Table of Contents
The purpose of this research was to measure the usability of the IKEA dishwasher infographic for the common consumer. The goal was to see what exactly the consumer found beneficial from the advertisement and what aspect persuaded them to purchase a dishwasher. This has been done by having 20 consumers evaluate the infographic using a think aloud protocol method and rate specific sections by completing a survey. Methodology explains the means of data collection. Results include analysis of data. Figures include graphic representation of data. Recommendations are based on analysis and suggest changes to the infographic that may be beneficial in creating a more customer friendly infographic.
To evaluate the effectiveness of the IKEA dishwasher infographic, a random sampling was taken of twenty individuals from three different cities (Moscow, ID; Coeur d’Alene, ID; and Kihei, HI). It was decided that middle class adults between the ages of 25 and 55 were most likely to be interested in the advertised product (Renlig and Lagan Dishwasher line) and the graphic. Participants were filtered using a verbal pre-screening questionnaire. There were slightly more male participants than female participants(fig 1.1)
Usability testing was conducted in a public location (i.e. coffee shop, library) in the USA (Moscow,Id; Coeur d’ Alene,Id; Maui , HI) on an individual basis. Prior to the screening, each participant was informed that all answers would remain confidential. Participants completed a pre-screening questionnaire to confirm demographic-based test eligibility.
Prior to testing, the facilitator instructed the participants that the infographic was being evaluated, not the participants. The facilitator then asked the participants if they had any questions.
The facilitator explained that the amount of time taken to complete the test task would be measured and that exploratory behavior outside the task flow should not occur until after task completion.
The facilitator instructed the participant to ‘think aloud’ so that a verbal record existed of their interaction with the info-graphic. The facilitator observed and entered user behavior and user comments into a written log. A printed version of the infographic was displayed to the participant. The participant’s interaction with the infographic was monitored by a facilitator in the same room. Participants were instructed to complete a questionnaire concerning the infographic in an efficient and timely manner while thinking aloud. The participants were asked to answer honestly questions regarding the design of the infographic and its personal impact.
After observing and commenting on the infographic, the the facilitator completed a post-test questionnaire regarding thinking aloud of the participant.
We applied a likert analysis to our post survey results to get a birds eye view of the attitude of the participants with regard to various aspects of the target infographic. The scale is from one to five, with one being a very unfavorable view of the infographic and five being a very favorable view. Furthermore we triangulated the likert scores with a “think aloud” viewing session to help narrow down specific areas for improvement. The primary aspects that we investigated in our survey were content, design, and influence.
The likert analysis of our study showed a fairly neutral attitude towards the overall graphic, receiving a score of 3.08(fig. 2.1) with women having a slightly more favorable view on average than men(fig 2.2). The likert analysis of the individual areas shows the information content to be the most favorably viewed areas with a score of 3.45, followed by the design of the infographic with a score of 3.17, and the worst performer was influence towards purchase of a new dishwasher with a score of 2.39.
The “think aloud” protocol largely reflects these findings, with many viewers commenting on some interesting trivia that is reflected in the infographic, the favorite trivia seemed to be water usage and cooking in the dishwasher. A few users indicated problems with the water usage stats not comparing water usage of hand washing dishes against using a dishwasher as that would be more meaningful than comparing a dishwasher to a shower, sink, or toilet. Most respondents complained about a lack of flow to the infographic and too much clutter, on average participants skipped 25% of the data due to just having too much information at once with no flow. there were no comments made during the “think aloud” protocol regarding the influence toward purchasing a dishwasher, so we had to base it entirely from the data supplied by the post viewing survey. The credibility of the data was not called into question except for one participant who claimed that “walls of statistics” made him slightly distrustful of the data.
Fig 1.1 Respondents
Fig 2.1 Average Responses
Fig 2.2 Average Response By Sex
IKEA customers need solutions that fit their currents needs. The needs of the customers will be concentrated in the area of household appliances. IKEA products should not require hours of training, nor should these products require a reconfiguration of the space in the owners home. These products should provide a sense of ease and usability. These products should deliver their capability without ever being used. A delivery model that will attract the consumer, who is in need of such an appliance will exploit a common platform. Whenever there is pent-up consumer instability, this instability will meet the demands with economic feasibility. As this occurs, business opportunities occur. A centralized business model, creating a secure and stable presentation, is what is needed to make the connection to the market. In this particular case, a more eye friendly design is needed.
Our test objectives were to determine inconsistencies and problem areas with the usability of the content in the infographic. These sources of inconsistencies and problem areas were possible in the areas of : clutter, presentation errors, and whether the wrong message was presented to the audience.
Within our findings, many of the individuals found difficulty with the info-graphics font and layout, these could be enhanced to provide the viewing audience a more pleasurable experience and one that they would remember when making their next household appliance purchase. These changes would enhance the ability of IKEA to provide their services to a larger population and increase their general revenue abilities. We also found that within the demographics of participants, males were more likely to answer neutral or negatively when answering the questions within the survey. Changes to the infographic should be tailored towards their desires and needs. Males were particular about the clutter, wants, and the influence the infographic had on them.These are likely to be helpful decision making tools with the male population and should be changed or enhanced with improved images and a more streamlined content display.
The comments made in the “think aloud” protocol mostly agreed with the likert evaluations of the post viewing survey, however based solely on the “think aloud” protocol it seems that the neutral attitude should be slightly more biased towards unfavorable views, we can help explain this discrepancy with the acquiescence bias, in which respondents to a survey have a tendency to agree with all the questions or to indicate a positive connotation, that is commonly found in likert scale surveys.
When surveying women, they were more likely to answer neutral or positively. It is possible to make changes and provide recommendations to enhance the possibility of attracting more women to this market and at this time the only recommendation we have for IKEA is the “influence” that this infographic had on women. Some women were struck by the picture of the kitten, others by the possibility of cooking in a dishwasher, these in our opinion are not needed. The changes to the infographic should be its design and layout and the images it depicts. Content driven infographics will have a greater impact on their audience, if they are streamlined as mentioned above with a simpler approach and less clutter.
Further recommendations include: providing a clear design, the design within this infographic does not provide a path for the eye to follow. We also recommend that IKEA develop a starting point within this infographic that grabs the attention of the consumer. We do recommend further usability testing for fine tuning and would recommend using the platform listed above.