Machine Sketch

FIELD RESEARCH

A research project to uncover restrictions of user’s homes that could impact product adoption.

THE PROBLEM

Before going to market, a consumer goods organization wanted to understand barriers to use, Inform design of the product with research, and make their new product easy to use.

Our goals were to reveal how a new product would potentially be used and where it would be stored​, uncover restrictions of user’s homes that could impact product adoption and usage​, and compare the viability of two early prototypes and differing features for home use 

HIGH LEVEL TIMELINE

8 weeks 

MAKE OF THE TEAM

I was the lead researchers of a 3 person team. 

KEY GOAL

Inform the design direction before going to market

MY ROLE

I lead the three person research team and was responsible for coordinating the recruit, the design of the study, data collection, analysis, and reporting.

My client knew that they wanted to conduct research with users in the environment where their product(durable goods) would be used. Identifying the right participants and scheduling the home visits was where we started. We developed a screener with specific demographic and behavior criteria to ensure that the participants were representative of real users. 


Once we identified our recruit I worked with a recruiting firm to identify and schedule participants. We developed an interview guide to gather data about intended usage and feedback on two prototype machines. We also developed a method for notetaking in the field where we had a consistent way to gather feedback that could easily be synthesize and analyzed by the team. 

 

We recorded the visits with a primary and back up recording using a GOPro and video camera. The logistics of charging batteries and memory space all needed to be thought through in order to execute without a snag.

 

Participants of the study lived in a variety of settings in the Boston area including apartments, duplexes, and single family surburban homes. When visiting homes we travelled in a team of three. Myself and another member of my team as well as one person from the client team. My role was to conduct the interviews and also debrief with the client after each interview. 

 

Once the data was collected we reported out on the findings using a report, supporting photos and video clips.  

UNDERSTANDING THE USER

Having users place the two early prototypes in their homes illustrated the reality of the spaces being designed for and also drove home how the size would impact to the purchase and use of the product.  

 

Since the product was new to market and largely unknown, it was valuable to gather data about intended use of the new product. Field research allowed us to gather data about features, size, and placement and provide the client with real-life examples of the product in the homes of users.  

 

Users showed us, using foam prototypes, where they would keep the product and the prototypes. These locations diverged, in many cases, from the intent of the design of the product often because of space limitations and anything that increased the size of the prototype would impact user’s ability to use the product.   

Kitchen Counter

I'm a title. ​Click here to edit me.

I'm a paragraph. Click here to add your own text and edit me. It’s easy. Just click “Edit Text” or double click me to add your own content and make changes to the font. I’m a great place for you to tell a story and let your users know a little more about you.

BREAKING DOWM THE PROCESS 

I'm a paragraph. Click here to add your own text and edit me. I’m a great place for you to tell a story and let your users know a little more about you.

My client knew that they wanted to conduct research with users in the environment where their product(durable goods) would be used. Identifying the right participants and scheduling the home visits was where we started. We developed a screener with specific demographic and behavior criteria to ensure that the participants were representative of real users. 

THESE WERE SOME MAJOR LEARNINGS 

Users have limited space 

the two prototypes differed in size and space restrictions of of user’s kitchens was pointed out in photos of where users planned to keep the product. 

Buttons not levers 

Users provided detailed reasons why the prototype with buttons was easier to use than the prototype with levers. The levers would become sticky from usage and though nice looking negatively impacted the ease of use.  

Excitement about product

When introduced to the concept participants were interested in the new product and described scenarios such as hosting guests when the product would help them to be a good host.

TITLE OF THE CALLOUT BLOCK

LESSONS LEARNED

I'm a paragraph. Click here to add your own text and edit me. I’m a great place for you to tell a story and let your users know a little more about you.

I'm a paragraph. Click here to add your own text and edit me. It’s easy. Just click “Edit Text” or double click me to add your own content and make changes to the font. Feel free to drag and drop me anywhere you like on your page. I’m a great place for you to tell a story and let your users know a little more about you.

This is a great space to write long text about your company and your services. You can use this space to go into a little more detail about your company. Talk about your team and what services you provide. Tell your visitors the story of how you came up with the idea for your business and what makes you different from your competitors. Make your company stand out and show your visitors who you are.

Like what you see?

Let's chat.