Case Study #3

Role

Design Researcher, Strategist

 

Industry

Big Tech, Hardware Devices

Organization

... researching qualitatively & quantitatively to generate emergent ideas.

Ran 20+ 2-hour emergent interviews and analyzed 50 diary studies to help a Big Tech company better understand their market and generate a disruptive product strategy.

Deliverables

Defined key personas, presented product vision, and structured 3-part strategy to evolve the current brand.

Summary

Undisclosed Company

Duration

16 weeks

Background

I ran 24 2-hour interviews, completed the diary study analysis, facilitated team discussions, and executed a grounded theory analysis of the interview data. 

The team consisted of 3 researchers.

 
Brief
 
  1. Provide insights into the views and opinions of client’s current product

  2. Present a new understanding of how the product and its accompanying experience should evolve to be successful

  3. Explore the stickiness of different cost, service, and ownership models in relation to the client’s product

  4. Identify the consumer that will most-likely buy the client’s new device

  5. Outline a path forward from the current product and marketing path to the new strategy

Methods
 

We leveraged a recruitment firm to find 50 participants across a diverse demographic set of locations, socioeconomic status, races, and genders. Ages were skewed to between 20 and 40 years.

Diary Study

Broad sample of respondents (n = 50) filled out a brief three-day “diary” covering their personal computer technology, a metaphor exercise and laptop shopping activity. Submitted via Google Forms. The Diary Studies were blind, meaning that the respondents did not know the organization that the study is tied to. Interview Respondents were chosen based on the results of Diary Study.

Exploratory Interviews

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All interviews were conducted virtually via Zoom. We completed two rounds of exploratory interviews:

  1. The first round of interviews (n = 4) were used to flesh out our field guide, test stimulus exercise and develop preliminary service and ownership scenarios. At this juncture, we reviewed the field guide to add and subtract topic areas to explore in the next round of interviews as well as provided a preliminary report to the client.

  2. The second round of interviews (n = 20) was then conducted with an updated the field guide.

Displacement

During the interview, I conducted a displacement session where participants would virtually shop with me. As they shared their screen with me, I would probe their process and ask follow up questions about what they were doing and thinking.

Story Cards

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For each interview, my teammate would draw the conversation the interviewee and I were having. At the end of the interview, the cards were reviewed with the participant to verify what we heard was correct and provide an opportunity to add color to anything that wasn't clear.

 
Facts, Findings, and Insights*

We found that...

  1. People were not shopping for hardware devices in an expected way. 

  2. Software is critical to hardware in a very specific way.

  3. The brand of a device stands for a lot more than quality and functionality.

*Please pardon these findings being vague. I cannot actually share what we learned publicly.

Analysis
 

For the diary study analysis, I coded the participants answers and performed a trend analysis for common words or phrases used for technology.

After each interview, we would discuss what we heard as well as possible patterns, hypotheses, and metaphors to describe what we were coming to understand. Additionally, we put this information into Miro, divvying up fact, finding, and insight.

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Deliverables
 

Preliminary Report

As we interviewed, we compiled weekly summary reports to quickly transfer the interesting things we heard from participants. These consisted of interview quotes, emerging patterns, and curiosities.

Final Report & Presentation

The final deliverable was a full report of everything we learned during this study. The company expected a full report to be able to reference at a later date. The presentation was a high level summary with key details, provided to the executive team. 

Impact
 

The company now has a better understanding of its customer base, a product vision, and a road map to get there.