Archive for : February, 2011

Implicit testing

February 24th, 2011 by

Just off to a meeting about using the original IAT implicit test approach for a client. It’s a great test for uncovering entrenched or hard to acknowledge attitudes, but limited to one issue and one set of values at a time – not ideal for brand tracking.
This time round it makes perfect sense for tracking changes in attitudes we would prefer not to acknowledge. More on this soon if it goes ahead – meanwhile you can see the original work at

Eye tracking at trade shows

February 23rd, 2011 by

We have been working with the exhibition industry to help them explain what is special about being at an event. In the old days people were surveyed as they left, or maybe in the show.  The problem is that a lot of what is interesting about people’s behaviour is unconscious – so we can’t tell the researcher what we did, or why we did it.

Yesterday we were in Islington at the design show doing some mobile eye tracking. This meant getting real visitors to spend some time wearing a pair of special glasses, that record what is in front of them and what exactly they focus on. It is a revelation – at last we can see what is catching attention as people wander around the show.

Our client told us that the industry believes you have only  3 seconds to catch attention at a stand. We are now wondering if even that is too much.

Not the most elegant glasses

On a practical note, the clientele included lots of architects so no one felt out of place wearing our rather large glasses. The truth is you get used to wearing them rather quickly, and forget you are being recorded. This was not a problem yesterday, but at the last trade show for the gaming industry, there was a lot of surreptitious glancing at the hostesses being recorded.

If we don’t read handbooks, can we be trusted to do surveys?

February 23rd, 2011 by

We were arguing in the office about some of the icons we use to make our online surveys more user friendly. We got on to the instructions we give when we show a new type of question, and it became obvious that we were not even reading some of the instructions ourselves when we did testing. So then there was an argument – is it just men who don’t read the instruction manual, or is it universal? Or are there segments – cautious and anal through to careless and cavalier (you see no one comes out of this well…).

If you make a living out of running online surveys (and advising clients how to make their products and ads and packs better) then this sort of thing could worry you. Just like questions like ‘do people tell any kind of truth in focus groups?’, or ‘can we trust people to accurately introspect their motivations?’

Well, we decided there is one thing we could do – let’s eye track some people as they are doing our surveys. Then we will know if they are looking at the instructions, and what kind of page layout seems to work most clearly. As soon as we get the results we will be posting them here….