Because competition in the marketplace is fierce, having a competitive advantage often leads to product success. In the world of technology, users are no longer simply impressed by features, but demand an integrated set of tools that solve their business problems. This article proposes a higher-level approach for performing competitive evaluation to gather qualitative and quantitative usability and design information.
Commercial research has evolved. So, too, has the study of human factors and ergonomics. While marketing research and usability engineering professionals often work in the same company on the same projects, they seldom do so together. This article discusses how marketing researchers and engineering professionals can start collaborating to blaze a trail together. Topics covered include commonalities of and distinctions between the two communities and reaching out and establishing a dialogue.
The usability of a Web site’s user interface is a crucial driver of business success. This article discusses how to best identify the right testing methodology for effectively and cost-efficiently uncovering and resolving potentially disastrous usability issues.
The author focuses on how qualitative and quantitative methods can be used to test Web site usability. Both families of methods have their pros and cons and researchers may have to use hybrid approaches to get the information they need.
Medical products are particularly sensitive to cultural influence because the differences in medical practices throughout the world are considerable. This article discusses designing medical products for the global market using cross-cultural research, including avoiding common pitfalls, when to use cross-cultural research, defining procedures, incorporating a study control, and costs.
A Web site is useless if it doesn’t meet users’ needs or expectations. This article discusses Web usability, including subtleties, the myth of the non tech-savvy user and fewer clicks not always being better.
Soliloquy Inc. combined Web observational and opinion research to fine-tune Expert, its front-end interface for online vendors that allows shoppers to find what they want through a two-way interactive online conversation.
Honda (UK) used Web-based usability and ethnography techniques to fine-tune the interface of its Web site’s used-car-buying section, allowing it to make a number of adjustments and better understand car seekers’ preferences.
Observation and follow-up interviews are at the core of successful innovation research, along with understanding what's required of a product; designing for individuals; and bettering offerings through usability testing.
Though corporate Web sites are not products in the literal sense, they serve as powerful brand image communicators. While companies conduct large amounts of research on their actual products and services, many err by failing to seek user input when developing or refining their Web sites - which can lead to alienated or frustrated users. The author provides a brief overview of the steps companies should take to gauge their site’s usability.
The same technologies that are changing our lives as consumers are also changing our abilities as researchers. Here’s a look at how traditional and tech-based qualitative tools can be successfully married.