Farrukh

Farrukh

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Dangerous Questions in User Reseach

User Research

User Research

User research is an essential step in the designing of any type of product. The insights that it gives into the needs and behaviors of real end users is invaluable and goes a long way in influencing the direction of any project as well as determining its success. Yet research can be both expensive and time consuming, and money and time are commodities that few projects can afford to waste. Therefore, it is important that when resources are expended on user research, every effort is made to ensure that as much value as possible is gained from it.

An important factor that influences the value of any user research will be the interaction with the user by the researcher, or more specifically, the types of questions that are asked.  People generally like to give their opinions. They also tend to have an inherent desire to please others. Therefore, even the most well intentioned respondent can give misleading responses that are influenced by something as simple as the way a question is framed. This results in lots of feedback which is potentially useless as it doesn’t necessarily reflect reality. (more…)

Is modern Marketing more Science or Art?

It’s not a new question. It isn’t even restricted to marketing.  In times of austerity, with widespread cuts to public education and the ever increasing competitive job market for fresh graduates, the debate over the value of arts and humanities degrees vs. STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) degrees is a hot topic. You’ve also probably heard about how an individual’s personality is dependent on whether they are right-brain or left-brain dominant. The idea is that a right-brain dominant person is generally more emotional, creative and artsy while a left-brain dominant person is more logical, data-driven and scientific. While this idea has been shown to be a myth, the fact that it is such a commonly held notion is symptomatic of this dichotomy between art and science.

As with most debates, arguments and generally pretty much everything, it’s not all black and white. The modern marketer requires skills that fall into both areas of expertise in order to be successful. Marketing as a discipline can and usually does embrace ideas from both scientific subjects such as psychology, behavioral economics and neuroscience; as well as art disciplines such as design, typography and creative writing. (more…)

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