Marketing vs. Interaction Research

20 Dec 2010 - 10:15pm
3 years ago
7 replies
1105 reads
Richard Carson
2010

I'm trying to focus on designing a new product. I think some research would be needed in order to create and plan out some essential aspects for the design. I'm not sure where I should start, but the company I work for uses marketing research. Can marketing handle and does it cover all the aspects of the research required to create products? People talk about research a lot here, so it must be important, but isn't that the job of the marketer? Can they provide all the necessary information for the designer?

Thanks

Richard Carson

Comments

21 Dec 2010 - 2:18am
Jennifer Quigley
2008

Good evening,

I work for a company providing SaaS to the marketing industry as an interaction designer. Marketing can positively contribute to the research, though I would not advise it as a sole method or you will find a huge hole in your plan. There is a lot to understand about the user, what appeals to them, their tolerance for product use, how they might approach the goal with or without you product, ect. Addressing it from a strictly marketing perspective is skimming the surface.

The company I work with has a sales team based both in the East & West coast who conducts the most customer visits and they are a valuable pool of information. From a designers perspective, I may meet with a member of the sales team who is visiting one my targeted personas onsite with a request to ask questions and research a specific we are considering in a software release. I also attend local onsite visits myself and participate in Webex presentations to the personas. We discuss screenshots of wireframes in a presentation, show them a protype once it is available, and intive them into private beta throughout progress. This group remains connected to us throughout the project so we may understand how they would use what we are making, the capacity of their volume needs, and what else they might want to accomplish. As well as user research, it is good for us to research their industry to remain on the edge of what's next and push it forward. Simply observing someone in their related tasks without your product can open new ideas also. — Research is a complex word and should be taken from many angles and over a variery of personas.

Throughout the research process, and very much so during the beta and its tracking, I get feedback sent directly to my email in addition to what I have gathered in person and incorporate it into the product. It is very much an ongoing process for us and extends beyond the release of a product so we can understand what to improve and what to offer our users next. I love getting our personas excited about what we are making for them.

Hope this is of help :-)

 

 

 

21 Dec 2010 - 4:09am
holger_maassen
2010

 

The answer is as so often “It depends on” – The main question is:”What is the focus of YOUR marketing research team?”.

My experience is that generally marketing research can’t deliver you the answers in detail as you need it even they are keen and motivated. To get the most parts answered regarding your needs you will have to brief your marketing research team as good as you can  and possible.

No matter how well you did it – you will have to do a few researches on your own and or you have to do a few workshops.

The reason for that is to find in the different and various views every team member has on the client, business and project. Every team member has his own philosophy, responsibility and role - that is even comparable to the different roles of users (http://boxesandarrows.com/view/ux-design-planning).

 

 

 

21 Dec 2010 - 7:50am
Dave Malouf
2005

From the perspective of design, market research is helpful. I find that it helps me write the protocols for my other research. It is usually for me the best & easiest starting point, especially as it sounds in your case it is already there. But market research is not the type of reseearch that gives me the insights I usually crave as a designer. What works best in my experience is direct observation of activities in context. Understanding the everyday, the mundane, the hacks, the social structures, the language, etc. of the contexts we are designing for has been a crucial set of insights for design decsions.

So my short answer to your question is no, Marketing Research is not enough, but it definitely helps. Another answer is that, any data is better than no data so long as you analyze that data appropriately understanding what is missing, its source, protocols, and presentation.

-- dave

21 Dec 2010 - 7:50am
Dave Malouf
2005

From the perspective of design, market research is helpful. I find that it helps me write the protocols for my other research. It is usually for me the best & easiest starting point, especially as it sounds in your case it is already there. But market research is not the type of reseearch that gives me the insights I usually crave as a designer. What works best in my experience is direct observation of activities in context. Understanding the everyday, the mundane, the hacks, the social structures, the language, etc. of the contexts we are designing for has been a crucial set of insights for design decsions.

So my short answer to your question is no, Marketing Research is not enough, but it definitely helps. Another answer is that, any data is better than no data so long as you analyze that data appropriately understanding what is missing, its source, protocols, and presentation.

-- dave

21 Dec 2010 - 10:52am
Paul Bryan
2008

If you already have a behavioral segmentation (not market segmentation), have identified metrics for measuring success, understand the competitive landscape, and understand how different segments will use your product in detail, then marketing research is enough. If there are gaps in any of the above, and if the reward justifies the resources, then you should do design research. The research method(s) that will give you the most bang for the buck depends specifically on where the gaps of understanding are. Because 2011 will be a year of social / mobile / local breakthroughs, you may need some understanding of how your product addresses those trends in order to be successful.

Paul Bryan

http://www.virtualfloorspace.com

 

21 Dec 2010 - 2:44pm
lkruger
2009

I agree that marketing research can be helpful for Interaction Design, but should not serve as your only form of research. Here at Convio, my team (user experience) often works in parallel with our strategic marketing team when working on redesigning a client's website or application. While each of us can greatly benefit from the knowledge and recommendations of one another, we each have our own specific areas of focus.

For example, our strategic marketing team is highly interested in the organization's fundraising approach - how do they segment their donors? how do they communicate with each group? etc. (Note that we work with all nonprofits)

My team can greatly benefit from knowing about the fundraising approach but what's more important for us is the overall picture of user behavior online - are they donating? how are they getting to the form? what content is most interesting? etc.

In the case of product design, user behavior would also be of utmost importance. Therefore, I'd recommend using the marketing research as a starting point, but making sure to conduct some research on your own. For product design, watching people use the product is your best bet. Start off with paper prototype testing to capture feedback early on in the process. then, if there's time, test again with a functioning prototype. I think the marketing research can influence the direction of your product design, but won't give necessary insights into how the market will actually interact with your tool. Hope that is helpful!

 

Lacey Kruger
Senior Information Architect
Convio, Inc.
lkruger@convio.com
512.652.7801

22 Dec 2010 - 2:05pm
Ted Sienknecht
2006

Hi,

This may be a bit off-topic, but as there is a diversity of experience on this list, this should spark some input...

I've been asked to pull together an overview of professional associations/groups supporting practitioners in the analytic/visualization domain. In particular, associations supporting those who statistically or quantitatively analyze and visually explore larger data sets using tools that automatically produce meaningful output (charts, maps, dashboards) typically in an interactive UI (e.g., R, Tableau).

Note that for this inquiry, we're less focused on associations supporting designers in producing bespoke visualizations (e.g., using Illustrator) based on already "crunched" data. (We also accept that a successful visualization requires usability/UX/IxD principles and expertise, and organizations supporting those folks thus have bearing.)

Given so many -- from UX to IxD to data warehousing/business intelligence -- lay claim to data visualization nowadays, we don't expect a clear cut answer. Please respond regardless of which 'category' you think a group may address, as the discussion will be illuminating.

Thank you for your time and assistance.   Regards, Ted Sienknecht

Syndicate content Get the feed