October 13th, 2013 by Ben Claxton
Proving once again that everything comes back around, BBC4′s series The Fabric of Britain threw up a nice little historical parallel to modern trends in tech design.
Back in early Victorian-era Britain, design powers-that-be were concerned about wallpaper and its unedifying effects on the British public. Considering the naturalistic and trompe l’oeil images of the day to be troubling, Parliament appointed Gothic-revivalist Augustus Pugin to spearhead a re-introduction of flat patterns, more suitable to walled surfaces, and more befitting of a household of the Empire.
How long until 3D makes a come back again?
October 6th, 2013 by Ben Claxton
This post aims to cover the basics for conducting successful mobile research with nativeye (links to more advanced topics will be added in due course).
So let’s get started. First up, what to research?
WHAT TO RESEARCH?
Mobile research is a flexible tool – it’s ideally suited to capturing data in the moment or immediately following an experience. The nativeye app will also work offline, so people can truly post whenever, wherever they are.
You can use nativeye for a variety of research. Here are some examples:
- Ethnography – ask people to report back on their daily lives and activities
- Customer journey and experience mapping – ask people to record their experiences of a particular brand or category
- Feedback in the moment (e.g. at events)
- Crowdsourcing ideas
- Co-creation projects: set people a creative challenge, as a group or individually
WHICH RESEARCH METHODOLOGIES?
Here are some examples:
- Mobile diary studies (ask people to post every time they do, think or experience something relevant to your study)
- Other “answer many” assignments (e.g. crowdsourcing, scouting and observation assignments)
- Group assignments - encourage people to like and comment on each others’ posts (tick the “Posts visible to everyone on the assignment option in the Edit assignment > Details tab)
- One-off surveys (tick the “Answer once” option in the Edit assignment > Details tab)
DESIGNING YOUR ASSIGNMENTS
When designing mobile research studies, the best thing to start with is the “mobile” aspect. This means that you should think about when and where you’d like people to post and what you want them to tell you. It also means that you should think about how much time people have to post when they are out and about (less is sometimes more!).
Some pro tips:
- Use as few tasks as possible to capture the data you need (short and sweet works best on mobile and “answer many” assignments)
- Always include a Photo task (this brings a post to life and helps you ‘see what your participants see’
- Use a mix ‘open tasks’ like Open text and prompted tasks (like Multi-choice and Slider)
- Balance the number of required and optional tasks (only make tasks required if you absolutely need that data)
- Use the Comments feature to delve deeper into what people post
- Use “Group assignments” if you want to encourage group discussion
TIPS TO INCREASE YOUR RESPONSE RATE
- Make sure you invite people in good time. Ensure your participants are set up on the app in advance of your project start. Use the Overview page to check their progress. You can use the “Re-invite” button in the Edit Assignment > Invite tab to help get people started.
- Use the Prompt feature on the Overview page to remind people to keep posting
- Use nativeye Social Features to like and comment on participants’ posts – we all like to be acknowledged for our efforts, giving participants feedback will keep them engaged in your project
September 13th, 2013 by Ben Claxton
Some choice quotes from this great article by Erica Hall in Wired on why the ‘fail fast’ startup culture can actually just be an excuse for avoiding doing any research – which hell, i don’t know, might actually help your business succeed.
At the heart of this is being the most informed you can be. Not to restrict your imagination to what customers tell you what they want, but to make sure you are able to “design and build for the real world”. In other words, direct your imagination in the right direction.
“a common concern and excuse for not doing research is that it will limit creative possibilities to only those articulated by the target users, leaving designers devising a faster horse (lame) rather than a flying car (rad).
Worse than being limited by potential customers’ imaginations is being limited by one’s own — especially if most business leaders admit they’re not going to be the next Steve Jobs. But why should they have to imagine how the world works, when it’s possible to find out through research? Their imagination is then better spent on designing the solution.”
As an entrepreneur one of the hardest challenges is to really ask yourself “am I designing a solution for a real problem?”. Ideas are temptresses, especially if they are your own. But doing everything you can to validate your idea before you embark on a long and choppy journey of development is doing yourself a massive favour. And this again is where research can help.
- A tool to help create for the real world
- Creative fuel
- A way to validate your ideas and kill your darlings
- Increase the success rate of innovation
- A substitute for imagination
- A limit to the possible
August 28th, 2013 by Ben Claxton
Clay Christensen asks whether understanding our customers actually helps us innovate? Knowing about the characteristics of people may only help you get to a correlation between people and the things they buy. Whereas understanding the job they need to do gets you closer to the causation of why people buy something or not.
Understanding the job people need to do (e.g. furnish their home in a day, keep busy on a dull commute) helps companies understand which dimensions of their product/service they should be innovating on. It’s pointless spending time innovating on a dimension that makes no difference to whether people actually buy or not.
This understanding also helps you know what your competitive set really is (it might not just be made up of direct competitors with the same product as yours).
Clay illustrates this in characteristic dry fashion in the first 15 mins of this Boxworks keynote (whole thing worth a watch if you have time).
August 22nd, 2013 by Ben Claxton
nativeye’s social features enable a new type of mobile research. Letting you delve deeper into what’s being said and allowing people to build on each other’s ideas.
Comments and likes also give participants a reason to come back – making research assignments more engaging.
Left screen: Recent activity
Right screen: Post screen with likes and comment thread
The screen on the left shows the Recent activity screen for a research assignment – helping the project to feel alive and inviting. The second screen to the right shows a Post screen with likes and a comment thread below. The user experience is one that participants will be familiar with and therefore will be able to use intuitively.
As a researcher you will be able to comment on someone’s post – either to probe further or to get clarity. In group assignments, participants can like and comment on each other’s posts and the app will notify them, keeping them informed and engaged.
Find out more on our website >
In the next post we’ll look at social features in the researcher dashboard.
July 2nd, 2013 by Ben Claxton
nativeye’s second hack day is rapidly approaching. The theme this time is “Getting social” and it covers a few specific areas to be hacked:
- Phase 1 of nativeye’s community research offering (comments and likes on posts)
- Social context
- Social profiling
The first is exactly what it sounds like: the ability for both researchers and respondents to comment on and express approval for posts. This serves as a way to keep the conversation going and to allow researchers and participants to ask for clarification.
For the next two we are going to look at connecting respondents’ social accounts to nativeye as a way of pulling in their social data to 1) better understand and recruit them and 2) better understand the context of the posts they make to nativeye.
The idea is to create a “best of both worlds” approach – keeping research projects private within nativeye’s platform, but taking advantage of the mass of social data out there by using it to triangulate nativeye data.
For progress – watch this space!
May 24th, 2013 by Ben Claxton
Here are the slides from my talk at Digital Shoreditch.
May 10th, 2013 by Ben Claxton
nativeye has been chosen to be the partner app of Digital Shoreditch – London’s premier grass-roots digital festival.
Tasked with capturing the ‘feel’ of the festival, nativeye will be used to capture people’s enjoyment, suggestions and best moments of the event.
The festival runs 20-31 May. http://digitalshoreditch.com/
I am also speaking on How mobile research fuels your innovation on Future Brands day 0945 22 May.
Hopefully see you there!
April 10th, 2013 by Ben Claxton
Yesterday I spoke at an event organised by the very nice people at Hard to Measure. Great turnout of interesting people from different backgrounds, but all interested in how we can capture the (real) customer experience.
Here’s the blurb…
In the Experience Economy, capturing the real customer experience is more important than ever. But the proliferation of digital technology has both multiplied and changed the nature of customer touchpoints, making this task more complex.
In addition, recent thinking from behavioural economics tells us it is not always straightforward to get to a true understanding of our customers’ experiences. The reasons people do things may be a mystery to themselves, let alone market researchers.
In this talk I look at the shift in the customer landscape and our understanding of ourselves, before looking at practical ways to capture the real customer experience with examples from the nativeye insight platform.