Desirability research: determining the desirability factor03
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The essence of desirability research
Desirability research can also be understood as a way of determining how to persuade the user to take action through design. In other words, the point of desirability research is to make the product as desirable as possible, because the more positive emotions the design evokes, the more likely it is that the user will want to use it and own it. In addition, a beautiful design and the transmission of the same values as the brand (further) reinforce customer trust.
In general, it is observed around the world that although people have different concepts of beauty and like different things (or the same things in different packaging), even an inferior product is often preferred if it is perceived as more beautiful than a rival product.
And if there are several products of similar quality, people will choose the product with more and stronger positive emotions. The aim of the desirability survey is to create this design for our customers’ products that gives them a real advantage.
The desirability survey at Ergomania
Ergomania’s experts are aware that usability and desirability together are key to excellent UI and UX. With the desirability study, our goal is to achieve the ideal state where our clients’ product is both usable and enjoyable, so that users want to use it again and again.
For us, desirability research is part of the UI design process, as the customer experience is enhanced when users are delighted with the product, as they often do not interact with a product, they find neutral or even trigger negative emotions.
For the desirability study, we use terms that potentially describe the user interface that people may perceive as positive or negative. During the testing, participants are shown a version of the user interface and then asked to select the three to five terms they feel best describe the interface or its use. One user is presented with one version at a time. Each variant is shown to an equal number of users.
By analyzing the data, we match markers to options for each design element and option, and assess how well they match the emotional responses and brand attributes that the business hopes or intends to achieve.
The steps of testing:
- Obtaining or jointly defining the desired goals of the client
- Creating several design versions
- Selecting 50-70 features that may be valid for the specific case
- Carrying out the testing
- Analyzing the data obtained to determine the best design
Main methods of desirability assessment
For desirability research, Ergomania’s experts either involve live test subjects in the process or use Personas. One of the most emphatic steps is to show them design plans that are closest to the real thing, but visually different, so that they can choose the design or elements that are most appealing to them.
Each possible emotional response can be written on cards, which they can then assign to each element or design. An excellent tool is the 118 Product Reaction Cards from Microsoft.
What do our customers gain from desirability research?
The main benefit for our customers is a design that makes their product attractive and sellable, because users will want to own it, use it and use it again or buy it again.
Through desirability research, the UX design process goes beyond mere functionality and shapes desirability into usability, because in a fiercely competitive market, this is often what determines the success of a product.
What is the role of our clients in the desirability assessment?
On the part of our clients, it is important to ensure that the people involved in the research are from the target group who are willing to talk openly (or show through product cards) about the emotions that different design concepts evoke.
We also need our clients to define their own brand values and provide them to us in the form of adjectives (e.g. “valuable”, “likeable”, “quality”), and to choose with us the design variations to be tested.
The result of successful desirability research
The outcome of a successful desirability survey is that we select the design variation from the possible designs that is most appealing to the users and most in line with the brand, which is emotionally engaging, i.e. an optimal product design.