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Bennett King
UX New Zealand

Tail Wags the Dog:
How small-scale user research can
influence a large-scale corporation

Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved.
The Next Billion
This presentation is the outcome of a Qualcomm User Research project centered on
bringing data services to underserved populations in emerging markets.
The project was geared toward the 1 billion users for which mobile devices will be the
first and only computing devices.
The presentation outlines the research itself and provides takeaways for those
interested in conducting user research to influence product direction in their own
companies.
Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved.

2
Rural India:
800 million
(70% of India’s total population)

The biggest emerging market population, and the location for participants in
this research, live in rural India.
Since nationwide cabled internet access in India is unlikely, wireless data
networks offer the solution for access to information, media, and data.
Designing the right interfaces and services for wireless/mobile access can
bridge the technology gap in emerging markets.

but there are considerable challenges…
Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved.

3
Challenge 1: Indian Diversity
The test bed for cross-cultural design

2000+ 150+
Ethnic
Groups

Major
Languages

{All}
Major
Religions

There is no one-size-fits-all design solution
Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved.

4
Challenge 2: Wireless Data in India
India’s wireless data network rollout is happening at a slow pace.
Even in urban areas with data coverage, there is very little usage for a couple of
main reasons:
− Data packages are expensive and the offerings are not worth while.
− Most users don’t have a use for what is offered or don’t know what to do with it.

Device adoption and data usage among rural users is projected to be even
slower.
The right combination of devices and services can kickstart the growth process.
Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved.

5
Idea: Data over a subsidized P2P Network
Data
Backhaul

1. Managed content pushed to subsidized data devices.
2. Content is then spread wirelessly using a peer-to-peer network.

3. This provides a free teaser service introducing content and creating a demand for more.
Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved.

6
Added bonus: user-generated content

1. The P2P Network has the added benefit of becoming a UGC Platform.

2. Users can create, consume and share content (like audio and video) for free on the
P2P Network.
Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved.

7
Idea to prototype…
Experience

Engineering
Idea

Field Test

Prototype

Business

Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved.

8
Limited Web create UGC
Cross
They won’t
Microbanking Cultural
What are the ramifications of introducing new devices
Do they get Touch Screens?
Text Input How’s Mediauser
my hair look?
Are data “services” relevant to the
Surely
Social we they want Facebook
How do
deal with illiteracy?
Bollywood

Lots of Questions…

The Other Thing
Maybe they need Microbanking
Productivity Apps
The more we tried to design the experience, the more questions we had.
Very little secondary research from rural India added to the challenge.

When there is a lack of information we tend to fill in the blanks the best we can,
but this can backfire with a new market, vertical or product.

We should strip down the features

Our direction became more muddled and opinions more varied until we
realized…

Educational Tools

How is Ryan Gosling so impossibly handsome?

Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved.

9
“

We don’t even know what
we don’t know.
Robert Tartz, PhD
Qualcomm Research
Forrest Gumpian knowledge bomber

Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved.

10
Nearly lost…
We were making the mistake of overanalyzing the end user based on our beliefs and
biases from our work in Western markets.
We found ourselves going down the same path of some before us designing for
verticals which have shown very little promise so far.
We had no reference to whether this was the right path or if it would even work…in
other words, we nearly screwed the project up before we started.
Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved.

11
Takeaway 1

Don’t overthink the user.
Go talk to them.
(Watch any film with Keanu Reeves to stop thinking)

When beginning work in a new vertical, channel or product space, don’t rely
solely on your intuition.
Get out and talk to the user rather than imposing your own will.
Find the (simple) ways to conduct exploratory research in new areas.
Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved.

12
Back on Track…
The plan quickly refocused on small-scale exploratory research.
We move away from verticals that have met limited success and broaden our
research to core human needs – communication, social and family circles.

We get approval but now need a way to keep stakeholders involved.
Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved.

13
Takeaway 2

Promise surprise &
intrigue.
(You’ll be right 96.3% of the time)

When working with people who don’t understand the value of research
design, you have to use every angle to sell the process.
Sometimes a solid plan and outlining the ROI are not enough.
Since our goal for research is discovery, promise your stakeholders surprises
and better insight – appeal to their curiosity and even their ego.
Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved.

14
Planning the
research

Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved.

15
Gratuitous face-touching picture denoting emphasis

Despite our excitement for conducting research in a rural India, we realized
how much our presence could influence the research – we have done
research in developed areas of India and definitely influenced participants.
Live translation would also be a problem and we have definitely had
problems with liberal interpretations/translations in the past.
Not to mention…
Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved.

16
At 6’3”, 250 lbs, my presence in rural India would probably result in some
form of Bigfoot sightings
Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved.

17
Hi I’m Padma

Hi I’m Kiran

Our best solution was to have members of our own team fluent in Kannada &
Hindi take part in the field research along with our local partners pepperSlate
& HANSA Research

Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved.

18
Research Plan
1 Identify uninfluenced towns & villages

2 Interviews with local officials
3 20 in-home or business interviews (2-3 hrs)
4 Field observation & store visits
Exploratory research: by recruiting a small sample, we sought indicative
results rather than conclusive or representative for the entire segment.
Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved.

19
Research Objectives
Will users in rural markets consume, create and share content? If
so, how can we enable a rich experience over a limited network,
creating the demand for more?
What information provides the most value to the user?
How integrated are mobile devices into the daily lives of users in rural India?
What are people doing on their mobile devices currently?

Are there design constraints around technology acceptance, literacy, and usage that we
need to address.
Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved.

20
Into the
Field

Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved.

21
Locations
Sidhauli Town
Kasmanda Village

Bagepalli Town
Gulur Village
Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved.

22
Sidhauli
About 50Km from Lucknow in the North
Population: 20,000
Well connected by rail and road; commercial center for the area
Cash-crop agricultural area
Active woman’s Self Help Group
HQ for local government
Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved.

23
Participants:
Jack of all trades – odd jobber
Woman's rights activist
College Student
Housewife
Market owner

Get to know Sidhauli
Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved.

24
Kasmanda
58KM from Lucknow in the North
Village of about 4000
Out of power for last 6 months; village runs on batteries for 2 hours of electricity at best
Because of lack of electricity/lights resentment against the Panchayat and government
authorities for the lack of development in the village.
Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved.

25
Participants:
• Local politician
• Local elementary teacher
• Small shop owner
• Local farmer
• Day laborer

Get to know Kasmanda
Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved.

26
Bagepalli
Tier 3 town in the South with a population just over 20K
About 100 KM north of Bangalore on the national highway
Quarrying Mining , Subsistence Farming, Silk Farming, Rural Call Center
Multiple schools, 2 Graduate colleges
Multiple Self-Help Groups
Has the largest middle class of the 4
Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved.

27
Participants:
• Aspiring teenager
• Math teacher and young mother
• Real estate agent
• Pharmacist
• Hometown reporter

Get to know Bagepalli
Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved.

28
Gulur
93 km from Bangalore city
Population of the village is 3148
Subsistence agriculture
Local govt seat for surrounding villages
Limited education opportunities
Lack of water for irrigation of fields and drinking water. Lack of regular power supply.
Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved.

29
Participants:
• Govt. computer operator
• Housewife
• Farmer
• College student
• Mobile shop owner

Get to know Gulur
Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved.

30
Takeaway 3

Become a reality show
producer.
(Turns out not as many people listen to us as we think)

In a perfect world you would take your stakeholders in the field with you but
schedules and budgets rarely allow this – find ways to keep them involved.
Even with a great plan and interesting research topics, you are competing for
your stakeholders attention – find ways to grab their attention.
Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved.

31
Grab them with headlines
Meet Kajal Rai. She is Fighting for Women’s Rights in Northern India

Bollywood is Priority Number 1. Plus We Talk Education with a Local Teac…

Living with Only 2 Hours of Power. How Mobile Can Help Local Government.

Kiran Talks to Water Buffalos. Plus We Might Need to Rethink our Roadmap.

Since our field team rarely had internet connection during the research most
of ourHeadingupdates withthe Monsoon. Takeawaysemail. the Northern Towns.
project South in stakeholders was through from

We needed a way stand out in their Inbox.
One of the easiest ways to do this was by creating tabloid headlines that
drew people in to the updates.
Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved.

32
Humanize the research

Another way to draw stakeholders in was by humanizing the research –
putting faces to names.
We included pictures, names and stories for each of the participants. We
talked about their surroundings and lifestyle; we outlined what made them
happy and what hardships they encounter.
Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved.

33
Takeaway 4

Harass random people.
(but give them candy)

You should never rely on just one form of research when you are in the field.
Whenever we go out we practice Anonymous Observation.
We look for trends, watch how people use technology, and observe social
interactions

When we observe something interesting we approach people…
Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved.

34
Kiran observed two teens interacting with their phones and stopped to talk with them.
They were pairing using Bluetooth and sharing music despite the difficulty of the task. The
benefit outweighed the limitations. After further research we found this to be common.
Based on our assumptions of Bluetooth usage in western markets (headset, cars) there
had been talks of removing Bluetooth from lower-end chips to save cost.
This interaction and follow up research proved that would be a mistake.
Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved.

35
Takeaway 5

Some tangents are worth
following.
(You might find a precious snowflake)

Managing a conversation is one of the most difficult parts of research – you
need to know when to let people run and when to bring them back.
Sometimes it is worth it to just let a conversational tangent run – not only can
it help you build the relationship with you participant but it can also lead to
some of your best findings.
Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved.

36
A tangential conversation with a local government employee led to how he
distributed information to local villages – surprisingly it was via a town crier
By letting the conversation run with this participant we had discovered a
societal artifact that surprised all of us. Coincidentally, it also proved to be
the perfect data delivery system for our local peer-to-peer networks ftw.
Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved.

37
Concept
Evolution

Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved.

38
Processing your research, what we call Concept Evolution, easily takes as much or more
time than the research itself.
This is where the surprises you promised will materialize. Use workshops, brainstorming
and visualizing techniques, and be sure to involve your whole team.
Defining Concept Evolution is a talk in itself and, at the end of the day, you have to find
the process that will work for your team…so I’ll just show some post it porn and move on.
Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved.

39
Takeaway 6

Make room for personas.
(They’re the warm fuzzy side of research)

I am not always the biggest fan of personas but if your team is working in a
new vertical, product area, or market they can be a useful tool.
In cross-functional teams with differing opinions, they are a way to ground
the project and tie it to potential users.
Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved.

40
Keep personas simple and approachable.

Focus on elements related to the project – e.g. social circles, technology use,
goals and needs.
Even if you are jaded about personas (like myself), keep in mind that they may
prove more important to your stakeholders and team than they are to you.
Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved.

41
Takeaway 7

Taunt your developers (or
clients, boss, etc.)
(and by taunt I mean involve)

You need to keep your stakeholders and team involved through the entire
process.
One way to do this is to find activities where they can have fun and learn.
Know your audience too. Find the right tools for the people you are working
with. Here’s an example…
Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved.

42
Role Play

Role Play is an activity that we include specifically for our developers.
Right after we create our personas, each developer studies a persona and creates an
interpretation that they bring to the activity.
The rest of the team asks them questions (start with a set list) and they answer as they
think the persona would.
This activity develops a deeper understanding and empathy for the user.
Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved.

43
Findings

Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved.

44
Surprise & Intrigue

Technology is pervasive and the people are
ingeniously resourceful.
Technology use is far more sophisticated than we originally thought
Local leaders estimate mobile phones in 80-85% of households – we came away
thinking it might actually be higher.

Low end smart phones are already entering the market.
Phones are becoming the “Swiss army knife” device.
Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved.

45
Things that we deemed as barriers to use are already being overcome.

Because there is limited electricity we thought battery life would be an issue
but local entrepreneurs have already created charging stations out of 12v
batteries and inverters.
Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved.

46
Surprise & Intrigue

They are already creating and consuming
user-generated content.
Content sharing, especially around music, is happening on a large scale.

Many people are finding ingenious workarounds to the limitations of their
phones.
Side loading content is prolific and content creation is starting to gain ground.
Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved.

47
Video phone

One example of content creation is the participant who uses his phone as a
DVR. Because of the limited power, he has his wife record TV shows on his
phone while he is at work and the power is on. He then watches them later
when there is no power and shares them with his neighbors so they can
watch too.
Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved.

48
Surprise & Intrigue

Illiteracy wasn’t the problem we thought it
would be (but there’s still an issue).
Most are reading and writing at a 2nd and 3rd grade level but only in their
native language. Changes in the Indian education system mean that younger
generations will be much higher.
…But almost all phone interfaces are in English.
Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved.

49
Numeracy is nearly at 100%. Most households have ledgers that contain
contact phone numbers, often without names.
This is a preferred method over cumbersome (English) phone entry.
There are also interesting IA challenges based on local mental models – e.g.,
time based interactions and contact navigation based on head of the family.
Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved.

50
Surprise & Intrigue

Family purchases are typically value driven
rather than cost driven.
This is a huge shift from the way we look at other markets.

Nearly every home, regardless of income, has a television and paid channels
because of the perceived value.
Mobile phones have an even higher perceived value because of their
multiple use.
Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved.

51
People are reaching well beyond where you or I would to buy phones – often
spending more than a month’s pay.
The access to information and contacts that the phone brings provides status
for the individual and family.
Providing increased and focused value trumps any plan of lowering chip cost
and decreased functionality to make cheaper phones.
Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved.

52
Surprise & Intrigue

Big data isn’t always right.
(just don’t tell Google I said that).

We have access to reams and reams of data – sales reports, market reports,
projections – and we have very smart people making decisions base on that
data, but sometimes it provides an incomplete view.
User research can provide the additional data needed for a more complete
view.
Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved.

53
While projections and reports showed little smartphone uptake, we found them
everywhere in the field.
One of the reasons is the large Black Market in India which skews any sales numbers.
Bootleg smartphones like the one above are making it into the rural markets and their
numbers are not tracked. These are our competition and we didn’t know about them.
Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved.

54
Creating Spy Teams
One of my favorite outcomes from our research was the creation of Spy Teams in our
Bangalore office. They had been involved in our project from the beginning but we had
heard very little from them. After the research was finished they told us it had inspired
them to create what they called “Spy Teams” that go out and visit rural areas. They
practice anonymous observation, talk with people, and check in with mobile shop
owners. Their new research is now feeding in to our product roadmap for India.

Spies

Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved.

55
Design Areas
While our research provided valuable information on our specific project, there was a
considerable amount of information gathered that can be used elsewhere. The following
areas where left on the table because they were not immediately valuable to our
interests, but they are valuable to the market nonetheless.

If you are looking to enter the app or mobile market in India (or even other emerging
markets), these are can be good starting points. The need is definitely there.

Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved.

56
Micro-Social
Return to the small world
Social circles can be as small as the block
Closed group networks – neighbors, youth, women’s group

Exchange of info/gossip within cliques is a favorite activity
Extended family networks
Create a micro-social content application

Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved.

57
Personal Privacy
The case for digital personal space
Personal Privacy is nonexistent – family knows all
One shared mobile device per family is common

Lack of personal space is expected
Family reputation is paramount
Create a secure and partitioned digital space
Secure space or app provides a platform for Self Help Groups and NGOs.

Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved.

58
Mobile Business
All business is social
Business app transactions should be social rather than technical (bookkeeping)
Tie digital transactions directly to the contact

Most business owners are managing massive contact lists
Need ways to easily create/collect contact data
Need ways to classify contacts
− Identify businessmen over other contacts
− Manage “satisfaction ratings” of contacts

Create a contact-centered business app

Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved.

59
Education / Information
Knowledge is influence
Want to learn English is universal
Parents see mobile devices as a surrogate helping with kids education

Knowledge of latest news/politics is a social currency
Self-help groups are looking for info pipeline
Religious leaders/political parties are too
Create a sharable learning platform

Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved.

60
1 Don’t overthink the user. Go talk to them.
2 Promise surprise & intrigue to your stakeholders.

3 Become a reality show producer during the research.
4 Harass random people to collect more information.
5 Some conversation tangents are worth following
6 Make room for personas.
7 Taunt (involve) your developers, clients, bosses, etc.
Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved.

61
It's Our Research: Getting Stakeholder Buy-in for User Experience Research Projects by
Tomer Sharon
Interviewing Users: How to Uncover Compelling Insights by Steve Portigal
Designing the Conversation: Techniques for Successful Facilitation by Russ Unger, Brad
Nunnally and Dan Willis
Observing the User Experience: A Practitioner's Guide to User Research by Elizabeth
Goodman, Mike Kuniavsky and Andrea Moed
The Invisible Gorilla: How Our Intuitions Deceive Us by Christopher Chabris and Daniel
Simons

Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved.

62
Thank you
Special thanks to:

skunkwUrX
* bking@qti.qualcomm.com

Qualcomm Research Team:
- Kiran Chikkappa
- Padma Jagannathan
- Anne Konertz
India Partners:
- Pepperslate
- Hansa Research

Qualcomm is a trademark of Qualcomm Incorporated, registered in the United States and other countries.
Other products and brand names may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners
Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. rights reserved.

63

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Tail wags the dog: How small-scale user research can influence a large-scale corporation

  • 1. Bennett King UX New Zealand Tail Wags the Dog: How small-scale user research can influence a large-scale corporation Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • 2. The Next Billion This presentation is the outcome of a Qualcomm User Research project centered on bringing data services to underserved populations in emerging markets. The project was geared toward the 1 billion users for which mobile devices will be the first and only computing devices. The presentation outlines the research itself and provides takeaways for those interested in conducting user research to influence product direction in their own companies. Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved. 2
  • 3. Rural India: 800 million (70% of India’s total population) The biggest emerging market population, and the location for participants in this research, live in rural India. Since nationwide cabled internet access in India is unlikely, wireless data networks offer the solution for access to information, media, and data. Designing the right interfaces and services for wireless/mobile access can bridge the technology gap in emerging markets. but there are considerable challenges… Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved. 3
  • 4. Challenge 1: Indian Diversity The test bed for cross-cultural design 2000+ 150+ Ethnic Groups Major Languages {All} Major Religions There is no one-size-fits-all design solution Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved. 4
  • 5. Challenge 2: Wireless Data in India India’s wireless data network rollout is happening at a slow pace. Even in urban areas with data coverage, there is very little usage for a couple of main reasons: − Data packages are expensive and the offerings are not worth while. − Most users don’t have a use for what is offered or don’t know what to do with it. Device adoption and data usage among rural users is projected to be even slower. The right combination of devices and services can kickstart the growth process. Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved. 5
  • 6. Idea: Data over a subsidized P2P Network Data Backhaul 1. Managed content pushed to subsidized data devices. 2. Content is then spread wirelessly using a peer-to-peer network. 3. This provides a free teaser service introducing content and creating a demand for more. Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved. 6
  • 7. Added bonus: user-generated content 1. The P2P Network has the added benefit of becoming a UGC Platform. 2. Users can create, consume and share content (like audio and video) for free on the P2P Network. Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved. 7
  • 8. Idea to prototype… Experience Engineering Idea Field Test Prototype Business Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved. 8
  • 9. Limited Web create UGC Cross They won’t Microbanking Cultural What are the ramifications of introducing new devices Do they get Touch Screens? Text Input How’s Mediauser my hair look? Are data “services” relevant to the Surely Social we they want Facebook How do deal with illiteracy? Bollywood Lots of Questions… The Other Thing Maybe they need Microbanking Productivity Apps The more we tried to design the experience, the more questions we had. Very little secondary research from rural India added to the challenge. When there is a lack of information we tend to fill in the blanks the best we can, but this can backfire with a new market, vertical or product. We should strip down the features Our direction became more muddled and opinions more varied until we realized… Educational Tools How is Ryan Gosling so impossibly handsome? Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved. 9
  • 10. “ We don’t even know what we don’t know. Robert Tartz, PhD Qualcomm Research Forrest Gumpian knowledge bomber Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved. 10
  • 11. Nearly lost… We were making the mistake of overanalyzing the end user based on our beliefs and biases from our work in Western markets. We found ourselves going down the same path of some before us designing for verticals which have shown very little promise so far. We had no reference to whether this was the right path or if it would even work…in other words, we nearly screwed the project up before we started. Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved. 11
  • 12. Takeaway 1 Don’t overthink the user. Go talk to them. (Watch any film with Keanu Reeves to stop thinking) When beginning work in a new vertical, channel or product space, don’t rely solely on your intuition. Get out and talk to the user rather than imposing your own will. Find the (simple) ways to conduct exploratory research in new areas. Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved. 12
  • 13. Back on Track… The plan quickly refocused on small-scale exploratory research. We move away from verticals that have met limited success and broaden our research to core human needs – communication, social and family circles. We get approval but now need a way to keep stakeholders involved. Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved. 13
  • 14. Takeaway 2 Promise surprise & intrigue. (You’ll be right 96.3% of the time) When working with people who don’t understand the value of research design, you have to use every angle to sell the process. Sometimes a solid plan and outlining the ROI are not enough. Since our goal for research is discovery, promise your stakeholders surprises and better insight – appeal to their curiosity and even their ego. Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved. 14
  • 15. Planning the research Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved. 15
  • 16. Gratuitous face-touching picture denoting emphasis Despite our excitement for conducting research in a rural India, we realized how much our presence could influence the research – we have done research in developed areas of India and definitely influenced participants. Live translation would also be a problem and we have definitely had problems with liberal interpretations/translations in the past. Not to mention… Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved. 16
  • 17. At 6’3”, 250 lbs, my presence in rural India would probably result in some form of Bigfoot sightings Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved. 17
  • 18. Hi I’m Padma Hi I’m Kiran Our best solution was to have members of our own team fluent in Kannada & Hindi take part in the field research along with our local partners pepperSlate & HANSA Research Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved. 18
  • 19. Research Plan 1 Identify uninfluenced towns & villages 2 Interviews with local officials 3 20 in-home or business interviews (2-3 hrs) 4 Field observation & store visits Exploratory research: by recruiting a small sample, we sought indicative results rather than conclusive or representative for the entire segment. Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved. 19
  • 20. Research Objectives Will users in rural markets consume, create and share content? If so, how can we enable a rich experience over a limited network, creating the demand for more? What information provides the most value to the user? How integrated are mobile devices into the daily lives of users in rural India? What are people doing on their mobile devices currently? Are there design constraints around technology acceptance, literacy, and usage that we need to address. Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved. 20
  • 21. Into the Field Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved. 21
  • 22. Locations Sidhauli Town Kasmanda Village Bagepalli Town Gulur Village Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved. 22
  • 23. Sidhauli About 50Km from Lucknow in the North Population: 20,000 Well connected by rail and road; commercial center for the area Cash-crop agricultural area Active woman’s Self Help Group HQ for local government Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved. 23
  • 24. Participants: Jack of all trades – odd jobber Woman's rights activist College Student Housewife Market owner Get to know Sidhauli Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved. 24
  • 25. Kasmanda 58KM from Lucknow in the North Village of about 4000 Out of power for last 6 months; village runs on batteries for 2 hours of electricity at best Because of lack of electricity/lights resentment against the Panchayat and government authorities for the lack of development in the village. Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved. 25
  • 26. Participants: • Local politician • Local elementary teacher • Small shop owner • Local farmer • Day laborer Get to know Kasmanda Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved. 26
  • 27. Bagepalli Tier 3 town in the South with a population just over 20K About 100 KM north of Bangalore on the national highway Quarrying Mining , Subsistence Farming, Silk Farming, Rural Call Center Multiple schools, 2 Graduate colleges Multiple Self-Help Groups Has the largest middle class of the 4 Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved. 27
  • 28. Participants: • Aspiring teenager • Math teacher and young mother • Real estate agent • Pharmacist • Hometown reporter Get to know Bagepalli Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved. 28
  • 29. Gulur 93 km from Bangalore city Population of the village is 3148 Subsistence agriculture Local govt seat for surrounding villages Limited education opportunities Lack of water for irrigation of fields and drinking water. Lack of regular power supply. Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved. 29
  • 30. Participants: • Govt. computer operator • Housewife • Farmer • College student • Mobile shop owner Get to know Gulur Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved. 30
  • 31. Takeaway 3 Become a reality show producer. (Turns out not as many people listen to us as we think) In a perfect world you would take your stakeholders in the field with you but schedules and budgets rarely allow this – find ways to keep them involved. Even with a great plan and interesting research topics, you are competing for your stakeholders attention – find ways to grab their attention. Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved. 31
  • 32. Grab them with headlines Meet Kajal Rai. She is Fighting for Women’s Rights in Northern India Bollywood is Priority Number 1. Plus We Talk Education with a Local Teac… Living with Only 2 Hours of Power. How Mobile Can Help Local Government. Kiran Talks to Water Buffalos. Plus We Might Need to Rethink our Roadmap. Since our field team rarely had internet connection during the research most of ourHeadingupdates withthe Monsoon. Takeawaysemail. the Northern Towns. project South in stakeholders was through from We needed a way stand out in their Inbox. One of the easiest ways to do this was by creating tabloid headlines that drew people in to the updates. Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved. 32
  • 33. Humanize the research Another way to draw stakeholders in was by humanizing the research – putting faces to names. We included pictures, names and stories for each of the participants. We talked about their surroundings and lifestyle; we outlined what made them happy and what hardships they encounter. Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved. 33
  • 34. Takeaway 4 Harass random people. (but give them candy) You should never rely on just one form of research when you are in the field. Whenever we go out we practice Anonymous Observation. We look for trends, watch how people use technology, and observe social interactions When we observe something interesting we approach people… Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved. 34
  • 35. Kiran observed two teens interacting with their phones and stopped to talk with them. They were pairing using Bluetooth and sharing music despite the difficulty of the task. The benefit outweighed the limitations. After further research we found this to be common. Based on our assumptions of Bluetooth usage in western markets (headset, cars) there had been talks of removing Bluetooth from lower-end chips to save cost. This interaction and follow up research proved that would be a mistake. Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved. 35
  • 36. Takeaway 5 Some tangents are worth following. (You might find a precious snowflake) Managing a conversation is one of the most difficult parts of research – you need to know when to let people run and when to bring them back. Sometimes it is worth it to just let a conversational tangent run – not only can it help you build the relationship with you participant but it can also lead to some of your best findings. Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved. 36
  • 37. A tangential conversation with a local government employee led to how he distributed information to local villages – surprisingly it was via a town crier By letting the conversation run with this participant we had discovered a societal artifact that surprised all of us. Coincidentally, it also proved to be the perfect data delivery system for our local peer-to-peer networks ftw. Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved. 37
  • 38. Concept Evolution Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved. 38
  • 39. Processing your research, what we call Concept Evolution, easily takes as much or more time than the research itself. This is where the surprises you promised will materialize. Use workshops, brainstorming and visualizing techniques, and be sure to involve your whole team. Defining Concept Evolution is a talk in itself and, at the end of the day, you have to find the process that will work for your team…so I’ll just show some post it porn and move on. Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved. 39
  • 40. Takeaway 6 Make room for personas. (They’re the warm fuzzy side of research) I am not always the biggest fan of personas but if your team is working in a new vertical, product area, or market they can be a useful tool. In cross-functional teams with differing opinions, they are a way to ground the project and tie it to potential users. Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved. 40
  • 41. Keep personas simple and approachable. Focus on elements related to the project – e.g. social circles, technology use, goals and needs. Even if you are jaded about personas (like myself), keep in mind that they may prove more important to your stakeholders and team than they are to you. Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved. 41
  • 42. Takeaway 7 Taunt your developers (or clients, boss, etc.) (and by taunt I mean involve) You need to keep your stakeholders and team involved through the entire process. One way to do this is to find activities where they can have fun and learn. Know your audience too. Find the right tools for the people you are working with. Here’s an example… Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved. 42
  • 43. Role Play Role Play is an activity that we include specifically for our developers. Right after we create our personas, each developer studies a persona and creates an interpretation that they bring to the activity. The rest of the team asks them questions (start with a set list) and they answer as they think the persona would. This activity develops a deeper understanding and empathy for the user. Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved. 43
  • 44. Findings Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved. 44
  • 45. Surprise & Intrigue Technology is pervasive and the people are ingeniously resourceful. Technology use is far more sophisticated than we originally thought Local leaders estimate mobile phones in 80-85% of households – we came away thinking it might actually be higher. Low end smart phones are already entering the market. Phones are becoming the “Swiss army knife” device. Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved. 45
  • 46. Things that we deemed as barriers to use are already being overcome. Because there is limited electricity we thought battery life would be an issue but local entrepreneurs have already created charging stations out of 12v batteries and inverters. Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved. 46
  • 47. Surprise & Intrigue They are already creating and consuming user-generated content. Content sharing, especially around music, is happening on a large scale. Many people are finding ingenious workarounds to the limitations of their phones. Side loading content is prolific and content creation is starting to gain ground. Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved. 47
  • 48. Video phone One example of content creation is the participant who uses his phone as a DVR. Because of the limited power, he has his wife record TV shows on his phone while he is at work and the power is on. He then watches them later when there is no power and shares them with his neighbors so they can watch too. Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved. 48
  • 49. Surprise & Intrigue Illiteracy wasn’t the problem we thought it would be (but there’s still an issue). Most are reading and writing at a 2nd and 3rd grade level but only in their native language. Changes in the Indian education system mean that younger generations will be much higher. …But almost all phone interfaces are in English. Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved. 49
  • 50. Numeracy is nearly at 100%. Most households have ledgers that contain contact phone numbers, often without names. This is a preferred method over cumbersome (English) phone entry. There are also interesting IA challenges based on local mental models – e.g., time based interactions and contact navigation based on head of the family. Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved. 50
  • 51. Surprise & Intrigue Family purchases are typically value driven rather than cost driven. This is a huge shift from the way we look at other markets. Nearly every home, regardless of income, has a television and paid channels because of the perceived value. Mobile phones have an even higher perceived value because of their multiple use. Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved. 51
  • 52. People are reaching well beyond where you or I would to buy phones – often spending more than a month’s pay. The access to information and contacts that the phone brings provides status for the individual and family. Providing increased and focused value trumps any plan of lowering chip cost and decreased functionality to make cheaper phones. Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved. 52
  • 53. Surprise & Intrigue Big data isn’t always right. (just don’t tell Google I said that). We have access to reams and reams of data – sales reports, market reports, projections – and we have very smart people making decisions base on that data, but sometimes it provides an incomplete view. User research can provide the additional data needed for a more complete view. Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved. 53
  • 54. While projections and reports showed little smartphone uptake, we found them everywhere in the field. One of the reasons is the large Black Market in India which skews any sales numbers. Bootleg smartphones like the one above are making it into the rural markets and their numbers are not tracked. These are our competition and we didn’t know about them. Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved. 54
  • 55. Creating Spy Teams One of my favorite outcomes from our research was the creation of Spy Teams in our Bangalore office. They had been involved in our project from the beginning but we had heard very little from them. After the research was finished they told us it had inspired them to create what they called “Spy Teams” that go out and visit rural areas. They practice anonymous observation, talk with people, and check in with mobile shop owners. Their new research is now feeding in to our product roadmap for India. Spies Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved. 55
  • 56. Design Areas While our research provided valuable information on our specific project, there was a considerable amount of information gathered that can be used elsewhere. The following areas where left on the table because they were not immediately valuable to our interests, but they are valuable to the market nonetheless. If you are looking to enter the app or mobile market in India (or even other emerging markets), these are can be good starting points. The need is definitely there. Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved. 56
  • 57. Micro-Social Return to the small world Social circles can be as small as the block Closed group networks – neighbors, youth, women’s group Exchange of info/gossip within cliques is a favorite activity Extended family networks Create a micro-social content application Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved. 57
  • 58. Personal Privacy The case for digital personal space Personal Privacy is nonexistent – family knows all One shared mobile device per family is common Lack of personal space is expected Family reputation is paramount Create a secure and partitioned digital space Secure space or app provides a platform for Self Help Groups and NGOs. Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved. 58
  • 59. Mobile Business All business is social Business app transactions should be social rather than technical (bookkeeping) Tie digital transactions directly to the contact Most business owners are managing massive contact lists Need ways to easily create/collect contact data Need ways to classify contacts − Identify businessmen over other contacts − Manage “satisfaction ratings” of contacts Create a contact-centered business app Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved. 59
  • 60. Education / Information Knowledge is influence Want to learn English is universal Parents see mobile devices as a surrogate helping with kids education Knowledge of latest news/politics is a social currency Self-help groups are looking for info pipeline Religious leaders/political parties are too Create a sharable learning platform Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved. 60
  • 61. 1 Don’t overthink the user. Go talk to them. 2 Promise surprise & intrigue to your stakeholders. 3 Become a reality show producer during the research. 4 Harass random people to collect more information. 5 Some conversation tangents are worth following 6 Make room for personas. 7 Taunt (involve) your developers, clients, bosses, etc. Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved. 61
  • 62. It's Our Research: Getting Stakeholder Buy-in for User Experience Research Projects by Tomer Sharon Interviewing Users: How to Uncover Compelling Insights by Steve Portigal Designing the Conversation: Techniques for Successful Facilitation by Russ Unger, Brad Nunnally and Dan Willis Observing the User Experience: A Practitioner's Guide to User Research by Elizabeth Goodman, Mike Kuniavsky and Andrea Moed The Invisible Gorilla: How Our Intuitions Deceive Us by Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simons Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All rights reserved. 62
  • 63. Thank you Special thanks to: skunkwUrX * bking@qti.qualcomm.com Qualcomm Research Team: - Kiran Chikkappa - Padma Jagannathan - Anne Konertz India Partners: - Pepperslate - Hansa Research Qualcomm is a trademark of Qualcomm Incorporated, registered in the United States and other countries. Other products and brand names may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. All All rights reserved. Copyright ©2013 QTI, Inc. rights reserved. 63