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
3 February 2018
Anthropology in Industry w/ Natalie Hanson
Design and anthropology have been seen together with increasing frequency over the last few years, but how do design and anthropology fit together in relation to industry? And, how does this pairing create insight? The …
31 January 2018
Three-part series on the intersection of ethnography and design
The Society for Cultural Anthropology (SCA) published some months ago a three-part podcast series on the intersection of ethnography and design. The series, produced by Tariq Rahman and Katherine Sacco, was based on the conference “Ethnography …
27 January 2018
Google Design on “human-centered machine learning”
As was the case with the mobile revolution, and the web before that, machine learning will cause us to rethink, restructure, and reconsider what’s possible in virtually every experience we build, writes Josh Lovejoy, UX …
27 January 2018
[Book] The Age of Surge
The Age of Surge: A Human Centered Framework for Scaling Company Wide Agility and Navigating the Tsunami of Digital By Brad Murphy and Carol Mase Reinvent Press January 2018, 272 pages > Q&A on the book The global forces of …
27 January 2018
[Book] The Human Workplace: People-Centred Organizational Development
The Human Workplace: People-Centred Organizational Development By Andy Swann Kogan Page Publishing October 2017, 232 pages Companies spend time and effort developing their employees - their most important asset - but they often forget to consider the company structure, …
18 January 2018
Proceedings and videos of EPIC 2017 conference now available
EPIC is the premier international gathering on ethnography in the business world. Its latest edition, EPIC2017, took place in Montreal in October 2017 and had the theme of "Perspectives": perspectives explores the vantage points that …
18 January 2018
Towards multi-dimensional ethnography
In this paper, Julia Katherine Haines, user experience researcher at Google, argues for the value of multi-dimensional ethnography. She explores the potential for ethnography to venture beyond sites, into different dimensions. As an example of …
3 January 2018
Videos of all keynote and plenary presentations at the Service Design Global Conference
The theme of this year's Service Design Global Conference (November 2-3, Madrid) was Service Design at Scale. Through continued practice, widespread capability building, and successful implementation of service strategy and execution, the face of organisations …

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 December 2017
Happy new year 2018!
30 November 2017
New European study on e-Government initiatives

The latest eGovernment benchmark report of the European Commission shows significant improvement on cross-border availability of digital public services and accessibility of public websites from mobile devices in EU Member states. The study also indicates a need for improvement in transparency of public services delivery and use of supporting technology like eIDs or eDocuments. Performance […]

20 November 2017
Experientia and Italian bank Intesa Sanpaolo announce innovative partnership

Wide ranging partnership also covers collaboration with design schools and public events on service design “Finding the way forward for independent design means building new business models for service design consultancies in the age of the company buy-out.” Michele Visciola, President, Experientia PRESS RELEASE It seems the business world is finally realising that service and […]

26 October 2017
Epic storytelling with video

Another EPIC conference come and gone, and no, we’re not using “epic” in the way under-10s use it about cool things on the internet. EPIC is the Ethnographic Praxis in Industry Conference, one of the most important annual events for practitioners of anthropology, ethnography and related disciplines. Ethnography is one of Experientia’s key methodologies, underpinning […]

23 October 2017
Experientia is hiring! Service design intern

Service Design Intern: Lausanne, Switzerland and Turin, Italy Experientia, an international experience design consultancy, is looking for service design interns for our Turin, Italy office, to support research, concept development and design. The ideal candidate will be a holistic thinker and designer, with a systems approach to enable complex service offerings, driven by an understanding […]

23 October 2017
Experientia is hiring! Senior Service Designer

Senior Service Designer: Lausanne, Switzerland and Turin, Italy (*) We are looking for service designers with outstanding design skills, methodical thinking, and experience in designing complex service ecosystems using a human-centered design methodology.   Required 2-5 years’ experience in service design and/or user experience design University and/or advanced degree(s) in Service Design, Interaction Design, User […]

See all articles