December 2014 Newsletter: User Research Projects

2014 User Research Project Recap

design-must-seduce-shape-and-more-importantly-evoke-an-emotional-responseEmotional Response Research

Moira Dorsey of Forrester has been talking about the “Data-driven Design Revolution” – the data available to businesses today enables them to design for individuals, a more focused approach than designing for audience segments. But designing for individuals means businesses must hit a home run with the emotional factor – people must be emotionally engaged to have a successful experience.

How do you learn if your end-user is emotionally engaged? And is the emotion positive or negative? These are some of the questions a higher-ed client brought to us this year. Using an early prototype of a proposed workflow, we designed a research study to explore the emotional responses of teachers and students. Our recommendations arising from their reactions and insights touched not only the interface but also other aspects of the overall experience to help improve users’ emotional response.

college students at laptop computers

Emotional response research was done with students and teachers


Talk to us about emotional response research, and we’ll work with you to design a study.





person making an online purchase with credit card

User research improved trial-to-purchase orders

    Iterative Testing Trial-to-Purchase

We’ve always been advocates of user-centered-design (UCD), which incorporates insights from users throughout the application design or redesign process. Iterative testing can be a powerful UCD tool, rapid rounds of testing-revising-testing result in a product that is “user vetted” at launch. The final product is successful when delivered because design decisions were validated from start to finish, from low-fidelity sketches and wireframes to high-fidelity clickable prototypes.

When a major software developer this year began moving its products to the cloud, expanding its user base, and changing its purchase model, the stakes were high. This client turned to us for three months of weekly iterative testing to help ensure the visibility, ease of use, and communication quality of their new trial-to-purchase process.

If you have a new application or service that your users must be successful with, talk to us about how we can add value with expert research.

slide of findings from the TecEd websiteusabililty test report

One of the Findings from TecEd’s Website Usability Test

 Usability Testing of Our Own Website!

You know the saying, “The cobbler’s children have no shoes.” Until recently, this applied to us as well. We were always busy helping clients improve their websites and apps, so we didn’t get around to usability testing of our own website.

This year we made time to become our own client, and what did we learn? Our suspicions that some aspects of the site were not working well for new visitors were validated, but there were also some surprise discoveries. Here are a few tidbits of what we learned:

  • Don’t just list services – be specific about what problems we help solve
  • Use fewer stock photos and more “real” shots of our staff
  • Make it easy to learn how to get started with TecEd
  • Highlight project examples

We’re taking our test participants’ feedback to heart and making changes now.  Are you thinking about how to improve the effectiveness of your website? Let us know and we’ll design a research study that will provide insights from your target audience to enhance your success!

Enjoy a wonderful 2015 – we’d enjoy  hearing from you!

About the Author

TecEd’s Vice President of Business Development, Cynthia Zimber, has more than thirty years of experience in Fortune 1000 technology and software channel sales management, as well as marketing and business development for both established and startup companies.