Using research and analytics to help create products customers crave.

The Short Of It
We were hired to test and validate the value proposition for a leading consumer electronics manufacturer. This innovative connected product for families was designed to make their personal care routine fun, educational, and easy. Using a combination of prototypes, qualitative research, and per-user analytics, we validated customer motivation, discovered critical engagement loops, and minimized risk, prior to millions being spent on manufacturing.

The Situation

A leading consumer electronics manufacturer (name and specifics withheld for confidentiality) needed to validate their “Internet of Things” value proposition for a new connected product for families designed to revolutionize their at-home care routine. Due to the nature of the product, and the desire to greatly reduce risk associated with the costs of manufacturing, we applied a high level of rigor around user research and product testing. This allowed us to identify and refine the key insights that created the foundation of the value proposition, and deliver valuable data as customer evidence that helped support product marketing claims.

Creating a unique, connected experience that takes a seemingly “boring” task, i.e. chore, and make it fun and educational, helps build long-term habits that will benefit a customer’s health for years to come.

The Challenge

Our challenge was to identify and scope a connected personal health product that would create long term engagement, leading to healthier habits – despite their fleeting attention spans, particularly when it comes to routine elements of their day. Creating a unique, connected experience that takes a seemingly “boring” task, i.e. chore, and make it fun and educational, would help build long-term habits that will benefit a customer’s health for years to come. As we learned through research, one of the biggest challenges and opportunities to create value related to the need to reduce stress related to the routine. Capitalizing on this core insight would be enough to generate demand and solidify our customer’s reasons for purchase.

Our Approach

We began the value proposition validation with the hypothesis that customers engaged with their at-home routine incorrectly more often than not…or, they did not have any interest in a structured, personalized routine whatsoever. From this, we sought to understand existing behaviors, motivations and perceptions of personal care. In order to achieve our desired behavior change, we needed to create an experience that would be not only educational, but fun.
With this initial set of information and parameters established, the value proposition validation process began via an intense research and feedback loop with a selected pool of target customers. A mix of contextual interviews and iterative user testing was employed. A pilot study followed, where customers used the product for 30 days in their comfortable, in-home environment. In order to gain transparency into how the product integrated into their daily lives,we used a combination of surveys, remote contextual research, and local circumstantial interviews to provide insight into the natural environments and routines influencing our participants’ at-home decision-making. Through these strategic tactics we were able to judge attitudes about functionality, features, and the general ease of product usage within their daily routine.
Knowing that one solution doesn’t necessarily appeal to all, we approached the challenge using several design options and employed A/B testing to observe the customer’s preferences and performance with the varying prototypes. Through precise questioning we were able to to determine comprehension of the content displayed in two different forms. We were also able to observe precisely how the customers interacted with the different prototypes. This allowed us to determine which format made the most sense to our customers and which they were able to interact with more intuitively. We added in peer-reviewed research to bolster the validity of the A/B test results to ensure the direction of the final product was solid.
Finally, we utilized our IoT analytics platform, Smashing Insights, to track individual user actions throughout the study in real-time. It provided ongoing transparency into the prototypes, allowing us to identify behavioral trends and create more robust profiles of our key end users. Through this process we were able to identify the necessary fixes required to boost customer engagement. For this particular phase, engagement was the main metric of success. Looking at the data through the lens of our Motivational UX™ Methodology we validated engagement levels through time spent on sticky features and usage rate frequency.

The Result

The greatest test of validity was to see how the product worked in its natural environment – in this case, the home. This allowed us to unearth ongoing insights, which led to the best feature improvements. By linking participants’ qualitative information with their individualized user behavior data, we discovered disconnects between what participants stated about their behavior versus what their behavior actually was. This was key. It led to product features that assisted with behavioral motivation and created a strong sense of continuity within the user’s routine. The qualitative observations and discussions provided context to the data we collected via surveys and analytics.
The research + feedback loop led to the creation of an innovative product for the right audience. By identifying and addressing a cornerstone pain point for their customers, they have established a new product line, new revenue opportunities and have been set up for continued success in the personal care market.

The greatest test of validity was to see how the product worked in its natural environment – in this case, the home. This allowed us to unearth ongoing insights, which led to the best feature improvements.

Winning
  • Reduced manufacturing risk by validating the value proposition for the connected product prior to going to market
  • Unearthed key customer behaviors and motivations using a combination of our Motivational UX™ framework, user research, and analytics
  • Created the right product for the right customer, at the right time, through our research + feedback loop approach to prototyping

Services

  • Strategy
  • User experience
  • Ideation & design
  • Mobile app development
  • Quality assurance
  • Analytics

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