A Latte For Your Thoughts

Simple, affordable research

Kurt Hanson, one of the smartest guys in Radio, turned me on to this blog post from NPR.

His background is in research, so its natural he would be interested in this: NPR does usability research for its web site at…ta dah: The local coffee shop.

Yep. They bring a laptop, offer patrons $5 and watch them use the NPR website.

So, instead of taking weeks, and costing hundreds or thousands of dollars, they get practical, useful feedback in an afternoon for less than $50.

I’m not suggesting you use this to replace your AMTs or your perceptual research (assuming you’re fortunate enough to still have both those tools), but have you ever asked listeners about your web site? Have you ever watched one navigate your site?

All listener feedback is interesting, which is why I’ve counseled you before to make regular use of listener panels.

They’re not random, they’re not statistically weighted or scientifically reliable, but they sure are interesting and useful.

And at $50 a study, I’m thinking every station can afford to try this.