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Iterative Design: Three Prototyping Guidelines

usability / user experience / blog

Designing a website or mobile application from scratch is tough. Getting the creative juices flowing is no easy feat. When you do get lucky and think of something new, it can be hard to execute your plans as you had originally intended. Following through with lofty goals for your UI can seem impossible, especially when you take a look at the coding requirements. A seemingly endless mountain of code can dissuade someone from continuing the development of their web tools. Recent FMG research using iterative prototyping and usability testing can turn the mountain of code into a mole hill.

FMG’s User Experience Lab recently worked on a series of usability studies using iterative prototypes. Prototypes are a very helpful tool to use during the design... more


Focus Group Best Practices: Dry Run

focus group / market research / research design / featured / blog / qualitative

Getting ready to start a focus group project can be stressful. You probably have a huge list of data you need to collect, and not that many groups to do it in. If a line of questions doesn’t work, or an activity is a flop, you may not have time to make changes. One strategy that can help you make every group as useful as possible is to do a dry run.

When we’re getting ready to start a focus group project, we ask people office to act as test participants, bring them together in a room, and use the moderator’s guide to conduct a mock group. This gives us opportunity to test the questions, try out activities, and establish how long things will take.... more


YAHOO! helps you pick a winner: the Billion Dollar Bracket Challenge

current events / in the news / user experience / blog

College basketball fans can rejoice because March Madness is finally upon us. Cinderella stories and nonstop games for three weeks will keep even the most hardcore fans satiated. When the NCAA Tournament arrives, so too do the bracketology experts. This year, the stakes have been raised. Not only can you compete with your friends for bragging rights, you can also compete for a billion dollars of Warren Buffet’s money. When you submit your bracket, you might want to hold off on giving your boss your two weeks notice. If you know a little something about college basketball you might bump your odds of winning the bracket challenge up to one about in 128 billion, according to a recent Washington Post article. To say the... more


She wore an itsy bitsy teeny weeny… E-Cigarettes ad bikini?

advertising research / health research / social marketing / blog / youth

In past posts, I’ve discussed the frustrating genius that is Blu’s “take back your freedom” approach to some of its advertising. I’m less than impressed, however, with the sex sells tactics that dominate a second line of ads. But not (only) for the reasons you may think. Working on smokeless tobacco issues over the past year, I’ve become increasingly aware of the delicacy with which we must communicate about products that, while not harmless, may be less risky alternatives for current smokers.

Blu E-Cig Bikini Ad

The same harm-reduction tension dominates the e-cigarettes debate. Whether e-cigs are a cessation tool or a catalyst for new users to start a habit of smoking is hotly contested. Earlier this week,... more


Going for Olympic (Advertising) Gold

advertising research / in the news / behavioral research / current events / featured / blog

On the heels of the Super Bowl comes another win for advertising with the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. Whether people are setting their alarms to watch the events live or avoiding all spoilers until the primetime rebroadcasts, the Olympics are traditionally one of the most watched television events. The Olympics dominated the Nielsen top 10 rankings for the week of February 3rd, capturing the top 4 spots with the February 7th Opening Ceremony taking first place with 31.69 million viewers. The Sunday Prime Time, Saturday Prime Time, and Thursday Prime Time broadcasts completed the top 4 (1). With such viewership it is no wonder that NBC Universal announced in September 2013 that it had sold a record setting $800 million in advertising to a... more


Is TV Advertising Always a Touchdown?

advertising research / behavioral research / current events / in the news / market research / featured / blog

With the Super Bowl this Sunday, the advertising world is abuzz with predictions on what to expect from the top spenders and advertisers. At least they can count on the fact that TV ads continue to be trusted, and probably will for some time. Newspapers and Magazines are still most trusted forms of advertising, with almost two-thirds (63% and 62%, respectively) of consumers trusting advertisements from those sources. Television is not far behind at 61% (1). TV ads are also cited as very influential, with 68% of consumers indicating that they always or sometimes take action on something after viewing a television ad. And despite the rise of digital ads, TV accounts for the largest amount of advertising dollars spent, with over $63 billion spent... more