A unique combination of methods results in user-friendly products
The Department for Applied Psychology are amongst the first to combine psychological expertise with the newest measuring equipment. Furthermore, they will conduct their tests as field studies.
This new service allows the psychologists to advise on the user-friendliness of products like toys, groceries and medical equipment or services like amusements, entertainment or museums. They will also be able to recommend how stores, hotels, traffic terminals or hospitals should be organised in order for the users to navigate easily.
New measuring methods add a new dimension
FORCE Technology’s psychologists were already applying methods like observation, interview and verbal self-reporting (thinking aloud) when advising companies on how their product, service or environment could be made more user-friendly.
As a part of the establishment of the design psychological testing facility the department invested in the newest and most advanced measuring equipment within psychological sensor technologies: eye tracking, EEG, GSR and EKG.
The advantage of applying equipment like eye tracking is that it is possible to measure exactly what a person is looking as well as their physical reaction to the situation:
”When we combine eye tracking with e.g. GSR equipment, we obtain information about what information a person finds easy and difficult to understand. The equipment shows us exactly what the person is looking at when his stress level is increased, and thereby how a product or service should be improved,” explains Thomas Koester, Psychologist.
The psychologists compare the data from the measurements to results from their psychological analysis.
Their knowledge regarding people’s mental functions is essential: ”It is about understanding the circumstances related to the test person. This could be the worried patient or the stressed employee. The circumstances are the background for interpretation of the results”, says Thomas Koester.
Modern field studies
The testing facility has one more dimension besides the combination of the measuring equipment and psychological expertise; the tests are conducted in the field using precise equipment just as inside a laboratory.
The fact that the investigations take place in a realistic environment where the products or services are actually used is a huge advantage for the quality of the results. Thereby the testing centre unites the best of both methods; the precision of the laboratory and the realism of the field studies.