14 August 2006

Get out of that rut and into the shower [The New York Times]

Be the first to share

Qualitative market research
Yesterday, the New York Times published an intriguing story on companies embarking on qualitative market research. The article lists examples of the hedge fund Second Curve Capital visiting and interacting as customers with bank branches, the faucet-and-fixtures manufacturer Moen Inc. filming people taking real showers in their own homes and using the findings to design a new line of products, and QuickBase, a division of Intuit, trying to make sense of customer behaviour that never fails to surprise them.

“Second Curve Capital is a hedge fund that manages hundreds of millions of dollars by making big, long-term bets on the stocks of banks and financial services companies. That means [the company] spends much of [its] time hobnobbing with chief executives and bantering with chief financial officers — the rarefied world of big-time investors hunting for their next great buy-or-sell decision.”

“Once a year, though, [Second Curve] organizes a different kind of hunt — a “branch hunt.” In it, the entire organization turns its attention from the suite to the street — and, by scrutinizing the fine details of how banks interact with their customers, sees the market from a new perspective.”

“In some cases, getting out of your office means, well, getting into someone else’s shower. A few years back, Continuum, an industrial design and innovation consulting firm in West Newton, Mass., worked with Moen Inc., the faucet-and-fixtures manufacturer, to develop a new line of showerheads for the home.”

“Continuum has a reputation for unconventional research techniques, and it suggested that the best way to understand what consumers would value in a shower was not just to listen to them, through focus groups or surveys, but to watch them as well. That is, to film them taking real showers in their own homes and use the findings to design a new line of products.”

“This up-close-and-personal technique generated all sorts of revealing insights. Researchers saw that people spent half their time in the shower with their eyes closed, that they spent 30 percent of their time avoiding water and that, because of poor shower design, they often risked slipping or otherwise being hurt.”

“These and other findings shaped the design of Moen’s Revolution showerhead, which became a best seller.”

Read full story (permanent link)

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 …
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 …
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
Can ‘user experience’ experts become ‘customer experience’ experts?
For those of us who are puzzled about what exactly the difference is between UX and CX, Toby Bottorf, principal at continuum, situates the difference as one of scale: "The difference is one of scale. You’re …
22 July 2016
A nudge toward participation: Improving clinical trial enrollment with behavioral economics
A nudge toward participation: Improving clinical trial enrollment with behavioral economics Eric M. VanEpps, Kevin G. Volpp and Scott D. Halpern (University of Pennsylvania) Science Translational Medicine - 20 Jul 2016 Vol. 8, Issue 348, pp. 348fs13 Interventions informed …
18 July 2016
Design research at the New York Times
The pressure to anticipate an audience’s needs and desires is intense—no longer only of concern to business sides of media organizations but a part of the editorial mission, writes Heather Chaplin in the Columbia Journalism …
11 July 2016
[Book] LEAP Dialogues: Career Pathways in Design for Social Innovation
LEAP Dialogues: Career Pathways in Design for Social Innovation Edited by Mariana Amatullo, with Bryan Boyer, Liz Danzico and Andrew Shea Published by Designmatters at ArtCenter College of Design July 2016, 360 pages The professional landscape for design in …

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