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Shower Research

Postby Guest » February 2nd, 2006, 12:04 pm


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i have a client who wants me to conduct some user centered research for showers. obviously, i cann't observe users for this, so i am thinking that if they took pictures of thier showers before and after use and responded to some survey questions this might be the best that i could do. anyone have other suggestions?

Postby JoeFlaherty » February 2nd, 2006, 12:38 pm


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Design Continuum did a fairly extensive, multi-year research project on the subject of shower design. There are a number of websites that go into greater detail. They found people who didn't mind being videotaped in the shower and did some of their research that way. Some interesting things wee discovered this way e.g. one of the biggest problems showering was AVOIDING the water while trying to lather up.

The before and after deal probably won't yield tons of fresh insights into user behavior (moved shampoo bottles, hair in the drain?) and the questionairre might be similarly limited as people tend not to have the full use of their mental capabilities and have showered so many times that very few "pain points" haven't been adapted to. That said, both ideas may provide some useful data points.

Postby Guest » February 2nd, 2006, 3:25 pm


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thanks for the info, joe. i considered that some may not mind being taped while showering. seems to me that they would still be totally aware of the camera, unlike less private or potentially embarrassing activites and a professional model would be 'acting/posing' rather than showering. i will serch the web and see if i can find what's been done.

Postby jafo » February 2nd, 2006, 3:55 pm


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I'd like to see what you find.

Postby JoeFlaherty » February 3rd, 2006, 8:16 am


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"Some interesting things wee discovered this way e.g. one of the biggest problems showering was AVOIDING the water while trying to lather up."

Just wanted to clarify should be "were" discovered, not "wee" discovered. I don't work for DC and by no means meant to classify the findings as wee, small or otherwise insignifigant:)

Postby Guest » February 3rd, 2006, 9:47 am


Guest
 
There is a book titled: The Bathroom
Authored by: Alexander Kira

This is a great research book. Kira studies both men and women's behavioral, pyschological, and sociological responses to the "bathroom experience". He presents extensive data on how they are similar and different, and how the experiences differ from public to private enviornments... In his research, there is a specific section/chapters dedicated to the shower.

This book might have a lot of information that you are looking; and help generate more specific research!

Gl

Re: Shower Research

Postby IDler » February 6th, 2006, 1:21 pm


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Anonymous wrote:i have a client who wants me to conduct some user centered research for showers. obviously, i cann't observe users for this, so i am thinking that if they took pictures of thier showers before and after use and responded to some survey questions this might be the best that i could do. anyone have other suggestions?


There are quite a lot of other surveyance strategies besides "voyeurism" :oops: Wich one of them is the most appropriate depends on the purpose of the survey. First of all, you need to define the purpose of the survey and then let us know what you want to find out exactly.

Postby Guest » February 6th, 2006, 2:34 pm


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the client is a manufacturer of showers, tubs and associated fixtures. they want to expand thier product line in the luxury showers shower category. they are looking for an edge or an opportunity to meet consumer unmet wants/needs with new products. they are open to most any new concepts in this arena which goes beyond aesthetics and styling.

Postby Guest » February 6th, 2006, 2:35 pm


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Anonymous wrote:the client is a manufacturer of showers, tubs and associated fixtures. they want to expand thier product line in the luxury shower category. they are looking for an edge or an opportunity to meet consumer unmet wants/needs with new products. they are open to most any new concepts in this arena which goes beyond aesthetics and styling.

Postby IDler » February 6th, 2006, 5:24 pm


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Anonymous wrote: they want to expand thier product line in the luxury showers shower category. they are looking for an edge or an opportunity to meet consumer unmet wants/needs with new products.


Assume that the answer would be the following: We the customers desire a really large, retrofit-able and luxuriously tiled floor-level-acess-shower that fits exactly into our 1.45 x 2.21 m 86° angeled corner of our bathroom. We also want self-cleaning glass doors with build-in chrome hinges and no frames. (I took these examples because these products/solutions are becoming more and more popular here in the German market.) I am quite sure, that it would be allmost impossible to find out about those unmet and unvoiced customer wants just by watching the customer having a shower. There are various Methods to find out about customers needs but most of them are difficult to learn and to use. Unfortunately I can only recommend german literature about this topic.
Where are you from? If you want some of the latest news from the sanitation business in Europe just drop me a line (personal message for members) and I will see if I can give you some hot ideas from overseas.

Kano

Postby Tom Wellings » February 8th, 2006, 5:43 am


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As a starter, You could try using the Kano method to find out what the required basic features and desirable features are for your premium customers, and make sure you've addressed as many of these wants as possible.
The Kano method does require a bit of effort to conduct rigorously, but can be quite powerful if you want to sift out subjective opinion.
It won't tell you what will give customer surprise and delight, which is logical, because if customers already knew this, they wouldn't be surprised.

There's lots of info on the web about it.
Tom Wellings, MA RCA
Research Fellow
Automotive HMI and Haptics
The University of Warwick, UK

Postby Guest » February 8th, 2006, 8:06 am


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thanks tw,i am familiar with the kano model and use its metrics in my research. exploiting compensitory behaviors with a sustainable design is my prime objective. i am almost certain that most everyone has a routine which doesn't vary to any great degree from day to day, however, most showers are used daily by more than one person, each with thier own routine. so most showers reach a degree of comfortable compromise between users. easy enough to shot gun all the variables, the opportunity lies in finding out what needs to be addressed, so resources are not wasted elsewhere.

Postby constantinople » February 8th, 2006, 8:16 am


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IDler wrote: I am quite sure, that it would be allmost impossible to find out about those unmet and unvoiced customer wants just by watching the customer having a shower.


This is probably the most untrue thing that I have ever read on a Core board before. You will DEFINATELY learn alot from observing users in the shower and closely paying attention to how they interact with the shower and all of the necessary items in the shower.

I am not talking full frontal nudity here. You need build a set-up that would allow you to observe the face/shoulders of the users, and maybe the legs/feet. Obviously you want to user to feel comfortable and natural, or your data will be useless. Eliminate all posibilities that your user will be putting on a "show" or anything like that.

Postby IDler » February 8th, 2006, 10:05 am


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You will DEFINATELY learn alot from observing users in the shower and closely paying attention to how they interact with the shower and all of the necessary items in the shower.


Yes, you are right: You will learn a lot from observing users in the shower. But I doubt that you will find out about THOSE wants I mentioned above and wich I belive had the most powerful impact on sales during the last months for those companies in the sanitation business who are dealing with showers. Floor level showers for instance were usually sold to people with disabilitys. Now, I would say more than 80% of floor level showers wich are currently sold in Germany are sold to people who are young and have two strong legs. Why? Try to answer this question by watching people having a shower. Good luck! Therefore I would suggest thinking about other research methods as well. For the reason that I am not a native speaker I maybe did not make this point clear enogh.

Postby Guest » February 8th, 2006, 3:26 pm


Guest
 
right you are. observation is but one part of the process. i have already prototyped an adjustable mask from knee to shoulder with a small opening at the shower control which should meet the modesty requirements of most folk and give me the views i need. with the camera remote in the shower, it can be switched on and off from behind the mask. thanks for all the great feedback, you helped me think this whole thing through. as for the floor level shower, i have stubbed my toe on a shower door extrusion often enough to have a clue.

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