Research Directly Benefits the End User

By directly observing people, we can get to the heart of their needs, motivations and aspirations. We observe users in their “habitats” -- in the office, at home or at play -- and we uncover what drives them, what inspires them and what connects with them on an emotional level. By doing this, we create knowledge for our clients of where to invest resources based on this deep understanding of what people value.

 

 

 

There's a way to reveal that information and successfully benefit from it. projekt202's Experience Strategy and Insight (ESI) practice discovers the patterns and themes that provide actionable, deeper and more valuable perspectives on your customers' wants, needs and motivations.

The most meaningful insights for experience strategy are developed with a deep, behavior-based understanding of users or customers. Our experience strategists observe people in context - where they work, play or live - to understand their goals, needs and aspirations as they go about their daily lives. If a product does not yet exist, this firsthand look helps to identify unmet needs that a product may solve.

A Guide to a Successful Experience Strategy

These steps are in no way an all-encompassing list to the projekt202 Research Methodology, but are great cornerstones and places to start.

 

 
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1: Stakeholder Interview

At the beginning of an engagement, we set the foundation
for success by developing an understanding of the
business, the industry, the competition and relevant
trends. This becomes the basis for how we approach all
subsequent phases. Along with secondary research, we
interview stakeholders and subject matter experts, both
to gain a firsthand awareness of the company context
and to build connections within the business which
contribute to stakeholder alignment throughout the
engagement. This activity begins to define hypotheses for
where the company intends to play in the market, who it
intends to serve and how it plans to serve them.

 

 
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2: An Expert Review/ Heuristic Analysis

The heuristic review is an expert analysis that examines the current site or application screens in comparison to industry standards and established best practices. This helps to point out areas of opportunity that can be addressed during the redesign process in an effort to best the competition. This review results in a presentation of findings that includes both areas of opportunities and concrete recommendations.

 

3: Contextual Inquiry

Using techniques from the fields of anthropology, psychology, product development and design, we use methods such as contextual inquiry to observe and record a rich variety of data. This includes body language, how people interact with their tools, and the ways in which they construct their environments to be successful in their worlds.

The value here is seeing and finding unexpected elements which lead to surprising insights. To get to the core of what they care about, we also open authentic dialogues with customers to hear the stories that define their experiences.

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4: Affinity Diagram

Data is only as valuable as the meaning we craft
from it. We have tried-and-true methods for moving
from observations to insights. These meaningful
insights are the next building block in the process of
building an experience strategy.

We take a comprehensive, rigorous approach to
process data from the field and use it to spark
explanations of what is behind the observations.
Getting to the deeper understanding that insights
provide beyond the raw data is a key step that sets
professionals apart from amateurs.

 

5: Personas

Because specific targets are better than vague ones, we create personas - single archetypes that represent a group of people with similar behaviors, attitudes and motivations. Personas keep us focused on real people who exhibit unique sets of characteristics. These behavior-based personas assist us throughout ideation, design and marketing to help teams develop appropriate solutions and messages.

While personas are a popular technique used by many companies to create archetypal user profiles, projekt202’s personas are far more robust than those created from market research data alone. Well-crafted personas grounded in user observations document much more than simple demographic data. Instead, they tell us about what drives segments to behave and believe as they do.

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6: Consolidated Workflow Diagrams

When an engagement centers on a complex tool for the enterprise, the Consolidated Workflow Diagram captures activity across organizational roles and provides stakeholders a single view of all of the work accomplished in and around a tool. This diagram gives stakeholders an “aha!” moment as, for the first time, they have a picture of the duties employees or customers accomplish in their work lives. Through the use of a Consolidated Workflow Diagram, we see how a user moves through tasks and we extrapolate from here to the various cognitive states a user inhabits while engaged with the solution or process. These cognitive states represent a model of what is in people’s minds as they do their work: their mental model. This understanding has implications for both design and marketing. 

 

7: Opportunity Matrices

A key value that an experience strategy delivers is a set of new ideas for serving customers. The information distilled from the previous techniques and the company’s strategic requirements comes together in an Opportunities Matrix that clearly lays out a set of options for improving the experience of the user base to increase their engagement and satisfaction.

To generate the ideas, projekt202 teams collaborate with product and executive teams to brainstorm concepts for innovation and improvement. Together, the combined team prioritizes the opportunities based on the difficulty of implementation, the feasibility for the business to deliver and the impact that each solution concept may have on users.

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8: Journey Maps

Companies are often so focused on their solutions that they forget that it is part of a larger whole: the customer’s life. As the customer interacts with the company or engages in a life process, such as buying a house, understanding the key activities and experiences the customer has helps determine the most valuable places to focus resources. This ensures that each interaction with the company fits the experience the organization wants to provide. The understanding of the key activities and experiences is built into an informative diagram called a Customer Journey Map. This diagram informs key decisions for business, marketing and design executives, and can shift stakeholders’ thinking about where to engage across the lifecycle of a customer’s journey.

 
“Our process helps develop a wide variety of products, services, and strategies based on the actionable insights from observing customers in the field.”
— Aliza Gold, projekt202 VP of Experience Strategy & Insight

Validations and the projekt202 Usability Testing Lab

The projekt202 Usability Testing Lab includes a testing room for facilitators who lead the tests and for participants who try out solutions. The testing room is equipped for mobile, tablet and desktop testing, and features multiple remote-controlled cameras that provide various viewing angles.

The lab also includes an observation room for clients, key stakeholders and other project team members. Large monitor displays and ample whiteboard space facilitate easy viewing, while simultaneously allowing for creative brainstorming sessions based on real-time feedback.

The lab can record all aspects of each testing session, including the device screen, participants’ interactions and facial expressions, and all conversations between participants and facilitators. The lab also has the ability to live-stream sessions to remote team members.

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IDENTIFY EXPERIENCE ENHANCEMENTS

An experience strategy identifies the most important, holistic experience for both a business and a customer. That identification process involves much more than sending out a survey or conducting an interview.

We spend time with people in their context -- in the places where they live and work -- to observe, to build authentic relationships, and to uncover the real truths that shed light on understanding a customer's journey with a company.


“The perspective and processes projekt202 is focusing on and perfecting will, over time, become standard operating procedure for any application development project.” 

Gartner, “Cool Vendors in Application Development” (G00232379); Analyst: Brian Prentice
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“The effective methodology developed and employed by projekt202 in its countless successful projects is thoughtful and innovative in the ways it modifies and augments the most popular agile methodologies.”

IDC Vendor Spotlight: “Building Experience-Driven Software: Insights for Modern Application Development,” Analyst: Al Hilwa


OBSERVATIONS ARE KEY

Through observation-based insights, projekt202 envisions, designs and creates the experiences that people really value and connect with emotionally. It's our key to designing products that feel easy to use, valuable and intuitive.

Our ESI experts get beyond the surface, harnessing backgrounds and techniques from psychology, anthropology, ethnography and sociology to find a deeper understanding.

It's not just design thinking. At projekt202, it's all about experience thinking.

 

 

We’ve been all over the world observing users, improving systems and helping to enhance customer experience. Here's an example of a few of our international observations, in addition to the hundreds conducted in the United States.

 

Hear from our Thought Leaders

You need an experience strategy. Now what?

To reach a goal, we must have a clear target. When we produce products for people, the right target is based on an understanding of what those people value. The goals of the business are a critical driver as we determine how to best serve a set of customers.

We would love to help you and your team gain this strategic understanding and deeper insight into your customers. Contact us now using the form below and let's begin a conversation toward achieving your goals.

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