Sydney Research Network – Objective’s in-house recruitment agency

We welcome Michelle Brandwood, who joins us as Recruiting Manager. Objective Digital’s in-house recruitment agency, Sydney Research Network, lists well over 2000 participants allowing for rapid and efficient recruitment of participants based on demographic and lifestyle segmentation criteria. Recruitment being an in-house activity ensures a rigid process of quality management by ensuring a fresh source of participants for market research; not relying on single existing database.

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Michelle Brandwood, Recruitment Manager at Sydney Research Network

Multi-platform testing – the answer to omni-channel CX

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The omni-channel experience

Omni-channel” is the new buzzword being tossed around. But what does it actually mean? And how do you begin to develop an omni-channel strategy?

With the rise of Near Field Communication (NFC) and mobile phone usage in-store, consumers are increasingly embracing digital technologies and devices in all stages of their buying journey. This integration of digital into off-line shopping behaviour means customers experience a brand, rather than a channel within a brand. In response, companies are designing omni-channel strategies to deliver a seamless approach to the customer experience across multiple touch points. It’s about true continuity of the customer experience.

An article published in The Wall Street Journal (Jan, 2014) says “retailers are still struggling with omni-channel strategies” – and Australian companies are no different. If a company wants to start thinking about the omni-channel experience, they need to be open and involved in making their customers’ experience continuous and universal. To do this, you need to start understanding why and how your customers integrate different customer touch points into their buying journey.

To meet the demands of our clients, Objective Digital has deployed a multi-platform testing methodology. Conducting usability testing with eye-tracking on multiple devices, rather than individually, can create more knowledgeable insights into your customer’s omni-channel experience. A move to multi-platform testing with users allows our clients to better understand how their consumers experience their brand rather than the interaction with a single channel.

Objective Digital was recently commissioned by a one of Australia’s leading Internet betting and entertainment website. As an online organisation, one of their research objectives was to understand how their multiple platforms integrated together, and what type of omni-channel customer experience they were creating. In response, we deployed our multi-platform testing methodology to investigate which device – desktop, mobile, or tablet – was producing a more efficient customer experience at different points of the online betting journey.

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Multi-platform testing set-up

Participants were tested and eye-tracked on two devices (desktop, mobile, or tablet) across four key tasks. Each task was scored against a set of quantitative measures. This was followed by qualitative questions to understand the user’s experience with the different devices. At the completion of the project, we had compiled qualitative, quantitative, and eye-tracking data on each of the four tasks across the three devices. This painted a clear picture of how customers where engaging with the Online Betting agency across its different channels.  From here, we made recommendations on how our client could improve certain channels and leverage others depending on their customers’ expectations and needs.

The philosophy of omni-channel is simple, however the execution of omni-channel strategies has been mediocre at best. In order to accomplish this migration to being omni-channel, companies must have complete visibility of how their users mitigate their multiple touch points and channels. Part of what we are doing as customer experience consultants is filling that omni-channel gap for our clients.

Combining Contextual Inquiry with Eye Tracking

With technology becoming more and more complex, it is key to understand how actual users interact with challenging applications. Observing users work with these systems while at work or home is bound to yield rich qualitative data.

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Objective Digital’s article, “Combining Contextual Inquiry with Eye Tracking” in UX Magazine describes how eye tracking call center operators revealed some pretty amazing insights. It revealed how a stressful environment coupled with an ineffective interface can result in bigger issues, like poor customer satisfaction and high staff turnover.

Needless to say, the findings from the eye tracking analysis put a lot of arguments to rest and were the basis for the design decisions for the systems improvement.

“I finally get it!” – Eye Tracking

Next Bank Sydney 13 brought banking experts from around the World to a wonderful venue in The Rocks, Simmer by the Bay.  As a speaker, I was set a challenge by Rob Findlay, Next Bank Founder, “Shake it up”. So I did. Next Bank Sydney Logo

Instead of my run-of-the-mill presentation, I fearfully told a story about the things that piss me off in banking and the broader enterprise marketing realm and how eye tracking can dramatically improve the situation. I really want to help people discover that:

  • Data from poor market research methods add no value to business decisions and are ignored by senior execs
  • Understanding human unconscious is critical in marketing and no, you don’t know much about what really drives your customers. Certainly nothing about how or why they do what they do.
  • Marketing budgets are simply wasted if no-one looks at your stuff and this is avoidable.
  • A shit ad is a shit ad, no matter where you stick it.

My presentation was a resounding success and at the end a client of 6 years approached me and said, “You know I have worked with you for more than 6 years and only now do I really understand eye tracking!”

Here’s my presentation, enjoy and let me know what you think?

Here’s the slides with text for your reading pleasure.

Free Tobii Webinar:Introducing the Tobii UX Live solution for usability testing

In this free 30-minute webinar we will discuss the value of eye tracking-supported usability testing and how to incorporate it in your development process. You will also learn more about the Tobii UX Live solution and how you can use it yourself when testing web pages and software.

In this webinar you will learn more about:

  • The value of usability testing and how to incorporate it in the development process.
  • The benefits of eye tracking-enabled usability testing.
  • How to set up and run a study using Tobii UX Live.
  • Overview of the Tobii UX Live solution.
  • Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions via chat after the webinar.

Audience and prerequisites:

This webinar is open to anyone who wants to learn more about the Tobii UX Live solution and usability testing. Pre-registration is required.

About the instructors:

This webinar is taught by Johan Koch, product manager at Tobii Technology in Stockholm, Sweden, and Tommy Strandvall, global training manager at Tobii Technology in Stockholm, Sweden.

Dates and registration:

Date & time: Friday, September 20, 2013, at 17:00pm Sydney time
Price: FREE
Registration: Pre-registration is mandatory: Click here to register.

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions!

Cheers,

Sheilah

Visual storytelling in UX

Storytelling1

Good UX is all about understanding your customer, their needs, behaviours and motivations. Here at Objective we work hard to make sure that we understand our customers and their needs allowing them to understand the research insights that we gather through pictures, infographics rather than just relying on words alone.

For a recent project we conducted a whole series of contextual inquiries where we visited participants at their home, to really understand them and everything around them. Over a three hour visit the amount of insights that were collated was amazing and it is always difficult to know what to do with all that information.

Instead of producing a text heavy report we decided that a more effective way to present the rich insights was to produce a series of animated storyboards. Avoiding a ‘death-by-PowerPoint’ approach we illustrated the insights and stories from the research in a way which was approachable yet still immediately understandable.

The result is that the client can share insight-heavy research across multiple teams and they can immediately understand what the problem is and a deeper understanding of their customers and their needs. Although using the phrase ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’ is slightly corny, these pictures can summarise 36 hours of research!

What UX can learn from viral videos

When we think of viral videos, we think of cute cats doing cute things. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, viral videos do spread like wild fire. Viral video marketing has become a clever way for companies to pitch their brand and products. So what can we learn from viral videos to design better user experiences?

Cat_playing_piano

I’ve been attending some of the classes offered by General Assembly Australia’s Online Summer School. One of the courses I took part in was the presentation on Viral Video Marketing by Barry Pousman. Here are some insights I learnt:

Content is king…once again

Barry explains how every viral video fits somewhere on the matrix below:

Emotive_strength

How people feel about your design is based on what content you put into it. And what content you put into your design depends on what effect you’re trying to have on your users. Here are the links to the videos mentioned either to enjoy (or not enjoy):

(keep scrolling down for my quality blog content)

Popular ads: Old Spice

Rebecca Black

Charlie Bit My Finger

Pepper-spraying cop

Even though a video could be perceived to be disingenuous and is generally disliked, it could fall into the category of being ‘so bad, it’s good’. It’s important to realise that the prompt to share a video can be for a combination of reasons.

The most successful viral video of all time ‘Gangnam Style‘ by PSY managed to cross cultural boundaries. It wasn’t just a catchy tune with a funny dance routine and a cheesy video. But most importantly, the dance routine looked easy enough to imitate and represented a universally known activity – horse riding.

Context-based packaging

A lot of good videos out there don’t get noticed because of the title of the video or the thumbnail fails to grab attention. On the other hand, a lot of bad videos get clicked on because of their titles and thumbnails. Barry mentions that one of the best ways to grab user attention is to package your content with something timely and relevant to the user. For example, during the Olympics, products with the Olympic logo tend to sell more than the same products without it.

Keep an eye out for trends

To make your design and content contextually relevant, keep a look out for what’s coming up in the calendar (holidays, world events, etc.) to predict the trends. Marketers always grab onto the next big holiday, even if it’s 6 months away!

 

Finally, what happens when UX meets a viral video? My colleague Dan Sorvik decided to find out. I’ll leave you with a potentially viral video that my colleague Dan Sorvik made yesterday. It’s Sweet Brown Meets UX: Ain’t Nobody Got Time for Bad UX!

EyeTrackUX, Barcelona 2012

A quick update from Tobii

  • Tobii Eye Tracking Conference on User Experience

Tobii welcome you to the 5th edition of EyeTrackUX. EyeTrackUX 2012 (Tobii Eye Tracking conference on User Experience) is the premier international conference on eye tracking in the field of user experience. By bringing together leading researchers from academia and industry it forms an important knowledge base for eye tracking research and methodology. This event covers a wide range of cutting edge eye tracking methodologies that are either emerging or actively employed in user experience research today.

Date: April 25-26, 2012
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Venue: Hotel H10 Marina Barcelona, Av. Bogatell, 64-68, 08005 Barcelona, Spain
Useful Information & Hotel Recommendation: Click here

Conference Program and Keynote Speakers

The intense two day conference program includes a spectrum of user presentations, hands-on trainings and workshops. This year we have invited two keynote speakers who will share their knowledge and expertise regarding usability research and eye tracking: 

         

Silvia Zimmerman

CEO and Lead Experience Designer
Usability.ch
Former President
Usability Professionals Association (UPA)

Title of Speech:
UX: New Trends, Remaining Challenges

         

Jim Hudson

Global Research Manager
Customer Experience and Design
PayPal

Title of Speech:
The Double Edged Sword

Click here to read more about the biography, abstract and details about the keynote speakers and a special speaker

Call for Speakers/ Submissions

We would like to invite researchers and practitioners in the field of eye tracking in user experience research to submit papers for an opportunity to speak at the conference. The success of EyeTrackUX is highly dependent on the contribution of its participants. 

We encourage people to present findings from academic research, commercial research and client cases. It is also possible to arrange workshops and special interest group meetings during the conference.

Some suggested topics for presentations:

  • How you used eye tracking in user experience research
  • Methods and methodologies for doing eye tracking in user experience research
  • Lessons learned from eye tracking in user experience research
  • Interesting findings and case studies from eye tracking in user experience research
  • Eye tracking novel user interfaces and devices in user experience research

Each presentation is limited to 20 minutes followed by 10 minutes for questions. If you wish to submit your paper for an opportunity to speak, please send your application by e-mail to eyetrackux@tobii.com no later than March 9th, 2012.

The application should include:

● title of the presentation
● short abstract of the presentation
● CV of the speaker

Please note that the number of speaking slots is limited and speakers will be selected based on the quality of their contribution and how well they match the conference theme (eye tracking and user experience).

Pre-conference Course – Using Eye Tracking in Web Usability Testing: 7 Different Study Designs

The day before the conference, i.e. April 24, Tobii offers the popular course given at the conference now for the third year in a row, i.e. Using eye tracking in web usability testing: 7 different study designs. Read more about the course here. Seats are limited and we accept attendees on first-come-first-served basis.

Participation Fee, Offer and Registration

Participation Fee: EUR 290
Optional Conference Dinner: EUR 30
(Include: access to all conference sessions and workshops, coffee breaks and lunches on April 25-26. 
Exclude.: Pre-conference course, accommodation, travel costs and VAT tax)

Discount Offer: 
10% Early Bird Discount is available for all online registrations by Friday, March 9th. (Discount Code: EarlyBird)
20% Student Discount is available for full time students with valid student id card. (Discount Code: Student)

Registration link to the EyeTrackUX conference: Click here

Important Dates

9 March (Fri): Paper submissions due
9 March (Fri): Deadline of the 10% early bird discount of the conference participation fee ( 6 April (Fri): Registration deadline (Register here!)
24 April (Tue):  Pre-conference course: Using Eye Tracking in Web Usability Testing: 7 Different Study Designs (Note: Separate registration is mandatory.)
25-26 April (Wed-Thu):  EyeTrackUX Conference

 

 

Fake form fields for a better user experience

Being a Sydney-based UX company we do heaps of work in finance, particularly with online forms. Typically an online form, usually comprising multiple screens, will present some design challenges:

- collect all the required data, while being as short as possible

- collect accurate (formal) data, while using everyday (informal) language

- give the user a sense of control, while demanding intricate details (in a linear order).

Modern form design is a creative art to ensure that people (a) complete the process without deciding to give up and (b) feel emotionally positive after completing the process; if the customer feels the process was demanding and tiring, and even, well, *degrading* because of the personal disclosure to an inhuman interlocutor, then chances are your customer relationship is spoiled from the start. 

Recently we were designing a form in a workshop with a client and we discovered a design issue that demonstrated some of these competing demands, and we ended up with perhaps an unusual solution. The form, like many others, required some disclosure of the financial position of the customer. Part of this was their employment details. The form we had sketched had fields for ‘employer’ and ‘job title’. Our client explained that actually they need the ‘job type’ and not the ‘job title’. Job types are selected from a (long) list and are things like:

  • Manager
  • Clerical assistant
  • Labourer
  • Teacher
  • Production manager
  • Warehouse manager
  • Sales minion* 

Whereas job titles are free text entry and are things like:

  • Manager, retail division
  • Senior administration supervisor
  • Granite technician
  • English teacher
  • Head of plant operations
  • Senior logistics manager
  • Sales prodigy*

You can see that ‘job titles’ often carry a sense of identity and can infer status (there’s more Senior and Principal UX professionals than Standard ones ;-) whereas ‘job types’ are averaging. Chances are that declaring a job title leads to a little flush of pride whilst declaring a job type leads to a little bit of reflection. With the form in question, and indeed with any form design, we want to keep the user feeling just chipper whilst they fill it in (there’s always some checkboxes that the client wants them to tick, right?). We felt that swapping ‘job title’ for ‘job type’ would take too much shine off the emotional wellbeing of our customer during this particular engagement. We decided to leave in ‘job title’ so people could tell us something special about their work, and then collect ‘job type’ straight after**.

Asking for data that you don’t need – the fake field – is of course artifice, and maybe could be considered a patronising lie that breaches the spirit of trust that should exist between user and provider… but seen in a different way it is quite usual to gather extra, incidental information. In a conversation, with a real person, without a computer screen and an un-emotional form in the way, people get a sense of dialog and emotional engagement from the interaction. A lot of extra information is transferred in the process of managing the interpersonal interaction. When designing a form, we acknowledge the compromises compared to that proper human engagement, and we look for ways in which we can take tiny steps back towards where we prefer to be. In this case, the ‘job title’ field is not data that gets kept, but it’s still important to ask someone; could you imagine asking someone what sort of job they had but not asking what they actually do? Even though it compromised our key goal of a short, fast form, sometimes satisfaction is more important than plain old efficiency.

Can you think of other examples where a fake field might help the experience?

Fake_fields

* not really

** (we’d love to test this out and see if a form with ‘job title’ has higher satisfaction ratings than one with just ‘job type’ – maybe one day we will – for now we’re just measuring the form against performance goals)

Jon Duhig is a Grand Wizard at Objective Digital