The twin goals of customer research: inspire designers, persuade stakeholders


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Talk on customer research given at IA Summit 05

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  • The twin goals of customer research: inspire designers, persuade stakeholders

    1. 1. The twin goals of customer research: inspire designers, persuade stakeholders Rashmi Sinha Uzanto Consulting
    2. 2. The Art of War Know yourself Know thy enemy Waging war
    3. 3. Know yourself
    4. 4. UX Report Card <ul><li>Scenarios </li></ul><ul><li>Personas </li></ul><ul><li>Interviews </li></ul><ul><li>Ethnography </li></ul><ul><li>Contextual Inquiry </li></ul><ul><li>Usability Testing </li></ul><ul><li>Card Sorting </li></ul><ul><li>… </li></ul>A D Inspire Design Impact Business <ul><li>ROI </li></ul><ul><li>How to talk to business </li></ul><ul><li>? </li></ul><ul><li>? </li></ul>
    5. 5. <ul><li>“ User testing is not where the action is. The action is with those people who decide what product to build in the first place.” </li></ul><ul><li>Don Norman </li></ul>
    6. 6. UX process Understand users Design Usability Metrics/ROI ----------> Strategic Customer Research
    7. 7. <ul><li>The art and science of creating a clear and vivid picture of the customer to inspire design , and impact business goals and strategy </li></ul>
    8. 8. Know thy enemy “ begin with the beginning”
    9. 9. What is marketing “ The achievement of corporate goals through meeting and exceeding customer needs better than the competition.” Jobber 1995
    10. 10. <ul><li>“ marketing is not a separate management function at all, but rather the whole business seen from the customer’s point of view .” </li></ul><ul><li>Drucker (1954) </li></ul>
    11. 11. I represent the customer No, I understand the customer best
    12. 12. <ul><li>“ Much of marketing is about placebo effects .. which carries negative connotations of fakery, trickery, and sham. This is unfortunate because the placebo effect is very real, and stems from actual neurological mechanisms. </li></ul><ul><li>Although the technical quality of goods and services is crucial, an important part of the consumer's total experience… results from what consumers believe and expect these offerings to deliver.” </li></ul>Gerald Zaltman of ZMET fame
    13. 13. <ul><li>“ You respond to products in ways connected to different brain activity. They can be intellectual or emotional reactions, but the strongest of all is the &quot;reptilian&quot; response: It's about survival and all that entails, including sex.” &quot;The reptilian brain always wins.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>Rapaille (market researcher) </li></ul>
    14. 14. <ul><li>“Marketing is what gets you to try the thing in the first place. But once you are at that point, it is replaced by the true experience of the site or product.” </li></ul><ul><li>Don Norman </li></ul>
    15. 15. What is market research <ul><li>The gathering and evaluation of data regarding consumers' preferences for products and services. </li></ul><ul><li>Getting information about </li></ul><ul><ul><li>what your customers want ( the product ), </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>where they want it ( the place ) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>at what ( prices) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>supported by the what types of ( promotion) </li></ul></ul>
    16. 16. Segmentation <ul><li>Aggregating buyers into groups that have common needs and will respond similarity to marketing action. </li></ul><ul><li>The picture of the customer that is at the heart of the company’s business strategy. </li></ul>
    17. 17. “ Customer can have any color car he wants as long as its black.”
    18. 18. What are market segments? <ul><li>The Yuppies on the two coasts of US </li></ul><ul><li>The 16-25 year old connected music listener </li></ul><ul><li>The early adoptors </li></ul><ul><li>The soccer moms </li></ul>
    19. 19. Reeboks’s segmentation scheme in the 90’s <ul><li>Performance conscious (athletes) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Runners </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Aerobic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Step exercisers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Dancers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tennis players </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Golfers </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Fashion conscious (non athletes) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Comfort & style conscious </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Walkers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Children </li></ul></ul>
    20. 20. Criteria for a segmentation scheme <ul><li>Profitable Size </li></ul><ul><li>Accessibility </li></ul><ul><li>Meaningful </li></ul><ul><li>Self containment </li></ul>
    21. 21. Bases of segmentation <ul><li>Demographic </li></ul><ul><li>Geographic </li></ul><ul><li>Psychographic </li></ul><ul><li>Goal and Need based segmentation </li></ul><ul><li>Outcome based segmentation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Segmentation done right is often invisible. </li></ul></ul>
    22. 22. Segmentation / market research methods <ul><li>Survey, focus groups… </li></ul><ul><li>and ethnography, interviews, observation, laddering, and most other methods you use </li></ul><ul><li>and card-sorting & affinity diagramming! </li></ul>
    23. 23. <ul><li>Study in 1993 comparing card sorts! </li></ul><ul><li>“ Team members grouped customer needs the way the firm normally builds the product. Customers instead grouped the needs by the way they use the product. </li></ul><ul><li>… The researchers also applied hierarchical clustering (Green, Carmone, and Fox 1969, Rao and Katz 1971) to needs gathered from a larger sample of customers. This method called Voice of the Customers has proven effective in literally hundreds of applications.” </li></ul>Ely Dahan & John R. Hauser Handbook of Marketing (2000)
    24. 24. Why this gap <ul><li>Different worlds, different references? </li></ul><ul><li>Less than perfect attribution? </li></ul><ul><li>Hard to access marketing articles? </li></ul><ul><li>??? </li></ul>
    25. 25. Personas & Segmentation <ul><li>Why personas confuse business people </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If they lead in different directions? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Similarity to need based segmentation </li></ul>
    26. 26. Waging War
    27. 27. Three patterns of interaction <ul><li>Co-opt </li></ul><ul><li>Pre-empt </li></ul><ul><li>Combat </li></ul>
    28. 28. Co-opt <ul><li>To take or assume for one's own use; to appropriate. </li></ul><ul><li>To neutralize or win over through assimilation. </li></ul><ul><li>American Heritage Dictionary </li></ul>
    29. 29. Situational Ingredients <ul><li>Small, innovative company entering new market. </li></ul><ul><li>Hired by product manager for persona research. </li></ul><ul><li>Business team is further along with their research. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t understand this “personas” business. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Skeptical about what we could add since they already knew so much. </li></ul></ul>
    30. 30. Keeping them involved <ul><li>Sharing findings </li></ul><ul><li>Validation phase </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Slow movement towards joint research </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Pricing research </li></ul>
    31. 31. Constant Sum <ul><li>Imagine that you are in the market for a new cell phone, with $100 to spend. </li></ul><ul><li>How much would you spend on each? </li></ul><ul><li>Ability to take digital pictures $_____ </li></ul><ul><li>Ability to send pictures to others easily $_____ </li></ul><ul><li>Have your own personalized ring tone $_____ </li></ul><ul><li>Ability to import your contact information $_____ </li></ul><ul><li>Ability to browse the web $_____ </li></ul><ul><li>Ability to check email $_____ </li></ul><ul><li>Add upto $ 100 </li></ul>
    32. 32. Impact <ul><li>Joint research project made both buy into each other’s previous research. </li></ul><ul><li>After validation, personas accepted by whole team. </li></ul>
    33. 33. Pre-empt <ul><li>To gain possession of by prior right or opportunity. </li></ul><ul><li>2. To appropriate, seize, or take for oneself before others. </li></ul><ul><li>American Heritage Dictionary </li></ul>
    34. 34. Situational ingredients <ul><li>Medium sized ecommerce company. </li></ul><ul><li>UX team wants to redesign information architecture. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Hired to create mental models for IA redesign. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Had some business buyin, but skeptics remain. </li></ul>
    35. 35. The need for numbers <ul><li>A skeptical business team. Concerned about user reaction, and project cost. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Do we know there is a problem? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Will the changes solve the problem? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How does this fit into our business strategy? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Stakeholder interviews </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Redesign decision would not be made without “proof”. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Freelisting to understand future plans </li></ul></ul>
    36. 36. Research strategy <ul><li>Add in validation stage </li></ul><ul><li>Large-scale remote study </li></ul><ul><li>Quantitative analysis </li></ul>
    37. 37. Combat <ul><li>To engage in mounted combat with lances. </li></ul><ul><li>To engage in a personal combat or competition. </li></ul><ul><li>American Heritage Dictionary </li></ul>
    38. 38. Situational ingredients <ul><li>Business to business ecommerce company that has a trading platform. </li></ul><ul><li>UX team wants redesign for transaction process for small business person. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Complex process, littered with features </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Project goal – create beginner process with few features, slowly move them to advanced versions. </li></ul><ul><li>Real challenge – convince business team to reduce any feature for any user! </li></ul>
    39. 39. Two viewpoints about customers <ul><li>UX belief: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>complexity of process lead to high % incompletes (for both beginner and advanced users). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Increases dissatisfaction with company. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Marketing belief: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Feature revenue compensates for lost revenue from incompletes. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Incompletes would have dropped out anyway. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Only one group has data to back their version! </li></ul>
    40. 40. The challenge <ul><li>Proving revenue for a feature is easier than proving loss of revenue due to slow growth of complexity. </li></ul>
    41. 41. A change of plans <ul><li>From user research to log analysis for more than 100,000 transactions. </li></ul><ul><li>Feature usage for each user segment. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Only Power users were using features </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Beginning users never used it, and often dropped out at crucial screens. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Complexity score for each feature. </li></ul>
    42. 42. Net result <ul><li>Some features removed! </li></ul><ul><li>Need for simplification broadly accepted. </li></ul><ul><li>The battle continues…. </li></ul>
    43. 43. Key Takeaways
    44. 44. Be flexible about methods <ul><li>Use whatever method is appropriate based on design and business needs </li></ul>
    45. 45. Pricing research in the UX toolset? <ul><li>Can we do pricing research? </li></ul><ul><li>Does it dilute UX focus? </li></ul>
    46. 46. The object of our persuasion <ul><li>Customers or Business Stakeholders? </li></ul><ul><li>Importance of stakeholder interviews </li></ul>
    47. 47. Validation stage for customer research <ul><li>Validate results of qualitative research </li></ul><ul><li>Consider an online follow-up study </li></ul><ul><li>Make this study a collaborative one – ask business departments for input </li></ul><ul><li>Link results to qualitative research </li></ul>
    48. 48. Two sets of deliverables <ul><li>Same deliverables cannot serve two masters </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Data needs to be repackaged </li></ul></ul>
    49. 49. Repertoire of “business friendly methods” <ul><li>Always do stakeholder analysis </li></ul><ul><li>Mental Modeling (RUMM method) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Explore with freelisting (including stakeholders) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Understand with Open Card Sorting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Validate with Closed Card Sorting </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Understand Users </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Understand Segmentation Scheme </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Create Personas </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Validate personas (pricing research / other methods) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reconcile with segmentation scheme </li></ul></ul>
    50. 50. In conclusion <ul><li>UX strengths and weaknesses </li></ul><ul><li>Current UX landscape and marketing history </li></ul>
    51. 51. contact: url: QUESTIONS?