Thursday, 21 August 2014

User reference group studies...

A colleague of mine showed me this video, and aside being funny (and a little disgusting) it has some points that I think is worth noticing – watch the clip before reading the rest, to prevent my comments ruining your laugh.

Remember to turn the sound on, the comments are priceless.

What we see is what could be perceived as a user reference group. They are not likely to be the typical consumer of Surströmming, but they serve as excellent reference for users without knowledge of the product would experience.

Here is what I noticed:
  • There is a high enthusiasm, and expectation to this product. The group is clearly under influence of expectations build prior to the video. Be aware that you do not accidentally influence the group when setting up / explaining the concept to them.
  • The group is prepared, they have brought the tools for the task. This is very important, as the users’ opinion and reaction will be affected by lack of preparation, so make sure that the usability study is well prepared.
  • The opening of the product is catastrophic, this is definitely something that would raise a bug in the usability department. A label reading “handle and open with care” seems to be missing, or has escaped the attention of the users.
  • If product is so bad that it makes the people leave the area, you might want to rethink your design/implementation.
  • The user reference group invites in a new member – The dog. This is just a bonus for the test, make sure to capture information you get for free.
  • The user reference group shares associations about the product. Statements like “This reminds me of…” are very powerful, as it tells something about the mood and feelings that the user is experiencing. Capture them and ask questions to the story after the session.
Happy testing!

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