Research, Research, Research.

I remember years ago seeing a business seminar with Mike Southon, who said  he had no idea why some ideas worked and others did not. He also mentioned that if it does not work you better move on quickly. Sound advice indeed, research is not a guarantee that a product is going to be successful in the marketplace, I have seen some of the most amazing research done to insure investment in different products here and in the UK only to fail.

So why research? One reason is to insure that basic due diligence in done on the idea. Secondly it is to secure investment whether time or monetary. It is great that you can verbalize your idea, but most people will want some proof of the idea and to take that idea/research away and think about it before making an investment.

So how do you do it? First you need to draw up a list of questions that  if answered would achieve your research goal/business idea. For example these questions might provide clarity that there is a need in the market for your product. 


Who is going to buy your product?

Why are they going to buy it?

How much would they be willing to pay for it?

Do you have any competitors?

What are the risks?


Then you need to go and find your answers, It is a good idea to get as a wide as possible review of your idea by as many people as possible. Be blunt and upfront, it is better now you get any possibly doubts people may have out of the way than when you have invested your time and money. When you have collected all this information it than time for analysis.

How one chooses to analysis the information is up to you. You could choose to do a swot analysis or my favourite a 360 review.

360 Review reveals crucial usability issues and offers actionable recommendations for improvement – before you invest in design. This review can include two complementary evaluation techniques in tandem: an Expert Review that focuses on what your design brings to users, and Usability Testing to examine what users bring to the design. More than a usability “to-do” list, 360 analysis identifies opportunities for cost savings and/or added revenue in your business model.




Stakeholder interviews to elicit business goals of the site/application.

A comprehensive usability analysis – before you begin a redesign.

Analysis of navigation, task flow, content and visual design – benchmarked against research-based usability principles – with concrete recommendations.

Keep your design efforts focused on the most important problems.

A usability test that targets your most important user task flows and interactions to uncover problem areas (performed remotely).

Reliable recommendations backed by solid data are easier to “sell” internally.

Prioritized set of tactical recommendations based on proven usability principles and validated through direct user testing.

Get timely, cost-effective feedback in just 3-4 weeks.

When the analysis has been carried out and presuming that idea has survived and is still viable. It is time to look at competition:

Competition is exactly what it means, you are competing in a local and more and more in a global market. What is it that your organisation can do better then your competitors? You will need to get hold this idea and grow it as it is your biggest selling point against the competition.


As always please feel free to add you own ideas to this.



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