Experience research for T-Labs

First impressions, as well as the initial “honeymoon period” shape our relationship with digital artefacts. For this reason Deutsche Telekom Laboratories (T-Labs) initiated a research project aimed at analyzing this start-up phase and designing creative techniques to manage the first impression of digital products and services. On behalf of T-Labs Intuity helps T-Mobile to make the start-up phase as smooth and engaging as possible.

When people first get to know each other, they don’t require tuition or user manuals. The same approach should be applied when consumers familiarise themselves with new products and services. Like a first meeting between strangers, the consumer builds up a relationship with a product by quickly gaining first impressions and forms an opinion. If this initial experience is positive, the user will be motivated to further engage with the application. How do you create such a lasting impression? How do you involve the user with the product features to ensure effective interaction? How can motivation be maintained in order to facilitate further learning of additional functions? The aim of this project was to research these challenges while developing solutions and principles for Telekom applications.

In cooperation with T-Labs, Intuity researched design patterns and Best Practices for successful familiarisation phases. With a view to employ promising concepts from related subject areas, we deliberately chose areas outside the digital interface domain. Expert surveys and user diaries gave us crucial insights into the users’ start-up phase experience.

As a result of this analysis, we developed a catalogue of principles that are easy to grasp and apply. Additionally, the results and principles were realised and verified for a specific future product using experience prototypes (e.g. paper prototypes, interactive prototypes). By applying these rules, users are given extra support during the start-up phase, ensuring a successful relationship with the product. As a result, T-Mobile can significantly improve the acceptance of new products in the marketplace, and otherwise necessary training and support can be reduced. Some aspects of this research were presented to the public at HCI Conference 2009 and included as an essay in the respective publication. You can download the respective research paper as PDF (Link). Intuity is both fascinated by the challenges posed and excited about the astonishing insights we gained during our working relationship with T-Mobile.

Case Studies