Many enterprises are familiar with design thinking and the concept of a "people-oriented" approach. However, putting this approach into practice continues to be a challenge for many enterprises.
"People-oriented" approach cannot be successfully adopted without having a deep insight into the market. There are many professional market research companies, from quantitative to qualitative, which can provide services with large-scale systems and complex processes. As a boutique consulting firm centered around strategic consulting, S.Point, naturally, will not claim quantitative research as its primary strength since it adopts a different approach from other firms. S.Point conducts qualitative research, but in a way that is unique from other research organisations.
More focus on one-on-one detailed interviews, less focus on groups
Most clients will naturally put forward their research needs at the beginning of the project, and believe that we will host focus groups like many research companies to obtain qualitative data. However, we will often persuade our clients to switch to using one-on-one detailed interviews. This is because our rich experience in research suggests that there is too much psychosocial noise mixed in focus groups. Many users' views are suppressed or distorted and this results in inaccurate information.
Admittingly, our approach does involve more workload, however, it is important to highlight that researchers and strategists will regularly use interviews as the primary research method to encourage interviewees to speak freely in the comfort of their own homes, the most authentic environment. In this process, researchers will continiously seek for environmental and contextual cues in order to interpret the user's motivation and behaviours until a logical consumer story is formed.
Attach importance to divergent interviews to get a full image of users, avoid premature focus on target products
In the initial investigation of the development of new products, we paid great attention not to turn exploratory research into satisfaction surveys. So when we launch an innovative project for a certain product, the design of the questioning method usually follows the "Funnel Principle", starting from the user's general lifestyle, gradually narrowing the scope to related categories, and doing sufficient horizontal inspections on related categories. Finally, we will focus on the relevant products, and do a full horizontal inspection between the product's use process and different characteristics. The significance of these horizontal surveys for new product development is that in addition to what people often say about understanding user pain points, understanding the alternative solutions users are using is an essential element in defining future products.
Take product train of thought to get feedback earlier than Minimum Viable Product (MVP)
This is one of the biggest differences between a consulting organization with design capabilities that serve as a useful guide, and a pure research organization. Since the project undertaken by us is not just research, but also includes subsequent product and service strategy recommendations, and even product prototype design, strategists have certain "product manager" attributes from the beginning. Mature strategists usually plan prospectively as to the ways of exploring next opportunity space when designing research.
For example, in our store experience project for a well-known international consumer brand, strategists rely on the accumulation of rich industry experience to predict that the store experience touch point is a necessary part of the design stage after the investigation. Therefore, at the end of the interview, questions about the evaluation of various types of store experience touch points will be embedded, and preliminary feedback from users will be obtained during the interview, but it will not interfere with the user's full picture. Of course, this feedback mechanism is not very granular. Generally, it is only described in rough language, or using a general reference picture as an example. The user's feedback may be biased. However, practical experience tells us that many laws will emerge naturally, which will greatly guide the subsequent design. For low-cost trial and error, this is a more accurate method than MVP, and it is important to find directions faster.
Deepen insights from co-creation
One of the most frequently used creative methods in S.POINT is the co-creation workshop. In the co-creation workshop, some groups are composed of KOLs, some are composed of industry experts or innovation experts, and some are composed of typical and representative ordinary users. Although these KOLs and users do not directly express their preferences during the co-creation process, they need to complete the task according to the framework, which is usually a rough product prototype.
The process of co-creation is not only collision but also design, and at the same time it is the deepening of insight. The preferences and tendencies of these users may be more truthful than language interviews when assisting in tangible presentation. Of course, researchers and strategists still need to filter noise with a high degree of sensitivity to ensure that more important factors are found.
Exploring the truth before achieving the value
We believe that helping customers see the truth of users is the first step in value creation. Although our clients have rich experience in the industry for many years, the user perspective provided by S.POINT is often a blind spot that our clients are prone to in daily operations . In every project, we strive to push clients to re-listen to the user ’s true state with a “Zero Mindset” so that subsequent strategy recommendations and product definitions do not go in the wrong direction. In addition to delivering good product strategies, it is also an innovative value that we relentlessly pursue to help customer companies culturally drive users to make decisions.