Why Field Study, when you are 100% sure of your brand new product idea?

We worked on a UX product design for a start-up. We loved their product idea.

I will not be sharing product details here, as it is not yet launched in the market.

how to conduct field research

We created user profiles and personas based on end user’s demographics. Considering that target market was spread all over the world, we chose Direct-Individual-Discussion data gathering method for the field study purpose.

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We did manage to get decent number of potential user contact info spread across in different continents. It was difficult to get these contacts, but must add they were all very kind and accommodating.

With all the excitement, we created a reliable and valid questionnaire for the interview and booked schedule based on their convenience. With users spread across different continents, schedules were so weird and odd. I remember setting wake-up alarm for mid night and early morning hours.

90% of the interviews were conducted over skype video call, and recorded with Camtasia tool.

It was an interesting experience.

One thing I must add, data gathering process drains your energy, mainly because interviews stretches for long, it goes on for minimum of at least 1hour 15 mins. Subsequently, you will have to go through the recording once again to capture all their views and make notes.

Please make sure to quote well and you are decently paid for this exercise. Else it is not worth it. You invest so much time and energy to analyse the user. If this process is organised well and conducted properly, stake-holders can define clear product growth trajectory. Lot of important decisions can be made by the report you generate.

OK, now coming back to our project, Guess what! Field study report, showed a completely different freaking reality. Client learnt that he was actually slightly early in the market. His target market is not yet ready to accept his product. He may have to invest a lot more in the marketing if he commences the product development work now. So he decided to give it another year’s time.

Wow! We really did not expect this result. This change in perspective after field study was not anticipated.

It was not easy for entrepreneurs to take such decisions. Especially when they resign from full time job and devote completely into their powerful inspiration.



By Jayanthi Varma

Jayanthi is Imajine's Co-Founder, Designer and Developer. Jayanthi is in the field of website design and web app development since 2003. Jayanthi is also a certified User Centered Analyst.