Case studies

There are many ways to get the insights needed to guide your development process.

We’d love to talk you through the cool things we’ve done over the last 20 years! Here is a sample of a few ways we’ve applied UX and human factors research and design methods.

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Customer journey of connected, wearable medication delivery system

A pharmaceutical manufacturer sought to explore the ideal customer journey for a new connected wearable medication delivery system.

Challenge

Challenge


The new system would be utilized by a patient population that was unfamiliar with wearable injection systems. It would connect with an application to allow patients additional control over the administration of their medication.

Approach

Approach


We conducted in-lab testing to determine how much feedback and involvement was acceptable and desired by the user. Using graphical cards, users identified the ideal flow to receive, store, administer, and dispose of the device. One month later, additional testing with a smaller group of new and previous testers refined the user flow based on feedback from the first session, delving deeper into features, drawing on their current journey to determine how best to utilize connectivity.

Outcome

Outcome


We helped the client gain a better understanding of how patients would embrace this technology and to what extent they want connected features to support their medication journey. We provided design recommendations they used while building their device.


Competitive evaluation of connected cooling systems

A manufacturer of air conditioning (AC) units sought to compare its connected in-window AC unit with comparable competitive products on the market.

Challenge

Challenge


We were asked to provide an expert evaluation of the manufacturer’s in-window AC unit against comparable competitive units as well as two smart thermostat systems.

Approach

Approach


We spoke with current users of in-window AC units during in-lab research; testing focused on setup of the connected system and use of application features.

Outcome

Outcome


Our insights helped the manufacturer determine the features that should be developed and terminology to use. We also made design recommendations to improve usability of the application.


Exploratory research with pediatrics of connected medical system

A pharmaceutical manufacturer wanted to use an existing connected system mobile app with a pediatric population.

Challenge

Challenge


The FDA requested verification that the app would work with this new pediatric patient population.
The initial study was to identify major showstoppers (if any) and if using the existing mobile app was possible with these patients.

Approach

Approach


For this exploratory research, we simulated at-home environments in a lab setting, including a mock living room, bedroom, and bathroom. Set up in the same test space, we used room dividers, furniture, sink, and mirrors to make it feel as realistic as possible. The goal was to encourage the pediatric patient and caregiver to do what they do at home with the medical system and accompanying mobile app. They simulated the entire process to interact with the app and medication system. Test preparations unique to this study included informal interviews with child specialists familiar with this population to ensure the lab setup would make the participants feel comfortable; modifications included stress relief balls, sensory bin, and wall signs. This specialized population also required we have an on-site clinician throughout the test sessions.

Outcome

Outcome


Our preliminary research revealed that working with pediatrics with this diagnosis required a heightened level of moderator sensitivity as the patient may not be aware of their diagnosis. This required modifications to the test protocol. Working with clinical sites prior to testing was crucial to uncovering this foundational knowledge.

We learned our simulated in-home setup supported data collection; patients and caregivers adapted well to the simulated environments. We also learned to include a kitchen in future studies as there was a tendency for patients and/or caregivers to utilize these areas when prepping the medication. We provided recommendations based on the study data.


Data-driven MVP requirements for a mobile app

A global relocation company was designing a new mobile app and wanted to better understand user needs prior to release.

Challenge

Challenge


The company required exploratory research to understand the minimum viable product (MVP) requirements for an application designed to support transferees with the corporate relocation process.
Our research included two user groups: transferees and relocation specialists.

Approach

Approach


With transferees, our team conducted:

  • In-home contextual inquiries to understand existing logistics and how it could translate into an app,
  • A multi-week longitudinal online diary study outlining the relocation journey to determine how to enhance the process,
  • Focus groups to gather design feedback.

With relocation specialists, we conducted conference intercept research to understand barriers to app adoption.

Outcome

Outcome


We identified the transferees’ needs that could be addressed with a mobile app and the aspects of the relocation process that still required human interaction. We prioritized these items for the app’s initial release (MVP) and provided design recommendations.


Exploration of injection processes, next gen devices

A pharmaceutical manufacturer was exploring next generation improvements for currently available medication to treat osteoarthritis in the knee.

Challenge

Challenge


The current medication requires patients to receive multiple injections in the knee for a full dose. The manufacturer had three goals for this project:

  • to better understand and improve the current routine of doctors that administer this drug,
  • to gather feedback on using the drug for osteoarthritis of other parts of the body,
  • to receive feedback on a prototype syringe design.

Approach

Approach


We took a multi-method approach to the study. We first visited orthopedic surgeons’ offices to observe current practices while they administered intraarticular injections into the knees of patients, view the spaces in which they work, and talk to staff that assist with the injection process. After the site visits were completed, we conducted one-on-one interviews with HCPs to further learn about their routines with intraarticular injections, their thoughts on injecting to other sites, and opinions on reducing the total number of injections needed for a full dose. We concluded the sessions with the HCPs administering a simulated injection with a prototype syringe into a model of a knee and providing high-level directional feedback for future development.

Outcome

Outcome


We were able to address all three goals for the study:

  1. We provided HCP feedback about the number of injections.
  2. We provided design recommendations for the syringe to provide better stability while administering.
  3. We uncovered feedback about alternate injection locations, however, because of the focused experience of knee specialists, we recommended additional research with specialists that have experience with the new injection location.

Call center application design

A major utilities and telco provider sought to improve their customer experience and operational efficiency.

Challenge

Challenge


We were asked to evaluate various aspects of our client’s call center and service technician operations to identify opportunities for system redesign.

Approach

Approach


Our team conducted contextual inquiries in the field with service technicians as they processed requests for installs, service, and repairs to identify opportunities to enhance efficiency and effectiveness at point of service. We also observed customer service representatives (CSRs) in the call center with an eye towards improvement at the service request level and led collaborative design sessions with the CSRs to identify workarounds that could be translated into system improvements.

Outcome

Outcome


We provided interface improvements on the CSR and service technician side that addressed both CSR’s desire for a more efficient order entry process, as well as service technician’s desire for accurate and timely access to customer information.


Foundational auto research

An auto manufacturer wanted to gather foundational insights from the US market about factors that car owners like/dislike about their current cars, reactions to a recently released model, and ease of use of in-car features in both the current and test vehicles.

Challenge

Challenge


Areas of interest for this study included topics such as aesthetics, exterior and interior design, technology, and safety features.

Approach

Approach


We employed a multi-tactic approach to obtain feedback on experiences with current cars and reactions to the test model. Prior to fieldwork, we had participants complete homework that included taking pictures of various aspects of their current car and completing a survey. Our research sessions included a focus group discussion followed by individual stationary in-car interviews. We recruited up to eight participants for each focus group and chose two participants to move on to the in-car interviews.
We collected qualitative feedback and comments, behavioral observation, and ratings. Sessions were conducted in English and simultaneously interpreted into the client’s native language for both live observers and session recordings.

Outcome

Outcome


With the results of this study, we provided a lens into US car owners. We summarized delighters and pain points that owners currently experience in their vehicles.
Our in-car sessions provided insight into usability, usefulness, and aesthetics of specific features in the test vehicle and specifically in comparison to their own vehicle. The foundational results of our study will allow the manufacturer to adapt their strategy roadmap.


Acceptability of new drug formulation and device

A pharmaceutical manufacturer was simultaneously developing a liquid formulation for a drug (currently only available as a pill), as well as a new delivery device to administer this liquid formulation.

Challenge

Challenge


The manufacturer wanted to evaluate the usability and acceptability of the new formulation and prototype device, as well as, gather insights for further development.

Approach

Approach


We conducted one-on-one, in-depth interviews with participants currently taking the medication in pill form. We asked participants to complete a simulated-use scenario using the prototype device. We collected feedback on ease of use, physical attributes, need for instructions, and overall acceptability of the device. We also captured participant data around the new liquid formulation, including appearance, taste, and color.

Outcome

Outcome


While the device was relatively easy to use, feedback about the acceptability and usefulness of the device for daily use was largely negative. Participants nearly unanimously cited the size of the device as a major deterrent (especially as it related to portability, storage, disposal, etc.) and were also hesitant about the potential taste of the medication.
Due to these issues, it was not recommended that development of the device be pursued for this medication unless substantial changes were made.


Understand diabetes management with connected devices

A pharmaceutical company sought to understand how people with diabetes use technology to manage their disease.

Challenge

Challenge


The company required exploratory research to gather insights about the behaviors of people with diabetes and how they use connected devices and applications to monitor, manage, and treat their disease.

Approach

Approach


We conducted a mixed-method study involving a series of remote, individual interviews and a longitudinal online diary study with participants to gather detailed qualitative insights into patients’ treatment behaviors, preferences, use environments, and how patients use connected devices and applications in their daily disease management.

Outcome

Outcome


We provided the company with a clearer understanding of patient behaviors, needs, preferences, and of the ecosystem of connected devices they use for diabetes management. We provided insights into use environments, how patients make treatment decisions, and how patients interact with their connected devices. We also identified pain points and areas for opportunity in the current device ecosystem.


Exploration of training requirements for an infusion pump

A pharmaceutical company planned to make an existing infusion pump available to a new patient population.

Challenge

Challenge


A pharmaceutical company planned to offer a currently available infusion pump to a new user population. They needed to understand how use of the pump would differ with the new patient group and what changes might be necessary to safely adapt training methods for the unique needs of these new users.

Approach

Approach


We recruited nurse educators who routinely train patients to use infusion pumps and invited them to share their insights and unique experience during 90-minute remote sessions. We evaluated their feedback about how they structure their educational sessions and about how training needs are determined.

Outcome

Outcome


Study participants revealed specifics about how training content, duration, and frequency are tailored to the patient’s individual needs. They identified scenarios in which a pump may not be recommended for a particular patient, highlighting possible limitations of training. Our research also revealed commonalities in user needs, which could be leveraged during development of training materials and programs.


Co-creation insights and business modelling workshop for AR

A global telecommunications company sought to explore areas of opportunity for growth in the augmented reality space.

Challenge

Challenge


A provider of telecommunication services sought to increase its strategies in the consumer space with targeted expansion into the augmented reality (AR) market.

With high saturation in existing business sectors, they sought to identify innovative AR concepts and develop strategies to take a leadership position in an evolving marketplace.

Approach

Approach


Our research focused on market dynamics, technological advancement, and consumer need. In partnership with The Office of Experience, we identified and explored seven key opportunity spaces with high growth potential in both the mobile phone and wearable AR markets.

Outcome

Outcome


We proposed over 100 unique concepts within the seven key opportunity spaces identified by our initial research. A broad range of concepts were presented, both large and small, encompassing multiple use cases.

We offered long-range recommendations to aid in developing both immediate and near-future concepts that could be tested with consumers.


Exploration of smart speaker payment technology

A provider of digital payment services sought testing of various prototypes designed to allow customers to shop and pay using smart speaker technology.

Challenge

Challenge


A provider of digital payment technology sought to obtain feedback from potential consumers on the ideal process for making purchases via smart speakers.

We were asked to determine the level of interest in these services and identify possible barriers to enrollment and use.

Approach

Approach


All of our participants were daily users of smart speakers and some had previously used their smart speaker to make purchases. We asked them to share their opinions and evaluate several unique prototypes.

To encourage deeper discussion, we recruited pairs who were familiar with each other for dyad sessions. These sessions were followed with larger focus groups to uncover additional common insights.

Outcome

Outcome


Our research revealed the types of products and services consumers would be willing to purchase via smart speaker. Limitations of the service were also brought to light, with many users sharing common concerns.

Our detailed findings on consumer comfort with payment services for smart speakers ultimately helped position this technology for the future.


Human factors training course designed for medical device team

A global medical device manufacturer wanted to promote internal awareness of and appreciation for best practices in the application of human factors engineering to medical device development.

Challenge

Challenge


The objective was to better understand the importance of integrating human factors into the early stages of their development process. To accomplish this, our team designed a full-day training, split into two modules.

Approach

Approach


Our team provided a broad overview of how feedback from end users should be leveraged early and often during product development, and how that feedback should be integrated into use specifications, task analyses, risk analyses, and the overall human factors plan.

Outcome

Outcome


We worked collaboratively with stakeholders to apply those best practices to their current products in development and talked through how to implement practical solutions.
Stakeholders walked away with tangible next steps to ensure their current products under development were receiving adequate human factors attention.


Human factors training course designed for FDA

The FDA reached out to the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES) to assemble a team of experts to provide a training course for the Division of Medication Error Prevention and Analysis (DMEPA) from the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER).

Challenge

Challenge


We were tasked with offering a deeper knowledge of and appreciation for the scientific roots of human factors (HF) research and user-centered design. A series of modules included the science behind HF, such as human perception, cognition, memory, and learning, as well as best practices in root cause analysis and dealing with the biases associated with subjective data.

Approach

Approach


Three experts were chosen by HFES to design and deliver a two-day training, including Korey Johnson (Bold Insight), Dr. Anthony Andre, and Michael Wiklund. The team presented a series of modules that included the science behind HF, such as human perception, cognition, memory, and learning, as well as best practices in root cause analysis and dealing with the biases associated with subjective data.

Outcome

Outcome


The team provided the FDA with the scientific underpinnings of HF – on one hand to amplify instances where requests for additional research are warranted, and on the other hand to provide the scientific context for when that additional research may not be warranted.


Risk assessment for surgical equipment

A medical manufacturer had US-approved surgical equipment, but the current design was not working for some international markets.

Challenge

Challenge


International markets required the system to be smaller and more compact, but still maintain the necessary functionality. With the new changes, the manufacturer wanted to conduct testing in the US to get FDA approval, which would facilitate approval in international markets.

Approach

Approach


We tested the redesigned device with a surgical team trained on the current system.
We conducted in-person testing in an outpatient clinic, in the surgical team’s environment. We evaluated system setup, tool programming, and use during a simulated surgery.

Outcome

Outcome


We evaluated and updated their risk assessment (uFMEA), aligning with previously submitted documents. We also identified new risks and user paths for the redesigned equipment.


Clinical workflows & packaging design

A manufacturer of surgical and delivery devices needed to better understand use cases around the deployment of their crash cart products in typical clinical environments.

Challenge

Challenge


The manufacturer wanted to develop new packaging and labeling that would better support clinical teams from a storage and retrieval perspective, as well as a safe and effective use perspective.

Approach

Approach


We conducted interviews with subject matter experts (SMEs) from the manufacturer’s organization, as well as contextual inquiries in the field with clinical teams to understand known opportunities for improvement and current challenges.
We used these insights to create a number of simulated-use scenarios and conducted lab-based research to refine and prioritize design opportunities.

Outcome

Outcome


We provided the manufacturer with redesigned packaging and labeling for several products based on what we learned from the clinical workflows associated with crash cart deployments. Many of the design changes significantly mitigated use-related risks.


Expert evaluation of mobile application

Assess a mobile application with a focus on usability and features.

Challenge

Challenge


We were asked to evaluate various aspects of three functionalities on the company’s mobile phone app. Our client was interested in screen flow, navigation, layout, and user awareness of key features, as well as, user interface issues.

Approach

Approach


Our team conducted expert evaluations of the app on three device platforms. On each platform, we completed tasks to evaluate the issues of concern to our client. After reviewing specification documents, we created a prototype to illustrate the optimal page flow.

Outcome

Outcome


The result was a platform-independent clickable flow document that our client could use to design future mobile apps. The specifications document that we provided detailed the ways in which the flow would change based on the device for which it was designed. These tools refined the client’s design iteration process and integrated three previously disparate designs into one standardized design and flow.


Surgical mesh implantation procedure

A manufacturer of surgical products had developed a new surgical mesh that provided various advancements in clinical outcomes, but also came with necessary adjustments to implantation procedure.

Challenge

Challenge


The manufacturer needed to assess the impacts of these adjustments to surgical teams’ ability to implant the mesh safely and effectively. They also needed to tailor the packaging and labeling to clearly communicate the need for the adjustments.

Approach

Approach


We recruited representative members of surgical teams to conduct simulated implantations in porcine subjects at a simulation lab managed by a local hospital.
Our researchers observed the simulated implantations to capture the surgical team dynamics and interactions with the revised implantation procedures.

Outcome

Outcome


We provided the manufacturer with redesigned packaging and labeling for their surgical mesh product that clearly communicated the necessary procedural adjustments.
With the revised packaging and labeling, residual use-related risks were reduced to acceptable levels.


New feature usability of home appliance

A consumer products manufacturer wanted to evaluate multiple designs of a new feature for small home appliance.

Challenge

Challenge


A consumer products manufacturer sought to test the usability of a new feature for a currently available product. The manufacturer hoped to gain insight into customers’ first impressions at the shelf and to understand which of four proposed designs led to a more successful and intuitive experience.

Approach

Approach


We asked current product owners and new users to react to high-quality renderings and use the product prototypes in a consumer kitchen lab environment. We gave participants access to all tools and ingredients they have in a home kitchen and we observed them navigating the process.

Outcome

Outcome


Our research uncovered that while the level of intuitiveness varied between prototypes, the product did not match the users’ mental model overall. We found that users ultimately felt successful, even if they did not prepare the product according to the company’s specifications. With our insights, the manufacturer opted to continue development and redesign to better match users’ expectations.


Usability of connected household appliance

A consumer products manufacturer sought to assess the usability of a touch-screen appliance that allowed connectivity with a mobile device.

Challenge

Challenge


We were tasked with assessing the usability of a touch screen prototype designed to connect with the user’s mobile device.

Approach

Approach


We observed participants using a prototype of the device in a consumer kitchen lab environment. We assessed the users’ ability to set up and connect the appliance to a mobile device, use the mobile device to control the appliance, as well as their reaction to error screens. We designed this in-lab test to support other streams of research being utilized by the manufacturer.

Outcome

Outcome


Reaction to the product was positive overall, but we identified key areas to improve the initial connection and overall user experience. We provided specific design recommendations which were made before product launch.


Usability and safety of wearable pump for Type 2 Diabetes patients

A medical device manufacturer sought to evaluate the usability and safety of the patch pump and training with potential patients and healthcare providers.

Challenge

Challenge


A medical device manufacturer sought to test a simplified wearable patch pump for Type 2 diabetics that would communicate to users without the use of a primary display or companion device.

Approach

Approach


Our research approach included a certified diabetes educator who administered a 2-hour group training session with participants. After a minimum decay period of 24 hours, we observed participants using a non-functioning prototype.

Outcome

Outcome


Participant performance with the pump suggested patients would benefit from improvements to device training and support materials, such as the instructions for use (IFU). We provided the manufacturer with detailed recommendations for device improvement. We also delivered a robust human factors report that analyzed all errors experienced by participants.


Program of research for new drug delivery system

This multi-study program of research used a combination of early iterative design studies and later formative studies to refine all elements of the drug delivery system.

Challenge

Challenge


A pharmaceutical manufacturer sought to bring a new drug delivery system to market. The system included an injector device, instructions for use (IFU), training, and packaging.

Approach

Approach


Our learnings from each study in the research program fed into the next, and our cohesive body of research informed all design aspects for the new drug delivery system.

Outcome

Outcome


We partnered with the manufacturer to submit a robust data set and validation study plan for FDA review and subsequent validation study.


Connected medical system: program of research

A pharmaceutical manufacturer is developing an updated version of an existing, in-market system to help patients with medication adherence. As a connected medical system, both the existing product and new product have an accompanying mobile application.

Challenge

Challenge


The manufacturer makes continuous improvements to the existing mobile app, while also designing the next generation of the product.
These two streams of research (improving the existing app and designing the new system) eventually intersect during the release of the new product.

Approach

Approach


Throughout this research, the goals were to evaluate the new system for safety, effectiveness, and unforeseen use risks, think through touchpoints and pain points of updated releases to ensure this is accounted for in the new system, consider alternate designs to make both versions of the system more usable and understood, and bridge patients to the new app (training, integration).
To reach this specialized patient population, we tested in multiple locations across the country, both in English- and Spanish-speaking in-lab sessions. We also utilized our on-staff RN to advise on considerations during testing for this protected patient population to ensure we approached testing scenarios and environments in a way that participants will understand and respond to. One part of the research required clinician-assisted training to simulate real-world training of the system.

Outcome

Outcome


Our research for the next-generation system resulted in our team providing recommendations to ensure there is a seamless set-up process that prompt less questions and fears of using the system, less outreach to call centers, and to drive accompanying mobile app use.
We also provided design recommendations for system packaging that included improved imagery, layout, terminology, sentence structure, labeling, and fonts.


Travel website & mobile website usability

A travel company designed a new tool that allowed users to manage and book all trip details using one interface.

Challenge

Challenge


The company wanted to optimize the usability of the website and mobile site to ensure it was easy for users to book travel. The tool promised to consolidate travel logistics.
The company was simultaneously conducting global testing and they were looking for a US testing partner.

Approach

Approach


We conducted a remote mobile usability study to evaluate the trip planning process. The remote lab we designed enabled us to watch participants use their own devices and screen capture each interaction.

Outcome

Outcome


We identified pain points, sources of confusion, inaccuracies, and receptivity to the tool. We also provided design recommendations to improve terminology and content. Ultimately, with some optimization, users found the tool valuable.


Expert evaluation of call center tools

Our client was upgrading a sales and service application for customer service representatives.

Challenge

Challenge


The goal of this study was to assess the impact of rolling out a new sales and service application to thousands of desktops, handling millions of calls.

Approach

Approach


Our team conducted a series of offline (task-based) and online (live) studies with call center reps. Our client then evaluated the expected impact pre- and post-launch of the application. We collected time, motion, error data, and qualitative input.

Outcome

Outcome


We delivered a clear picture for our client as to what the impact of the new application would be (if implemented as is) for contact times, errors, and learnability (i.e., time to asymptotic performance) across a variety of contact types. Based on the qualitative feedback we collected, we provided guidance as to what elements to improve to reduce the impact of the change.


Website & mobile usability

A global biotechnology company wanted to assess the usefulness and usability of its informational website designed for clinicians.

Challenge

Challenge


The goal of this study was to determine if clinicians thought a website that consolidated content from various news sources trustworthy and easy to use. This was the US portion of a two-country study.

Approach

Approach


We conducted 90-min individual interviews with specialty healthcare providers. Participants interacted with a clickable prototype of both the desktop and mobile websites. In addition to testing the usability of the site, the various types of content were also evaluated.

Outcome

Outcome


Overall, our US findings highlighted that while participants found the site usable, the terminology used, lack of context, and trust of news sources impacted usefulness. We were able to identify simple fixes that could dramatically improve usefulness and mitigate the issues around credibility.


Mobile electronic health record utilization

An innovative healthcare solutions company sought to test the usability of their electronic health record (EHR) mobile application.

Challenge

Challenge


Our team was tasked with evaluating the usability and utility of an electronic health record (EHR) mobile application. The goal was to evaluate the usability of the current user interface and to provide evidence of utility of this application.

Approach

Approach


We conducted the study at a hospital where we asked nurses to perform tasks typically executed on an EHR under simulated conditions. The nurses then provided feedback on a post-test questionnaire for qualitative and quantitative data.

Outcome

Outcome


The task success rates identified strengths and weaknesses in the application. We identified areas of confusion and inefficiency and provided interface design recommendations that would improve navigation and efficiency.


Desktop and mobile HCP portal usability

A pharmaceutical manufacturer wanted to improve the usability and usefulness of an existing HCP portal for a desktop and design a new mobile app version of the portal.

Challenge

Challenge


The portal was to help HCPs monitor patient information and medication adherence. The manufacturer presented a multi-phased research plan that included two teams of researchers working independently on the two portal apps. The goals of the desktop app research were to evaluate account registration performance, usability, and new feature integration. The goal for the mobile app research was proof of concept, including how well the data was presented and understood, user interaction, and usefulness of the content.

Approach

Approach


Both studies conducted one-on-one, in-lab usability sessions with three different groups of specialized HCPs using prototypes of the portal. Our ability to adapt and be flexible, debriefing in real time, was key to successfully accomplishing the study goals: When we discovered that session time was inadequate to collect the desired data, we debriefed after the sessions to refocus testing for the following day. We already had clear trends, so it was possible to adjust the protocol and moderators guide to cover all of the manufacturer’s objectives.

Outcome

Outcome


We helped the manufacturer and design agency choose a winning design with which to move forward. We made key design recommendations to improve the understanding how information is presented, how to interact with the content, improve the terminology to make it more useful, and improve the usability and utility of the portals (both on mobile and desktop). After the study, we met with key stakeholders, including those from the manufacturer and designers from their agency to ensure everyone knew the strategy for the next round of research. We also provided the research results to the agency so they could design the next iteration with confidence. Our goal was to support the business and design side; with multiple design teams involved, it was critical to sync with stakeholders, and successfully communicate findings.


Customer outreach material usability

A national research organization that boasts one of the largest opinion panels in the country, wanted to both increase the response rate to their outreach material and attract a more representative sample for their annual recruitment cycle.

Challenge

Challenge


Goals for this study were to understand how to make the mailer stand out, make it more appealing, and connect with people.
The study was to evaluate each touchpoint in the process: call interaction, mailers, online registration, and web interface.

Approach

Approach


We conducted an expert evaluation of all materials. We then conducted usability testing with target user groups, including existing panel members to understand what about the panel recruitment process worked well or not.
During the test, we asked participants go through the entire process from mail sorting tasks to receiving a call with the call center (which was done from the call center directly into the test room).

Outcome

Outcome


We identified aspects of the mailer design that suggested it was ‘junk mail’ and provided design recommendations (including layout and content) to deliver a more impactful piece and create a better first impression. We also uncovered motivations for joining a research panel. Additionally, since we evaluated the full recruitment process, we provided insight and recommendations for call interactions and overall approach.


Assessment of new infusion pump carrying accessory

A pharmaceutical manufacturer sought to improve the design and usability of a currently available pump carrying accessory.

Challenge

Challenge


The manufacturer of a drug delivery pump sought feedback on a carrying accessory designed to allow the user to wear their pump under clothing. Three new variations of the carrying accessory were developed, each with different components. We were tasked with providing feedback to help determine which variation would provide the most substantial improvement in overall user experience.

Approach

Approach


We asked current and past users of the drug delivery pump to evaluate images and videos of three new designs. We identified pain points and avenues for improvement by asking users about specific instances where they struggled with their current carrying accessory.

Outcome

Outcome


Participants provided feedback based on various factors such as comfort, pump access, closures, and need for caretaker assistance. Our research clearly pointed to the most important attributes across designs, resulting in a hybrid design to meet user needs.


Exploration of visual brand language

A manufacturer of consumer goods sought to refresh guidelines related to the design of its product line.

Challenge

Challenge


We were tasked to gather and analyze consumer insights on three new visual brand language (VBL) options, which could be used to guide the design of future product offerings. We were to explore consumer attitudes toward these options based on many factors such as aesthetics, how the products might fit into the user’s kitchen, brand and category appropriateness, consumer experience, and distinction.

Approach

Approach


Participants joined one-on-one remote video-conferencing sessions from their own kitchens. Participants were asked to complete activities and react to renderings of prospective VBL options. These sessions, each lasting 90 minutes, facilitated in-depth questioning and allowed participants’ opinions and preferences to be fully explored.

Outcome

Outcome


We collected a wide range of opinions by recruiting a mix of consumers from various geographic areas, age groups, and genders. Our insights helped to identify trends and understand how a user’s personal design style might influence purchasing decisions. Output from our study helped the manufacturer make data-driven decisions regarding the future of their visual brand language for their product line.


Usability evaluation of a smartphone app for MS patients

A developer of digital health self-assessment tools sought usability testing for an innovative smartphone app designed to help healthcare professionals and patients better understand MS.

Challenge

Challenge


We were tasked with evaluating the interface design of an innovative self-assessment app for multiple sclerosis (MS) patients. The app collects quantifiable data through a series of tasks performed by patients, which can be used to help healthcare professionals and patients better understand the progression of the disease. We were asked to uncover design inconsistencies and usability problems within the user interface and content areas.

Approach

Approach


For the US portion of this international study, we recruited MS patients for 60 minute in-person sessions. Participants were asked to complete a series of tasks with guidance from the application. After their attempts, participants were asked to evaluate the ease of understanding the application’s instructions and user interface.

Outcome

Outcome


Overall feedback from participants was positive with many indicating they would recommend the app to others. Our research uncovered inconsistencies in some task instructions and identified key areas where simple changes to photos or wording could reduce confusion and improve user experience and accuracy in completing tasks.


Exploration of guidelines for voice-controlled gaming

A global technology company needed guidelines for voice-controlled multi-platform game development.

Challenge

Challenge


A global technology company sought to explore the necessary considerations for developing voice-controlled multi-platform games – a space where its development was still at the infancy stage.

We were tasked to determine opportunities based on existing need and explore how to optimize voice-enabled technology into gameplay for various platforms and interactions.

Approach

Approach


Pain point identification and innovation involved a mixed-method approach. We conducted remote in-depth interviews with users across platforms. And then invited participants back to engage in co-creation sessions in triad sessions.

Co-creating concepts that do not yet exist is challenging. Our approach captured insights from users who had time to reflect, which leveraged the benefits of a mixed-method approach.

Outcome

Outcome


We uncovered several trends, key among them being a strong desire to design social interaction and the need for customization of controls and interaction in voice-controlled gameplay.

Our research provided an evidence-based roadmap for expanding and developing games for voice-controlled platforms.


Improve speech detection algorithms with voice sampling

A global healthcare company sought to improve speech detection algorithms used by health care professionals (HCPs) to access patient information.

Challenge

Challenge


A global healthcare company needed to increase efficiency and accuracy of accessing patient information via both voice and text input.

We were asked to explore how health care professionals would naturally interact with a text and voice-controlled system in order to access information about their patients.

Approach

Approach


We interviewed more than 500 health care professionals from the US, UK, and Ireland, ensuring variety in our sample collection.

To learn how HCPs might interact with the system, we asked them to naturally request patient data in their own words, collecting both text and voice samples of various scenarios for each participant.

Outcome

Outcome


The diversity of our participants allowed us to capture a wide range of text and voice samples. We learned how HCPs would ask a machine for information in both text and voice formats and collected a large library of regional accents to use in training language algorithms to increase efficiency in these interactions.


Improving the way gamers subscribe and download

A major European games publisher needed to perfect their process to increase subscriptions.

Challenge

Challenge


A major games publisher asked us to conduct usability testing of the subscription sign-up and purchase journey for its online games store. Objectives for the study were to determine if the subscription offer was clear and appealing; evaluate whether participants could successfully subscribe and download a game; and assess the subscription cancellation process.

Approach

Approach


Because we really needed to get ‘in their heads’ we took a qualitative approach. Ten gamers participated in hour-long, in-person in-depth interviews (IDIs); half of the participants began their journey in the browser-based games store while the other half began their journey using the desktop client games store. During the IDIs, we posed tasks and scenarios and captured rich feedback.

Outcome

Outcome


Many participants did not know what the subscription fully entailed or what catalog of games would be included. Once a game was downloaded in the desktop client, conflicting messaging confused participants. To alleviate this, we made several recommendations on how to improve the subscription offer and download ability, as well as several improvements to readability and formatting.


Improving how publishers manage and monetize games and apps

A multinational tech company needed to improve how different user groups monitor business performance of their games and apps.

Challenge

Challenge


A multinational technology company asked us to evaluate information architecture and navigation of a new developer tool used to publish and manage games and apps online. The objectives for the research were to evaluate user performance against a pre-defined task set as well as identify usability issues related to business performance, especially monetization of the games and apps.

Approach

Approach


We conducted global, remote, moderated usability tests with a medium-fidelity prototype across two weeks. Thirty participants consisting of engineers, quality assurance, marketing managers, and product managers were recruited from small to medium size companies in the Americas, Europe, and Asia.

Outcome

Outcome


We observed several usability concerns that could prevent successful usage of the application. We also learned that factors such as job roles, business goals, and app type impact navigation approach. Several enhancements to the user experience were recommended.


Pharmacy package design validation

A pharmaceutical manufacturer wanted to eliminate selection errors due to similar packaging.

Challenge

Challenge


A pharmaceutical manufacturer chose to conduct a packaging differentiation study to assess the extent to which the proposed packaging for a new product and its supporting materials could be dispensed correctly and safely by intended users in the intended use environments.

Approach

Approach


We conducted simultaneous in-lab sessions with both pharmacists and pharmacy technicians. They each performed their normal roles in a simulated pharmacy setting we designed. Our research sessions utilized simulated pharmacy shelves with realistic distractor cartons and prescription mock-ups.

Outcome

Outcome


We delivered design recommendations based on performance data paired with subjective and objective feedback on participant preference. Our insights provided the manufacturer a better understanding of risks associated with each design variation. We also provided a summary of these results for 510K submission.


Pediatric medical injection kit validation

A pharmaceutical company required a validation study to determine if the preparation and administration of an injection kit requiring the reconstitution of a pediatric medication was safe and effective.

Challenge

Challenge


The manufacturer asked us to determine if nurses could prepare an injection device and reconstitute the drug for a clinical trial.

We executed every stage of the project from protocol writing to recruitment of a hard-to-recruit population (clinical trial pediatric nurses) to writing the validation report.

Approach

Approach


The validation study included HCP training, done by our on-staff RN to demonstrate techniques, a 24-hour decay, and a 60-min validation session, during which participants had to prepare and administer two doses of the kit.

Outcome

Outcome


We evaluated and updated their risk assessment (uFMEA), aligning with previously submitted documents, while identifying new risks and user paths for the redesigned equipment.


Evaluation of dental device cleaning and disinfection procedure

A manufacturer of personal care products sought to assess the ability of users to follow cleaning and disinfection protocols in a clinical setting.

Challenge

Challenge


The manufacturer tasked us with evaluating a cleaning and disinfection process designed for use in a clinical setting. We were to recruit practicing dental hygienists and dental assistants with the goal of assessing their ability to safely and effectively complete the full cleaning and disinfection requirements for the device.

Approach

Approach


We utilized one-on-one moderated usability tests in a simulated-use environment. Our lab provided items commonly found in a clinical setting including a sink, personal protective equipment, trash bins, and cleaning and disinfectant solutions. Participants were instructed to do what they would do in their own practice to prepare the device for their next patient. Instructional materials were provided, but participants were not specifically directed to use them.

Outcome

Outcome


We observed participants while they performed critical tasks for proper cleaning and disinfection of the device. While it was originally assumed that training would not be required, our research revealed that in-person training was necessary and we recommended modifications that should be implemented prior to use of the device.