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John A. Bers John A. Bers Associate Professor of the Practice Management of Technology Program Nov. 5, 2003 Vanderbilt University School of Engineering.

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Presentation on theme: "John A. Bers John A. Bers Associate Professor of the Practice Management of Technology Program Nov. 5, 2003 Vanderbilt University School of Engineering."— Presentation transcript:

1 John A. Bers John A. Bers Associate Professor of the Practice Management of Technology Program Nov. 5, 2003 Vanderbilt University School of Engineering Building the User into the Development Cycle Senior Design Seminar

2 What things don’t we know about our new product? Performance – Can our product do what we claim? Applications – What will customers use it for? Market Awareness/Interest – Do they care? Receptiveness – Will they accept it? Preference – Will they prefer it to the competition? Features – What do customers want from our product? Pricing – How much are they willing to pay for it? Compatibility – Will it fit in with the user’s operations? Impact – What effects will it have on the user’s business? Reliability – Will our product hold up in the field? Support – What will it take to support our product? Timing – When will our product take off?

3 Design as an Iterative Process A “conversation” between developer and user.

4 The user as a partner and a resource As a source of information Phone Web survey Interview Focus Group As a partner/collaborator Studies of User Operations Trials Rapid Prototyping

5 What Can You Learn from User Surveys? Knowledge - What they know, e.g., –about the product category –about your company and your product Behavior - What they’ve done, e.g., –purchasing history –experience with various products Attitudes - How they feel, e.g., –about you (satisfaction surveys) –how you compare to your competition –what’s important to them (e.g., price vs. features)

6 What You Probably Can’t Learn from Surveys Motivations - Why they feel and act as they do Underlying customer business processes Future Behavior –intentions and plans –behavior expected to depart radically from the past Beware the question starting with “Would…” !

7 Rapid Prototyping Frequent, low-risk market incursions: use product itself as a market probe use product itself as a market probe listen, observe market reaction listen, observe market reaction vary, recalibrate the product vary, recalibrate the product shoot again shoot again

8 What you can gain from observation and controlled trials Actual usage experience that cannot be captured by any other method Minimize/address “surprises” Impacts on the user’s business compatibility with existing operations unanticipated side effects measurable business and financial impacts User input/involvement in the design cycle

9 Implementing Rapid Prototyping Target lead users (early adopters, innovators)Target lead users (early adopters, innovators) Pre-Launch

10 The best prospect for user-innovator: the Lead User faces needs today that the general market won’t face for months or years faces needs today that the general market won’t face for months or years is able to benefit significantly from a solution to those needs is able to benefit significantly from a solution to those needs may be an industry opinion leader may be an industry opinion leader (disproportionate influence) (disproportionate influence) culture open to new technology culture open to new technology

11 Examples of Lead Users... Technology/Industry Textiles Financial Services Composites Parallel Processing Retailing Systems Medical Diagnostics Law Enforcement Lead User Milliken Citicorp Air Force Oil Industry Wal-Mart Teaching Hospitals FBI Best lead user may be outside your industry.

12 Implementing Rapid Prototyping Target lead users Involve potential users early in the development cycleInvolve potential users early in the development cycle Make product easy for users to try outMake product easy for users to try out Start with peripheral or minor applications (reduce adoption risk)Start with peripheral or minor applications (reduce adoption risk)Pre-Launch

13 Implementing Rapid Prototyping Target lead users Involve potential users early in the development cycle Make product easy for users to try out Start with peripheral or minor applications Pre- Launch Post-Launch Design product for user to modify.Design product for user to modify. Encourage users to share their results with you.Encourage users to share their results with you.

14 “Instrumenting” the Site Variables to be measured during the trial… Usage parameters Who, how, how much Results Problems (“surprises”) Business Impact Fit within the operations Impact on the business (ROI) Ancillary Needs Related unmet needs Opportunities for new products, extensions

15 Example of User-guided Design: The HP Network Advisor Users need more data, reports Network Operations Managers Result: information overload Network Maintenance Technicians Help my users recover from crashes Result: HP Network Advisor

16 Exercise: Taking Palm to the Factory Floor Product Objective: Real-time tracking of work-in-process, raw materials, components, inventory Business Objective: Catch defects, flag component shortages, keep supply chain taught Assignment: What would you want to learn from prospective users? How would you find it out?

17 Benefits of User Involvement Helps establish design objectives Helps establish design objectives The “who-what-when” of the target market The “who-what-when” of the target market Guides design tradeoffs Guides design tradeoffs e.g., price vs. features vs. performance e.g., price vs. features vs. performance Stimulates discovery of new directions and opportunities Stimulates discovery of new directions and opportunities e.g., features, new applications, unsolved problems e.g., features, new applications, unsolved problems Let’s you home-in faster on what market will buy. Let’s you home-in faster on what market will buy.

18 A Spring ’04 course to consider MT242: Technology Marketing If you’re interested in working for a company that is working in the field of your design project… If you intend to take the project to market… If you want to develop and refine your skill sets in analyzing technology markets and developing market strategies… You may use the marketing course project to develop a market analysis and plan for your senior design project. Only one team member need enroll.


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