This short post was inspired by an article I recently read about a group of dentists that decided to open a practice in NYC (D'Ambrosio, 2020). What's different about it is these dentists offer a very limited number of services (in fact only three: cleaning, whitening, and straightening). No, it's not because they are underqualified to perform other services or they're just lazy, it's because through their research they found most people (i.e., young professionals) in the area don't need the full gamut of services normally offered at the dentist. They also realized most people can't afford to go to the dentist for these basic services because of cost. Now, implementing a "user-centered" business model, these dentists offer clientele the basic services they most often want at a much more affordable price. This is because the overhead costs associated with these three services (i.e., equipment, office space, insurance, etc.) are much lower than a traditional dentist, and those savings are passed on to the clientele. They also completely redesigned their office space with a time-relevant facelift. Their goal is to make going to the dentist similar to going to get a haircut or your nails done…pop in, get a cleaning, and pop out with some money still in your pocket.
It's obvious COVID has been a catalyst that has forced businesses to re-evaluate their models and plans over the past year. People have less money to spend, but still have needs to be met. I am by no means a business analyst or have a business degree, but I do understand the importance of focusing on the end-users when designing products, building training programs, or determining a list of services to offer. Many of these topics are partially covered under market research, but by borrowing concepts and approaches from usability, user experience, neuroscience, and other related fields, businesses can gather different types of research data to better inform their decisions. For example, restaurants, wineries, and supermarkets have used behavioral science (e.g., eye-tracking data) to inform menu redesigns or product options, resulting in better customer experiences and bottom lines (e.g. Cobe, 2020; Huseynov, Kassas, Segovia & Palma, 2019; Wästlund, Shams, & Otterbring, 2018). It shows that a bit of research to understand customer needs and creative thinking based on the data can go a long way.
1) Understand user needs regardless of your business focus and design to meet those needs.
2) Look to other sources of data not traditionally used to inform these related business decisions as a way to better understand your users and clientele. This can lead to better user experiences and improve overall customer satisfaction.
How are you seeking to understand your customer needs and how is data informing your "user centered" business decisions? Let us know what challenges you're facing and we'll let you know how we can help.
Cobe, P. (2020, September 25). Texas restaurants turn to neuroscience for menu makeovers. Restaurant Business. https://www.restaurantbusinessonline.com/technology/texas-restaurants-turn-neurosciencemenu-makeovers
D'Ambrosio, D. (2020, January 18). Take a trip to Beam Street for a new kind of dentist. Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/danieldambrosio/2020/01/18/take-a-trip-to-beam-street-for-a-new-kind-of-dentist/?sh=792aaf52bf77
Huseynov, S., Kassas, B., Segovia, M.S., & Palma, M.A. (2019). Incorporating biometric data in models of consumer choice. Applied Economics, 51(14), 1514-1531.
Wästlund, Shams, & Otterbring, (2018). Unsold is unseen … or is it? Examining the role of peripheral vision in the consumer choice process using eye-tracking methodology. Appetite, 120, 49-56.
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Last month, QIC welcomed Jessica James to the team! Jessica James is a Human Factors Intern at QIC. She earned a B.S. in Human Factors Psychology from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and is currently pursuing a M.S. in Human Factors from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University as well. During her academic career, she has assisted in various projects related to usability and user experience (UX) research.
These posts are written or shared by QIC team members. We find this stuff interesting, exciting, and totally awesome! We hope you do too!