RS are the world’s largest distributor of electronics and maintenance products.
RS were working on a new online tool for electronic engineers and wished to test their idea with actual users to see what they thought about it. They also wanted to find out about how these engineers actually work and what could be added, changed or removed from the tool to make it of more use.
Primary research objectives centred on running remote user testing sessions with engineers. These users were asked to use the new tool for some different tasks and asked to comment on what would be useful to them in their everyday work.
Engineers were contacted from the US and UK and asked to use the new system. They spoke to a moderator over a headset and they took control of the moderators screen so that the session could be recorded. A mixture of free form and specific tasks were used to see how the engineers used the system.
Time was also spent talking about how the engineers currently operated. What their selection and purchase process was and what other teams and people they talked to within their company when it came to deciding about what to purchase and when.
The findings of the research helped RS understand what parts of their new tool were most liked by their users. They also got a sense of how the users actually operate on a day-to-day basis. Some of the findings were very interesting to RS as the engineers operated in a totally different way to what they had thought previously. This greatly changed their design approach when it came to the engineers work flow.