Case studies

Exploratory

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Data-driven MVP requirements for a mobile app

A global relocation company was designing a new mobile app.

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

With transferees, our team conducted in-home contextual inquiries, a multi-week longitudinal online diary study, and focus groups to gather design feedback.

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

 

Outcome

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

Call center application design

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

Challenge

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

Approach

Our team conducted contextual inquiries with service technicians in the field as they processed requests for installs, service, and repairs to identify opportunities to enhance efficiency and effectiveness at point of service.

Our team observed customer service representatives (CSRs) in 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

We proposed 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.

Next-gen osteoarthritis

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

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 the ankle, and to receive feedback on a prototype syringe design.

Approach

We observed current practices by visiting orthopedic surgeons’ offices and gathered feedback on their current routines, thoughts on injecting into ankles, and possible dosage reductions. HCPs were asked to perform a simulated injection and provide feedback for future development.

The sessions concluded 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

We provided HCP feedback on the possibility of dosage reduction, shared design recommendations on improving stability of the prototype syringe, and offered positive feedback on the possibility of utilizing current drugs for new applications.

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

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

A multi-tactic approach was employed to obtain feedback on experiences with current cars and reactions to the test model.

Prior to fieldwork, participants completed homework which included taking pictures of various aspects of their current car and completing a survey.

Approach

Each research session consisted of a focus group discussion followed by individual stationary in-car interviews. Up to 8 participants were recruited for each focus group and 2 were chosen to move on to the in-car interviews.

Data collected included 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

The results of this study provided a lens into US car owners. We summarized delighters and pain points owners currently experience in their own vehicles.

Results from the 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 this 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

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

 

Approach

We conducted one-on-one in-depth interviews with participants currently taking the pill form of the medication. Participants were asked to complete a simulated-use scenario using the prototype device. We obtained 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

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. 

Connected medical system

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

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

We were to uncover any environmental, scenario, and logistic considerations that are different for the user group.

We simulated at-home environments in a lab setting, including a mock living room, bedroom, and bathroom.

Our preliminary research revealed that working with pediatrics with this particular diagnosis required a heightened level of moderator sensitivity as the patient may not be aware of their diagnosis.

Outcome

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.

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