Plan to work in groups of 4. Groups of 2-4 are effective if you are an SCPD student
The goal of this assignment is unexpected discovery born of the participant’s behavior including facial expression, body language and commentary.
Consider the orange juice experience we shared in class. On January 29th, your discovery video will be due. Before grabbing equipment and taking the field, you should design the research that you intend. This assignment asks you to design qualitative research using video observation and interviewing to discover information about the qualitative attributes of the products of your choice based on user observation.
Write a paper describing the research you intend to carry out. The presentations by Stephanie Phillips (Qualitative Market Research Methods), the chapter Peeling the Onion in Jon Steel’s Truth, Lies & Advertising and Scott Doorley’s presentation (Creating Documentary Videos) will be very helpful in carrying out this assignment.
Your paper should describe the nature and number of research participants and why you chose them
Select physical consumer products. Consider comparing two products in the same category. Select products that are interesting to you. Keep in mind three major assignments will focus on these products. Avoid food or beverage, but cooking tools would be suitable. What are some of the products in the Adams readings? Why did we pick an orange juicer for our opening session. How filmable is the product? Do you have good access to the product and an appropriate observation environment?
Tell us about the environment in which you will do this work. What are its attributes and why did you chose them? What products will you select? Why are those products interesting? Please identify selected products by brand and model and include photographs.
Your discussion guide is a list of questions you plan to ask your participants. Avoid questions that suggest a correct answer. Avoid “yes” or “no” questions. You can’t ask “why” too often. Ask open ended questions such as “how do you feel about ….” or “what do you think….”. The goal of your questions is to get your respondents telling you stories
These questions are going to be critical. One can ask quantitative questions such as how much force did that take? … how much juice does that make? … how long did that take? For this assignment, questions should be primarily qualitative such as how does that make you feel? How does it make you feel relative to other people? …what emotions does that bring up? … Who was this made for and why? … are you one of those people? Pam Scott comments that “…looking at all the different sensory aspects of the products and the emotions that those bring up … that to me is the real qualitative nature of a product”. Bonnie Wan recommends asking “Why” frequently. This invites discovery rather than prompting the subject to give a preconceived answer to a question the interviewer’s bias thought would be important. Michael Barry says: In an interview the questions should just be enough to keep the discussion going. “Ask just enough to keep the balloon in the air.” If the participants say something that is unexpected, dig deeper with open ended questions. Unexpected is a flag that there is something valuable there. If a participant says something that is wrong, it is not wrong. Remember you are trying to learn from your participants, not teach them. If something seems wrong, that too is a flag that you are close to something valuable. Dig deeper. Ask why. Ask for the participant to explain what they mean, how they feel.
Ask the subject(s) to talk about their experience as they interact with the product. “Talk us through what you are doing.” “Walk us through the experience.” While the subject is talking, the observers should be asking questions as was the case with our juicer demonstration in class. At least one observer should maintain a conversation with the subject(s) both to elicit information and to minimize the effect that the presence of the camera(s) has on the behavior of the subject(s).
Balance observation with discussion. Your discussion guide is just that, a guide. Be ready to abandon you guide and follow unexpected directions whenever the opportunity presents itself.
Take these ideas and recommendations and create a document which is your plan & discussion guide for doing field video observation of people’s use of product.
The goal of this research is to discover something unexpected regarding products, user behaviors, or user attitudes towards the products.
Quoting Stanford Alumni of Entrepreneurial Design for Extreme Affordability (AY 2009-2010):
“If you go looking for something, I guarantee you are going to find it.” Keep an open mind. Listen and let your participants take you to the unexpected. Don’t be a slave to your discussion guide.
A quick practice field observation with camera will reveal a lot and is likely to modify your research plan. This “throwaway test research session will help you refine your plan and develop techniques
This comment is a quote from a GPBP team who earned an A+ on this assignment during Winter 2008:
1.29.08 Claire Magat and Josh Raffaelli: Our design for the video changed a few times before we actually shot. When the opportunity came up to film first time users with handguns, we decided that this would be more compelling than our original idea, even though it would be more difficult to execute.
Please use 12 point font, 1.5 line spacing, and a maximum of 4 pages of text not counting sketches, photos or other visual illustrative material. No video is due with this assignment.Note that there is no ME214 coursework site. All students enrolled in ME214 have been added to the participants list in ME314 coursework and therefore have access to all uploaded material.