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Fee Steinhoff

User Driven Innovation @ T-Labs: Methodological Overview & User Clinic
Fee Steinhoff, Deutsche Telekom Laboratories, TU Berlin
Despite all exciting technological innovation there remains the important business relevant question: What does the customer want and expect from new product & service offerings? To catch and define customer needs is not an easy task: Many of the methods used in traditional market research (e.g. quantitative surveys / forecast models) are unsuitable for evaluating the market potential of highly innovative service offerings. We can assume that target customers are not as yet sufficiently well-informed to offer a valid assessment of specific functions and preferences in an ad hoc manner. There is a risk (often referred to as the "risk of incrementalism") that respondents could prematurely reject innovative concepts. However, any decision to completely avoid market research would have serious consequences: There is a substantial risk of bypassing customer requirements in the development process. Product innovation research can nevertheless draw on a number of "intelligent" market research methods which produce reliable market information, even in cases where customers find it difficult to envisage the product involved. These include e.g. ethnographic methods (e.g. day in the life visits & diary research) and qualitative/explorative methods (e.g. lead user workshop, ideation workshop). So called user clinics (origin car clinic in the automobile industry) can also be used effectively for major projects. The name of this method results from the test persons being invited to a special location, (e.g. a workshop or a laboratory in the development department) where they are treated as "outpatients", as if it were a visit to a clinic. User clinics can yield information about a variety of areas such as: Product use, latent customer needs, customer preferences and usability requirements. Depending on the readiness for production, differing presentation concepts can be used: use cases, visualizations, mock-ups, prototypes up to final products. The data collection is based on observations, questionnaires, in-depth interviews, or group discussion. The presentation will give an overview to User Driven Innovation@T-Labs with a specific focus on user clinics.
 Monday, October 29, 2007
TEL Auditorium 1 (20th floor), Ernst-Reuter-Platz 7, 10587 Berlin

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