Ed Bilodeau

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This weblog had moved: http://www.coolweblog.com/bilodeau/

# Notice (Oct 19/05): So ends my stay here on Blogger. This morning Google implemented an anti-spam 'feature' that forces me to answer a challenge phrase when I want to post to my own blog. No notice of the change, nothing. Worse is that it doesn't even work! I type the phrase, submit, "An error occured", post deleted. Damn you, Google. Chances are I will revive my blog somewhere else, sometime soon. I'll post the new coordinates here as soon as they become available. (BTW, I'm unable to post anything to my RSS stream, so I'd appreciate it if readers could spread the word and ask people to take a look at this notice)

Update (Oct 19/05, ~noon): After a frustrating few hours (and not just trying out alternatives to Blogger), I've decided that this is a good time to take a break from all this. A day? A week? Who knows. But I need to step away from it before I pass a heavy magnet over the whole mess.

Update 2: According to this post, the reason I'm seeing the CAPTCHA (challenge phrase) is that Blogger has classified my blog as spam. Thanks. User for five years and now I'm spam. I searched the Blogger site, but there is no mention of how to get the spam flag turned off. There is also no way of contacting anyone at Blogger. Wow. Spam they say I am, so spam I must be. Maybe it is time to take a break.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Good Experience: You DO Talk to Customers, Don't You? :
By definition, any customer experience project must involve real, live,
actual customers. It's not adequate to operate solely from pre-defined rules,
reams of quantitative data, or hypothetical (and fictional) stories of users.
Customers themselves must be the focus of the research, and their experience on
the site must be the basis of the resulting strategy.

The difficulty with this approach is that you cannot observe all the customers, so how can you be sure that the ones you do observe are representative of your customer population. Having said that, that may not be an issue at all.

What Hurst is proposing is that quantitative means of assessing customer experience is not enough to get a proper understanding of how customers actually interact with your site. He is advocating a qualitative approach, which means that you are worried less about how representative your sample is, but rather, if that your sample provides a rich insight onto the widest range of possible behaviours.

There are volumes of information written on this subject in case anyone is interested in using this method for evaluating their customer experience. Done properly, this research can provide valuable insights into what is happening and what people are thinking. It allows you do develop hypothesis, but not to test them. It is also a *lot* of work. See: qualitative research, grounded theory (I know, I know...), mixed methods, etc.