We offer a variety of design and evaluation services.
The most efficient way to learn about consumer behavior is to go into the home and observe behavior as it occurs. We will recruit research participants that have experiences and expertise relevant to the product of interest. We will conduct observational studies and structured interviews as required to derive product requirements based on unmet consumer needs and aspirations. Ethnographic research is a effective means of capturing the voice of the consumer early in the design process.
The first level of consumer product testing is the “quick view” process. The purpose of the quick view is to get an initial indication of ease of use and to identify any obvious issues with accessibility. Quick views can also be used to narrow down a list of products that might be considered for the Ease of Use testing. For example, if a company has ten products but only wants to seek an ease of use commendation from an arthritis organization on three of the products, a quick view can help a company prioritize a list of products they should consider for the Ease of Use evaluation.
Initial Scientific Review
The purpose of the Initial Scientific Review (ISR) is to get an initial indication of ease of use and to identify any obvious issues with accessibility. We will utilize the Accessibility Benchmarking Scale to assign a score to the product or packaging solution based on the results of lab evaluations and user testing as required.
Ease of Use Testing
The purpose of the ease of use evaluation is to determine if a product meets the standards for the global ease of use commendation program. The ease of use evaluation is a detailed assessment to determine if the product meets the high standards of the ease of use commendation program for the Arthritis Foundation, the Arthritis Society of Canada, Arthritis Australia, and Arthritis New Zealand. The test report is recognized by each of the organizations so separate evaluations for each organization are not required. The ease of use evaluation consists of lab studies of the human performance and the functional abilities required to interact with the product under study during each phase of product usage. In addition, the ease of use evaluation includes user testing with eight users with arthritis. Users are asked to interact with the products as they would in a natural setting and their ability to interact with the products is measured. Subjective impressions of the products are also collected.
In order to develop a roadmap for improving consumer product ease of use it is critical that you understand where your current product line stands in relation to your competitor's products. We will develop a custom benchmarking research protocol and then conduct user and lab testing as required to objectively compare one or more similar products. You can use the results of the benchmarking study to decide on how to best allocate your resources to improve consumer satisfaction.
The purpose of a design study is to identify barriers to accessibility and ease of use and to identify specific strategies for removing the barriers. The design study is used when attempting to solve a particular design problem or to assist designers in selecting a design approach from a list of prototype designs. The design study is customized to the particular product under test but may include ethnographic studies to identify user needs, lab studies to identify the functional abilities required to interact with the product, human performance testing to measure the ability of a specific population to use and interact with the product, anthropometric studies to identify characteristics of the target population that are likely to impact design. The objectives of the design study are to identify potential barriers, to estimate the impact of the barriers on the target populations, and to identify potential design solutions that may either resolve or minimize the impact of the barriers.
We are able to take the results of scientific research about consumer needs, preferences, and abilities and distill the knowledge in actionable design guidelines that can be used by engineers and quality assurance professionals in order to determine if a product or packaging solution is likely to be easy to use. Design guidelines are produced at the product category level. We will work with you to specific the product category and identify a relevant number of product exemplars within that category that serves to define the scope of the category. We will conduct lab and user testing and formulate the results into design guidelines that will be useful for future product development.