Stubbed Toe

Postby Guest » February 8th, 2006, 5:57 pm

as for the floor level shower, i have stubbed my toe on a shower door extrusion often enough to have a clue

Belive it or not, but the tremendous success of floor level showers has absolutly nothing to do with stubbed toes nor with the use of a shower. Avoiding stubbed toes is not enough to give a premium customer surprise and delight or the experience of luxury. If you want to expand the luxury product shower line of your customer try to think beyond ease of use. A diamond Rolex is not a desireable product because it is more useful than other watches. The decision makers (here: mostly women) who are looking for luxury bathrooms have a less technical approach, they do not want to increase the usability of their bathrooms. For that reason you can not find many urinals or powerful "ba-woosh" SLOAN flush-o-meter valves in residential or private bathrooms.

Postby stevep » February 8th, 2006, 7:59 pm

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About four years ago I saw Donna Romeo give a presentation of some work she had done while at Whirlpool. She's now at JC Penney (last I knew, anyway) but while she was at Whirpool they were researching some new home spa type of tub, and they did interviews with people in their tub or shower.

They participants were asked them to wear bathing suits. I guess it may have been more about soaking than showering, so you didn' thave the mechanical problem of trying to interview someone behind a shower curtain with a lot of water running while they are supposedly running their hands over their body.

I was very surprised to see a really fun and comfortable dynamic between the interviewers and the participants in the sample videos. It'd be interesting to find out more how that was accomplished specifically - I would imagine it would involve a few things
i) finding the right people - those for whom this is fun and silly and not sexually invasive or body-image-challenging
ii) set up the recruiting in the right frame of mind with the right attitude (not the way you'd approach a usability test for a new web banking app
iii) establishing a great rapport between the interviewer and the participant in the earlier parts of the interview - the parts conducted front-stage - before you ask them to engage in the bathing behavior

I would not have believed it could have been done as well as it was, if I hadn't seen the videos, I would still not believe it.

With any such research, you can think about getting at usage, and you can think about getting at meaning. Both are important and both offer insights to the other, but you would obviously use different techniques to get at different aspects.

Postby Guest » February 9th, 2006, 7:43 am


i agree totally, research staff are key in getting quality insight. they have to 'read' and connect with people very quickly, not everyone can do that.

interesting about the bathing suits, but i suppose being interviewed while bathing would take it far out of the normal everyday experience anyway.

high-stepping over the rim of a shower pan while negotiating a doorway on a damp floor can be a dicey act for most anyone. may not be a show-stopper or an 'exciter', but that is why research.


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