Practical Real Time Usability Testing

Qualitative research is a great tool to identify the needs of different constituent groups when a brand is trying to identify a product or a service that can create incremental revenues and build greater relationships with their fans or customers.Recently, SLRG has been involved with a number of initiatives with multiple sports and travel clients, where qualitative research germinated interesting, interactive technology enabled concepts, that could enhance the customers’ experience, while building a positive relationship with the brand. Such concept testing can be very effective in identifying priorities, functional needs, and some of the basic front-end interface requirements that makes a technology solution appealing and easy to use for the customers. This research can also identify potential existing substitutes in the marketplace and surface needs and desires that are not currently met by the present array of similar products.

In multiple cases, SLRG aided various clients to help them develop initial beta applications of these tools. Once our clients went to the next steps to develop prototypes, there was a need to test these betas with groups of consumers to understand how easy the application was to use, the perceived benefits, the stumbling blocks, and any lack of clarity of the information or functionality being provided.

Methodologically, usability testing can take a number of different forms. Traditionally a researcher meets one on one with a respondent and begins by blindly assessing their experience in the category and their familiarity with any comparable products, while also getting an unaided affirmation of the needs that would be satisfied by a potential solution. After this, the product is exposed and tested, and the respondent is provided an opportunity to freely interact with the technology, at which time the researcher is observing their stumbling points and what they gravitate towards, assessing their comprehension and understanding of what is being presented. The researcher will even track their eye movements, to understand what components of an interface they are attracted to, first. This is followed up by more detailed probing where the researcher walks through some of the specific functions of the product or service, drills deeper into respondent comprehension and understanding, and gains a sense of prioritization of what needs are met and what still needs to be satisfied. This provides the developers of the technology with a roadmap to further enhance the beta and to evaluate the perceived value the consumer places on the product, helping assist in identifying the appropriate pricing model. Given precedent that has been created in the digital application and gaming space, this often frames customers’ expectations for what is being offered and what the expected delivery module is for an application; Ie.. a “Freemium” model, one time fees, versus subscription models. Where appropriate, the research can also uncover specific price elasticity levels that lead to revenue optimization.

Such research informs the developers, while avoiding significant missteps in development and marketing roll-out, while optimizing the opportunity for the product to be successful and profitable, rather than become a huge strain on a development budget. SLRG can do this for you – contact us today!