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User Experience

User Experience (UX)

Today’s consumer is bombarded with promises for compelling experiences. They are sophisticated and demanding.  To be successful, a new product or service needs to be intuitive, usable, engaging and desirable.  The user experience needs to be emotional in order to be memorable.  

GfK’s User Experience (UX) research and design experts help our clients create and improve customer experiences for existing or new products and services.

We bring your customers into the heart of the design process from the start; reducing the risk of failed products and costly post-launch changes. We project user insights into all stages of development, from early concepts and prototyping through launch and post-launch activity.

Our user experience findings reveal definitive plans on how to best differentiate your products and services, capitalize on current market opportunities, and guide the UX of future product and service design.

As a result our clients create experiences that are engaging and meaningful; driving user adoption and customer satisfaction. 

Molemo Moahloli
South Africa
+27 11 803 1300

UX Labs

GfK’s custom-built UX laboratories across multiple key markets are standardized to ensure consistency and high quality, no matter where the research is conducted. We use our UX labs to host test scenarios to meet any need – from a simulated emergency room to a living room environment – and accommodate everything from focus groups to individual interviews. 

For user experience research outside the traditional laboratory environment, we have unmatched mobile studios that allow data-gathering to occur anywhere in the world, in any setting.

Read more about our UX labs

UXalliance

Our GfK UX team is a founding member of UXalliance, the international user experience network. With more than 500 UX professionals worldwide who speak 30-plus languages combined, the UXalliance gives you access to local experts with deep knowledge of local markets.

To ensure reports are comparable across countries, our partners adhere to strict quality standards and proprietary guidelines. And we have been making global UX research easy since 2005 by offering cost-savings and shorter timelines for multi-country projects.

Related Links:

UXalliance

UX Masterclass bi-annual conference 

Related Products for User Experience
Latest insights

Here you can find the latest insights for User Experience. View all insights

    • 01/06/17
    • Consumer Goods
    • User Experience (UX)
    • Connected Consumer
    • Global
    • English

    3 usability tips every appliance manufacturer should consider

    The household appliance industry has been particularly impacted by rapid-evolving technology and Connected Consumer innovations. Our user experience (UX) researchers and designers are fortunate to see and test many cool-looking prototypes that integrate these innovations before they hit the market. While we draw some of our insights from UX best practices and years of experience in UX design of appliances, having a set of benchmarks in our arsenal makes recommendations that much more powerful.

    Measuring UX in household appliance research

    We have integrated a UX measurement tool in household appliance research over several years resulting in a robust benchmark database. A scientifically-validated tool, the UX Score offers holistic insight by combining pragmatic usability aspects (learnability, operability) with hedonic qualities such as usefulness (identification, stimulation) and look and feel; this results in a score that can be compared to competitor products, different versions of the product, or, in the case of household appliances, benchmarked for the category. Our database includes years of global research covering diverse product categories from cooktops to freezers.

    Diving deeper into the individual dimensions of the UX Score

    While the overall benchmark UX Score for household appliances indicates a good user experience through its relatively high value (about 5 on a scale from 1=low  to 6=high), researchers are likely familiar with the following situation: A consumer is excited about a new idea and design, but once they attempt to use it, the disappointment surfaces. So we must dive deeper into the individual dimensions of the UX Score. Here we see the mean benchmark values by dimension for the UX Score of household appliances. Mean benchmark values of each dimension including overall benchmark (orange line) for household appliances In the “inspiration” and “look and feel” dimensions, we see high benchmark values compared to the overall benchmark line. This is fostered by continuous innovations through new functionalities that show a stimulating effect on the product experience as well as the high-quality impression. The more pragmatic “operability” dimension represents the lowest value by comparison. The location of features and information do not conform to consumer expectations. The “learnability” dimension value is also reduced – a catchy and intuitive usage of household appliances is limited.

    How to improve the user experience for household appliances

    Based on this benchmark data and UX best practices, we have established three tips for household appliance manufacturers to improve the user experience of their products:
    • Define functions and interaction design before constructing the physical interface.
      Thereby you can perfectly place functions exactly where users expect them to be. This works much better than placing the function anywhere and then trying to explain it with an icon.
    • Involve hardware designers as early as possible in the concept development process.
      Designers and hardware experts should work together as early as possible in the concept development and testing process. This will ensure the pragmatic, as well as, hedonic aspects will gain attention.
    • Opportunity of thin-film transistor (TFT) displays should not be overstrained – avoid abundance of functions.
      TFTs offer a great opportunity to explain functions. Although consumers are very familiar with the interactions via touch, too many gimmicks lead to confusion and disorientation. If no TFT is available it becomes even more essential to focus only on the most relevant functionalities. Self-explanatory icons should be found for other functions, which are then tested as early as possible (see point 1).
    As household appliance innovations continue to evolve, the strengths (hedonic qualities) seem to be well-considered. To address the category weaknesses like operability and learnability, appliance manufacturers should apply a holistic user experience design process to keep classic usability aspects top of mind. Lena Tetzlaff is a User Experience Consultant at GfK. Please email lena.tetzlaff@gfk.com to share your thoughts.
    • 12/14/16
    • Technology
    • User Experience (UX)
    • Connected Consumer
    • Global
    • English

    The secret to a “killer device” that keeps users locked into your ecosystem

    The world of consumer technology has steadily moved toward an ecosystem model over the last few years; whereby a single manufacturer has created an interconnected set of devices touching upon several facets of a consumer’s life, from communication to entertainment to housework. For manufacturers of these devices, the stakes are higher than they’ve ever been. If a manufacturer is able to lock in a consumer with one device, for example a smartphone, they have the potential to influence a myriad of future purchases, from wearables, TVs, and laptops, to big-ticket items, like home appliances, home automation systems, and even vehicles.

    Generating loyalty through device ecosystems

    The further you dive into a particular device ecosystem, the harder it is to switch to something else. For example, if someone purchases an Android phone and later finds themselves in the market for a smartwatch, they’ll logically opt for an Android Wear watch. Once it’s time to purchase a new car, they might then decide on a car with Android Auto to get the most out of the connected features of both their phone and car. Then when it’s a year later and it’s time to upgrade to the latest and greatest smartphone, the most logical route is to get another Android phone since it’s guaranteed to still be compatible with their watch and car. This is why it is so important to have a well thought out and engaging device to grab users’ attention and lock them in early.

    Developing the “killer device” that keeps users coming back

    The phrase from a few years ago was “killer app” to describe that one great app that encouraged people to buy a given smartphone. In the age of the device ecosystem, it’s the “killer device” – that one perfect device that draws people in and (hopefully) generates the loyalty needed to keep users coming back to the same manufacturer for all of their other devices. Creating that killer device is no easy feat and is often the end-result of lots of planning and hitting the market at just the right time. Part of this planning though is ensuring that the device is not only easy to use but fun to use, and this is where user testing becomes so important. Because the difference between a good user experience and a great user experience can mean the difference between a consumer buying a manufacturer’s product once and moving on and a consumer buying a product and becoming locked in as a customer for life. Ryan Carney is a Senior Lead UX Specialist at GfK. To share your thoughts, please email Ryan.Carney@gfk.com.

    Design a "killer device" that keeps Connected Consumers locked in

    Read more about our User Experience solutions
    • 12/01/16
    • User Experience (UX)
    • Global
    • English

    5 ways to apply design thinking to UX research

    When I was just starting out as an industrial designer, I can remember rolling my eyes when I heard some prominent designer or design agency talking about how designers were going to save the world. I thought they were a bit full of themselves (and I still do), but that doesn’t mean there wasn’t some value in what they were saying. They didn’t have a name for it at the time, but what they were talking about is what we now refer to as design thinking. Design thinking is broad and vaguely defined, and if you ask ten designers what it is you’re likely to get 12 different opinions; but if you examine those various opinions you’ll start to see some themes repeated, reflecting many of the tools that designers use in their process including user-empathy, prototyping as exploration, abductive reasoning, re-framing, and the list goes on. As a starting point, we have identified five tools of design thinking that can be applied in a research context.
    1. Think systemically. Rather than focus on the immediate problem, look for the larger context. You might come to understand the problem better, and you might see solutions that you wouldn’t have otherwise. Famed engineeer Paul MacCready said, “The problem is that we don’t understand the problem.”
    2. Be empathetic. It is vitally important to understand the subject from the user’s point of view. While you benefit from seeing the larger context, you don’t want to fall into the trap of seeing the issues through your lens and not the user’s. If you do, you could end up solving the wrong problem. The most useful piece of software in the world provides no value if the user can’t navigate it.
    3. Linger in ambiguity. Don’t jump to an interpretation or a solution too soon. Allow the question to be ill-defined; allow for multiple possible answers; don’t assume anything. As soon as you think you know the answer, you stop processing new information. Delay that decision point until you have all the data available, and you will make a better decision.
    4. Maintain a result-oriented focus. Instead of focusing on a solution, focus on the end result you are trying to achieve. Blockbuster focused on improving the video rental experience and did quite well, until Netflix focused on video viewing and eclipsed Blockbuster overnight.
    5. Reflect and invite feedback. Examine and re-examine your assumptions, your insights, and your solutions. Seek input from a variety of people, knowledge bases, expertise; imagine your solution in a different scenario, with a different user. Re-test not only to verify your answers, but to identify the next questions.
    Design is a subtle, intuitive, and non-linear process. It cannot simply be mapped and codified into a repeatable, cookie-cutter method, but the principles underlying it can be emulated and applied to other problems including research design. If we can remember these principles when we are planning, conducting, or analyzing research, we will open up new opportunities, generate more meaningful insights, and create richer feedback. Perhaps the most important element of design thinking is that—contrary to what those design luminaries would have you believe—it is not restricted to an elite group of people. As Nobel Prize laureate Herbert Simon said, “Everyone designs who devises courses of action aimed at changing existing situations into preferred ones” (Sciences of the Artificial, 3rd ed., 1996). So, while you may not have the training to design the next ground-breaking smartphone or web search algorithm, you can apply the mindset of design thinking to your area of expertise and go a step further, or maybe even leap beyond. Tyler Duston is a User Experience Lead Specialist at GfK. Please email Tyler.Duston@gfk.com to share your thoughts.

    Design compelling experiences grounded in research

    Read more about our User Experience Design solutions
    • 11/11/16
    • Health
    • Technology
    • User Experience (UX)
    • Global
    • English

    GfK’s Hannah Duffy to speak at global innovation and health technology conference

    Hannah Duffy, senior user experience (UX) consultant at GfK, will share perspectives on the topic “Avoiding the storm in the NHS through design.
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Molemo Moahloli
South Africa
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