Did it ever happen to you? Having a client that based his decisions upon the wrong research data, which made the project go in the other direction? I bet it happens to a lot of design teams. Today I came across a very funny video that illustrated this perfectly.
Doing the correct type of research and knowing how to do this is extremely important. In the example above you see how asking the wrong questions at the wrong time can be fatal. Focus groups are not the best method for testing if a product is good or not. This video reminded me once again that guiding a client in doing research is extremely important. Getting them to do the correct research and helping them how to do this will not only make their product better, it will also make your project better. But in order to get this done: be prepared.
I’ve had several meetings with clients that wanted to do research: the wrong research. They heard from an ‘experienced’ colleague what type would be best, how many people they needed, etc… And more than once they try to tell us that they can do the research themselves (because it saves money). Another thing we often hear is ‘We have a big network of customers which we get together in a focus group and ask if your concept is good.’ Of course this isn’t the way we want to go. But it’s not that bad. Actually it’s pretty great that they want to do research.
All we need to do is convince them what type of research should be done. And there starts the challenge of convincing a client who thinks he knows best. My 10 cent tip: refer to articles and books. I’ve had many discussions about the type of research and number of people you must use in it. But clients that have heard something from another colleague are difficult to convince. Of course I trust your talking skills, but having a book on the table or referring to some articles about research is the best thing you can do.
And here an extra video:
Top image by gerlos