Research methodology developed for Signify.
'Knowledge of the senses is one of the best ways to understand other people’s true experience, in a completely different way to words'.
The Value Tuning is a qualitative research methodology that helps to understand the user’s expectations of a brand in contrast to their real experiences of it. It maps their perceptions and looks for the overlap between the user's unmet needs and the brand’s offer.
Value Tuning highlights the value of the senses in the design of physical products and interfaces. It demonstrates how designing for (all) our senses affects our overall perception
and experience of a product.
While our experience is influenced by the (CMF) qualities of a product, it also carries 'meaning' with which the user can identify. Value Tuning confronts the participant's expectations of a brand (its reputation built over time, and its visual aesthetics), against their real, primal experience of it.
Blind-folded, the participants go through a sensorial experience of different home consumer electronic products, from which they ignore their respective brands. As they assess each object freely, they share their thoughts with me on what each encounter with the products (from the packaging details, up until the figuring out the features of the product) means to them.
An increasingly technological world creates a highly increasing need for human contact and empathy. By tuning up these factors, our products will deliver a more complete and meaningful experience.
Unexpected insights were derived from the whole research process: From the analogies, metaphors and type of language employed to describe their physical sensations; to the moment of confrontation between the participant's blind-folded experience of each product, against their respective visual characteristics and brands.
This activity concluded in revealing the gaps between the user's expectations of a product (or a brand), and their true experience of it: materials, density, smell, finishes.. and what all this means to the users.
It offers guidance into how to close that gap and be able to satisfy expectations, all based on real users insights. This research was key to determine quality benchmarks for Signify home luminaire products and in guiding the design of new products and meaningful interfaces that exceed the audiences expectations.