Social media and online communities of users are increasing and changing user input into new product and service development. We are all familiar with crowdsourcing and monitoring of user input online.
If you haven’t already, consider reading my feature article in the current issue of Social Media Marketing Magazine: http://dld.bz/SUdJ In that article I used a deep knowledge / engagement framework to categorize user research methods.
Getting at deep (or “sticky” or “contextual”) user information is the motivation of such research methods as ethnography and voice-of-the-customer.
Engagement is another dimension that draws users to tap their own creativity to improve the product or service. Examples of methods that both access deep knowledge and engage the users would be crowsourcing, open-source software development and the lead user method of Eric Von Hippel. The following diagram shows is my effort to map user research methods by deep knowledge / engagement AND show how social media is already having an impact.
Despite the effects already shown in this figure, this process is in its infancy! Totally new tools will be developed to enhance innovation; existing methods will be modified to the point that they are no longer recognizable by current innovators.
The dotted lines of course indicate contributions from social media. Communities of crowdsourcers or lead users are already contributing. And a new type of quantitative research, “netnography”, is being developed to analyze the results from data mining. I argue that existing methods are being pushed in the directions indicated by the dotted lines.
So, I would like to ask for your ideas:
1. Do you agree with this framework?
2. What new user methods do you see emerging from social media?
Please leave a comment!
Full article in SMM Magazine: http://dld.bz/SUdJ