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February 29, 2012

NY Tech: Measuring User Experience Design

Rob Tannen, PhD, Bresslergroup’s former Director of Research & Interaction Design, collaborated with Charles Mauro of Mauro New Media to present an overview of leading user experience research methods. “Measuring Your User Experience Design” is part of NYTech’s series on user-experience best practices.

The presentation covered a range of methods and tools for gathering and validating user needs, tracking online behavior, and measuring usability. Presenters highlighted the importance of properly assessing user needs, noting that according to The New York Technology Council “the single largest reason why web-based companies and, more generally, many products and systems fail today is customer rejection based on complex to use and difficult to learn features and functions.”

Dr. Tannen focused on qualitative information-gathering and analysis techniques and tools to define user needs, including ethnographic research, remote ethnography and unstructured data analysis methods. Tannen, a Certified Professional Ergonomist, also covered Observational Ergonomics, a set of techniques he has developed at Bresslergroup for identifying and documenting key ergonomic / usability issues. According to Tannen, “Implementing testing and research methodologies can dramatically reduce the risk of user dissatisfaction while radically improving customer loyalty and acquisition.”

Tannen used a recent Bresslergroup project, the Sta-KonĀ® ERG-4001 crimper design for Thomas & Betts, as an example of how effective research techniques lead to better products. Tannen conducted similar analysis techniques on the crimper to provide a truly identifiable competitive advantage through development of an ergonomically correct, user-friendly device. In this case research included competitive benchmarking before redesign to inform the design process. This insight led the Bresslergroup team to develop a best-in-class device that was tested versus competitive products and proven to be superior. The resulting data allowed Thomas & Betts to launch the product as definitively superior.

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