><ul><li>Observe remotely from the convenience of your office </li></ul>Software Product Management / Market Research / New Product Development
  8. 8. Methodology – 7 simple steps <ul><li>Plan </li></ul><ul><li>Solicit participants </li></ul><ul><li>Screen candidates </li></ul><ul><li>Schedule sessions </li></ul><ul><li>Observe online (and record) </li></ul><ul><li>Closing interviews </li></ul><ul><li>Summarize findings (use video snippets) </li></ul>Software Product Management / Market Research / New Product Development
  9. 9. Planning – Think it through <ul><li>Objectives </li></ul><ul><li>Logistics & technology requirements </li></ul><ul><li>Project schedule </li></ul><ul><li>Participant profiles </li></ul><ul><li>Recruiting approach </li></ul><ul><li>Session protocol/outline </li></ul><ul><li>Observation data collection template </li></ul>Software Product Management / Market Research / New Product Development
  10. 10. Recruiting participants <ul><li>Use targeted ads on user “watering holes” sites </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Emphasize that it entails no work, minimum effort, little time </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Enticement (typically some form of compensation) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t disclose your company’s name </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Screening candidates <ul><li>Use an online survey tool </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Include brief overview of study </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Maintain anonymity but establish legitimacy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Collection minimal profile information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t ask for personal info except email address </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Include schedule to collect dates/times when candidate is available to participate </li></ul></ul>Software Product Management / Market Research / New Product Development
  12. 12. Sample screener survey Columbia University Dept. of Computer Science
  13. 13. Selection and scheduling <ul><li>Review survey response to select participants based on qualifications and schedule fit </li></ul><ul><li>Generic email account (gmail, yahoo, hotmail) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Assign session date/time </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Require confirmation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide session access details </li></ul></ul>Software Product Management / Market Research / New Product Development
  14. 14. Sample email correspondence Software Product Management / Market Research / New Product Development
  15. 15. Observe and record <ul><li>Internet-based tools for remote observation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Web conferencing services (Webex, LiveMeeting, etc.) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>UserVue from TechSmith </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ethnio by Bolt | Peters (current getting a makeover) </li></ul></ul>Software Product Management / Market Research / New Product Development
  16. 16. UserVue observation console Software Product Management / Market Research / New Product Development
  17. 17. UserVue user’s view
  18. 18. Benefits to your product portfolio <ul><li>Ease-of-use enhancements </li></ul><ul><li>Ingenious differentiating features </li></ul><ul><li>Innovative new product concepts </li></ul><ul><li>Industry-shaping new-to-the-world break-through product categories </li></ul>Software Product Management / Market Research / New Product Development
  19. 19. Summary <ul><li>Simple, inexpensive market research </li></ul><ul><li>In depth understanding of problem space </li></ul><ul><li>Intimate awareness of user behaviors </li></ul>19-Sept-2007 Software Product Management / Market Research / New Product Development
  20. 20. Thank you <ul><li>John Law </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.linkedin.com/in/johnlaw </li></ul><ul><li>Related resources </li></ul><ul><li>Contextual Design by Holtzblatt and Beyer </li></ul><ul><li>Rapid Contextual Design by Holtzblatt </li></ul><ul><li>Voices into Choices by Burchill and Brodie </li></ul><ul><li>Top 10 VoC Tools by Brian Ottum </li></ul><ul><li>The Art of Innovation by Tom Kelley (IDEO) </li></ul><ul><li>New Products Management by C. Merle Crawford </li></ul><ul><li>Product Development and Management Association (http://www.PDMA.org) </li></ul><ul><li>Pragmatic Marketing (http://pragmaticmarketing.com/) </li></ul><ul><li>Thank you to Ryma Technology Solutions (makers of FeaturePlan ) </li></ul>

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