13 November 2006

European Market Research Event – Day 1, morning

Be the first to share

European Market Research Event
The European Market Research Event that I am attending today and tomorrow started off with three parallel sessions: usability, online research, and best practices in research techniques (tomorrow there are four).

My selection of talks is purely based on personal preferences and obviously only a snapshot of about a third of the event.

I have the conference CD’s with most of the presentation files and have uploaded some of those that I attended on this blog (with approval of the authors involved). If you are interested in the presentation files of one of the other talks, just let me know.
 

Flemming Ostergaard, LEGO

I started off the day with Flemming Ostergaard, Marketing Innovation Director at Lego, whose talk “Leveraging Ethnography and Anthropological Research to Innovate” describes how LEGO works on understanding kids and kids play and how to translate these insights into new products and play innovation.

LEGO as a company is facing some major challenges, e.g. the huge pressure from tech toys, the fact that kids are getting older younger, and the shortened production cycle, that have made innovation crucial for the company.

To innovate they need a much sharper understanding of the needs of kids. To achieve this, LEGO uses a variety of user research techniques, including:

  1. Be the Kid – participatory observation where adults became kids;
  2. Know the Shopper – observation & desk research, particularly looking at the interaction between children and parents and at how children shop;
  3. Find the Forces – context and trends research;
  4. Find the Fun – ethnographic research (15 days of hanging out with kids);
  5. Map the Industry – innovation diagnostics with a focus of trying to understand the ingredients of successful innovation;
  6. Find the Stories – context research through talking to authors and scriptwriters.

This research brought about an insight into some of the core values that are crucial now, such as complexity, new playing fields and the need for privacy.

LEGO uses a six pillar approach to turn these values into patterns and “innovation vectors”, and looked for instance at a privacy-inspired solution, called “Mutants by Mail” that covers all the needs of the parents, but also of the child, through a clever use of the mobile phone.

In addition to straightforward user research, LEGO also builds on the power of user communities, through its use of ‘Adult Fans Of Lego’ (the so-called AFOL’s) in the development of the second version of MindStorm, and in user co-creation, through its already well-known LEGO Factory.

A big issue is still the ‘creative leap’: how to take the insights that were gained from understanding and make these into relevant new products concepts. Ostergaard had to admit that the company is are not fully there yet. But one of the ways to make sure user research and creativity are well integrated is by involving creative people part of the full research process, not just the design process.
 

Tony Linford, Hi-Tec Sports

Tony Linford, the marketing director of Hi-Tec Sports, took a much more intuitive and much less formalised approach to user understanding.

Hi-Tec is an English manufacturer of sports footwear, founded in the 70’s by Dutch entrepreneur Frank Van Wezel.

The key to innovation, according to Linford, is a mixture of being very close to the end users, emotional and intuitive understanding of their needs, a highly scientific, problem-solving approach which leads to a series of steadily improving prototypes, and simple entrepreneurial guts to go for something that you think makes sense.

Hi-Tec works a lot with individual lead users, such as professional golfer Padraig Harrington, for whom they developed a set of new high-performance golf shoes.

The company’s latest concept is 4:SYS (pronounced “Forces”). It analyses the different forces applied by the barefoot during the running gait and came up with a sole that mimicked and helps this natural pressure.

Download presentation (pdf, 264 kb, 20 slides)
 

Anat Amir, O2

Anat Amir, who is the head of product experience and research at O2, a UK telecom provider, gave the last talk I attended in the morning.

Amir was one of the people in charge of a 6 month pilot study or user trial with 375 participants in Oxford, UK of Digital Video Broadcast (DVB-H), which is multi-channel TV broadcast directly to mobiles.

Although the pilot study had mostly a technical aim, and the results were quite positive, Amir hinted at a number of usability, context of use and user experience issues that I would have loved to hear more about, but that were difficult to discuss at this stage because of NDA.

More information about the project can be found on the Arqiva website.
 

Be the first to share
24 August 2016
New Human Centred Design toolkit launched for African context
Future by Design, a Human Centred Design (HCD) and customer-centricity consultancy focused on the African continent, has produced an HCD Toolkit (download link) that’s especially appropriate for an African context, and intended for application where …
24 August 2016
[Book] The Routledge Companion to Digital Ethnography
The Routledge Companion to Digital Ethnography Edited by Larissa Hjorth, Heather Horst, Anne Galloway, Genevieve Bell Routledge, December 2016 536 pages With the increase of digital and networked media in everyday life, researchers have increasingly turned their gaze to …
14 August 2016
The psychology of scarcity: what behavioral economics can teach design
Eldar Shafir, professor of psychology and public affairs at Princeton University and coauthor, with Sendhil Mullainathan, of the book Scarcity: The New Science of Having Less and How It Defines Our Lives (Picador, 2013), talks …
13 August 2016
New book on how corporate anthropology can help businesses grow
On the Brink: A Fresh Lens to Take Your Business to New Heights by Andi Simon PhD Greenleaf Book Group Press July 2016, 184 pages Abstract Innovation has become such a ubiquitous value, it's in danger of becoming cliché. Companies …
10 August 2016
What does an anthropologist bring to autonomous driving design?
From a Nissan press release (dated August 10, 2016) One profession you might not expect to find at the design table — anthropologist — is playing a key role in developing Nissan’s next generation autonomous vehicle, analyzing human driving interactions …
31 July 2016
[Book] The Class: Living and Learning in the Digital Age
The Class: Living and Learning in the Digital Age Sonia Livingstone and Julian Sefton-Green New York University Press May 2016, 368 pages > Read online for free Do today’s youth have more opportunities than their parents? As they build their …
31 July 2016
Why Mozilla conducts qualitative user research: the homophilic bubble
Bill Selman, Lead UX researcher at Mozilla, starts this most inspiring post with a quote from a former colleague who now works for a major social network: You know, we have all the data in the …
31 July 2016
Examining cultural need: discussing design anthropology with Amélie Lamont
Designer Erin Lynch recently interviewed Amélie Lamont, a NYC-based design anthropologist, and the result is quite stimulating, particularly also on the topic gender and racial gaps in the design industry. According to Amélie, "design anthropology focuses …

We are an international experience design consultancy helping companies and organisations to innovate their products, services and processes by putting people and their experiences first.

22 June 2016
A united energy economy: Experientia helps wrap up the CITYOPT Nice pilot project

Can behavioral change address local energy issues, raise people’s awareness energy consumption issues, and directly support non-profit organizations at the same time? With the Nice pilot of the CITYOPT project, we have seen strong suggestions that it can. It also suggests that the sense of belonging to a local community is a strong motivation for […]

23 May 2016
Experientia white paper: “Conducting clinical trials is about working with patients”

Patient-centricity is one of the defining issues facing clinical trials in the pharma industry. The past few years have seen a growing awareness by pharmaceutical companies of the importance of patient-centricity – but they have also illustrated that not everyone is clear on just what patient-centricity is, or how to achieve it. After using UX […]

12 April 2016
The latest on innovation in Energy Efficient Buildings: annual round-up of EU Commission projects

Every year, the Energy-efficient Buildings (EeB) Public Private Partnership (PPP) publishes the EeB PPP project review – a round-up of energy-efficiency projects that have been co-funded by two European Commission schemes. This year, the print and digital booklet design was done by Experientia, in particular by our talented visual and interaction designer Dohun Jang. Experientia […]

8 March 2016
Behavioral modeling – Shaping cultural change and behavioral evolution

One of the things we do here at Experientia that really sets us apart from other UX agencies is behavioral modeling. Our cognitive and behavioral models go beyond the standard customer journeys and personas (both useful tools, and often preliminary steps to behavioral modeling) to create frameworks that can be used to make people more […]

1 March 2016
Singapore’s main newspaper on Experientia’s design with the elderly

Arti Mulchand reports in the Straits Times, Singapore’s main newspaper, on Experientia’s “Design for Ageing Gracefully” project: Putting faces to end-users early in the design process is changing the way designers and organisations are approaching products aimed at Singapore’s growing elderly demographic. Experientia’s ethnographic study, which was commissioned by DesignSingapore Council in a collaboration with […]

18 January 2016
Experientia website completely reshaped

Experientia is pleased to announce that we’ve started 2016 with a brand new website. Experientia’s now officially 10 years old, and we decided that the best way to celebrate is by building a new website that showcases our growth – with new projects, new people in the staff, and two new locations in Lausanne and […]

See all articles