Concept Evaluation

Concept evaluation is the process of evaluating consumers’ impressions of a prospective product or service. Concept evaluation can be a critical early step toward discovering if a new product or service will meet the needs and expectations of potential customers. This process can help companies validate ideas prior to the costly investment of bringing a new product or service to market.

Blink researchers conduct concept evaluations across a wide variety of domains. The insights stemming from the concept evaluation process can also shed light on undiscovered opportunities and unmet consumer needs.

The Right Evaluation Approach for Your Project

Every project is different and can benefit from specific types of evaluation data. Depending on the maturity of the concept, the design phase of the product being evaluated, and the kinds of insights needed, we can perform concept evaluations with either qualitative or quantitative methods. Our team of researchers and analysts come from a variety of backgrounds and industries and will help you determine the best approach for collecting the data and insights you need to evaluate your potential new product or service.

Here's how the two approaches break down.

Qualitative Concept Evaluation

Our qualitative methods look for information about the traits and characteristics of a program. Instead of asking users to rate customer satisfaction on a scale of one to ten, we might ask them to list off specific features that they liked or would want to see. It gives us clear evaluation data that can help us gather more direct information about how to improve a product.

Qualitative concept evaluation methods, such as one-on-one interviews with an early prototype or product approximation, can be performed early in the product development process and can leverage product artifacts at varying levels of fidelity.

For example, early wireframes or prototypes of a new product can be evaluated with prospective customers to discover how well the product maps to their context and mental model. High-fidelity mockups can be used to evaluate initial customer impressions and how well a proposed product aligns with your brand. In addition to capturing feedback about the proposed product or service being evaluated, qualitative concept evaluations often reveal additional insights into consumer behavior that companies find useful.

Quantitative Concept Evaluation

In this evaluation approach, we gather numerical data about the product. Quantitative concept evaluation methods typically involve the use of surveys to evaluate prospective customer reactions after exposure to one or several concepts or mockups. Quantitative concept evaluations can leverage a large number of participants across a range of backgrounds and demographics, offering useful insights into market fit across different audiences.

Choosing quantitative evaluation concepts is great for assessing your product across audiences for something that you can assign a numerical value. You might ask study participants to rate their overall user experience (UX) on a scale of one through ten. Assessing the resulting numbers can give you a clear picture of how your product is meeting the needs of different people.

The data gleaned from quantitative concept evaluation can also be useful when compiling performance measures. You could show, for instance, that between iterations two and three, you were able to make an app much easier to use, increasing customer satisfaction by 30%.

How Concept Evaluation Can Support the User Experience

Each evaluation approach makes sense in different contexts and can help you understand more about typical user behavior. At different design phases, the evaluation data can provide unique benefits.

  • Pre-design: While you're workshopping, brainstorming, and identifying goals and core concepts, evaluation data can offer insights that steer your overall design in the direction closest to your target audiences. It may use broad strokes and ask for more qualitative data.
  • During design and development: In the midst of creating wireframes and performing visual design, you can ask real users what they think of changes and prototypes. Their answers can direct future design choices and offer insight into some of the more detailed aspects of the product, such as choosing between two or more visual options.
  • Evaluation: Once the product is complete or near-complete, you'll want to gather evaluation data on the final experience to ensure that it meets customer needs and fulfills the goals it set out to accomplish.

Blink and Concept Evaluation

In both types of research methods, effective evaluation depends on the questions being asked, and the overall structure of the evaluation process. For that, many turn to Blink. We conduct UX research and design tailored to the unique needs of each business and project. We have offices in large cities like San Francisco, Seattle, and Boston, but we can perform studies all over the world. To learn more about working with Blink, contact us today.

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