Podcast Episodes

What is behavioral economics? Why does it matter to you?

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Podcast Episodes

What is behavioral economics? Why does it matter to you?

352. Unlocking Consumer Behavior with Imotions: Neuroscience Insights for UX Designers (Refreshed Episode)

Melina Palmer invites Jessica Wilson of Imotions to discuss the fascinating world of neuroscience tools for consumer research. Jessica’s in research and neuroscience led them to Imotions, a software company that offers a platform integrating various neuroscience tools. The platform includes a study builder, analysis tools, and export options, catering to both commercial and academic clients. Jessica emphasizes the importance of matching the research question with the appropriate technology, rather than being swayed by the allure of shiny gadgets. 

She highlights the value of using eye tracking, facial expression analysis, and skin conductance as a powerful combination of tools, known as the “Holy Trinity.” However, she also mentions the availability of other tools, such as EEG and heart rate monitoring, depending on the specific research needs. Jessica shares examples of video testing and usability studies, showcasing how these tools can provide insights into consumer behavior, attention, and emotional responses. She emphasizes the importance of using the gathered data to inform design decisions and improve consumer experiences. The conversation concludes with a discussion of real-world applications, including collaborations with universities and healthcare organizations.

In this episode:

  • Discover how neuroscience tools can revolutionize consumer research and unlock deep insights into consumer behavior.
  • Uncover the hidden motivations behind consumer decisions using cutting-edge eye tracking and facial expression analysis techniques.
  • Optimize your website design with confidence by leveraging user testing to identify usability issues and improve user experiences.
  • Learn the importance of crafting clear research questions to drive effective user testing and obtain actionable insights.
  • Boost user engagement and trust with shorter, impactful testimonials that capture attention and increase conversion rates.
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00:00:00 – Introduction,
Melina Palmer introduces the podcast and shares her excitement about conducting research and experiments with Imotions to optimize her website pages.

00:02:36 – Introduction to Imotions
Jessica Wilson, the director at Imotions, shares information about the company and their platform. She discusses the wide range of applications for their neuroscience tools, including consumer insights, product testing, ad testing, and more.

00:07:43 – Types of Testing with Imotions
Jessica explains the different types of testing that can be done with Imotions, including eye tracking, facial expression analysis, and skin conductance. She emphasizes the importance of using the right tools based on research questions and not getting caught up in the excitement of technology.

00:08:31 – The Holy Trinity of Eye Tracking, Facial Expression Analysis, and Skin Conductance
Jessica discusses the Holy Trinity of eye tracking, facial expression analysis, and skin conductance. These three tools work well together to provide information on attention, valence, and physiological arousal. She mentions that there are additional tools available, but it’s important to choose the right ones based on research questions.

00:10:42 – Consultation and Planning with Imotions
Jessica highlights the importance of consultation and planning with Imotions. They offer guidance on choosing the right tools and metrics for specific research questions. The research question should dictate the technology used, rather than the other

00:15:12 – Video Testing with Biosensor Data
Jessica discusses how video testing can be used with biosensor data to assess consumer preferences and improve communication. They share an example of a collaboration between the University of South Florida and BayCare Health Systems to evaluate the impact of COVID-19 infomercials on consumers.

00:16:46 – Usability and Sensory Testing
Jessica explains how biosensor research can be utilized in usability and sensory testing. They mention using biosensors to assess people’s reactions to different food samples and how the most effective testing methods have distinct research questions and variables.

00:18:14 – Free Scrolling and Task-Based Testing
Melina and Jessica discuss the different approaches to testing, including free scrolling to observe natural behavior and task-based testing to compare prototypes. They emphasize the importance of incorporating specific tasks into usability studies for websites.

00:21:08 – Redesigning a Website
Melina shares her experience of redesigning her website in preparation for her book launch. They discuss the process of testing mockups of the new site against the existing site to determine if design changes were effective and if any adjustments were needed.

00:24:46 – Testing for Different Personas
Jessica explains how they incorporated different personas into the testing process. They discuss the two personas targeted by the host’s business, entrepreneurial types, and corporate members, and how the testing aimed to direct each persona to the most relevant products and services.

00:29:38 – Importance of Clear Tasks in Website Testing
Narrowing down tasks and evaluating if they are working is crucial in website testing. Asking vague questions about users’ interests and actions can reveal where they get stuck. It’s important to avoid priming users and instead focus on finding potential obstacles.

00:31:13 – The Power of Focusing on One Thing in Research
Research should focus on one or two variables to obtain clear answers. Avoiding distractions and confounding variables leads to stronger insights. Rushing research can result in missed opportunities for valuable insights.

00:33:20 – Effective Design Elements for Website Success
Salient design elements like big buttons with clear choices greatly improve the success rate of website interactions. Eye tracking and behavioral metrics demonstrate the impact of design clarity on user engagement.

00:34:57 – Challenges with Corporate Persona Landing Page
The corporate landing page proved challenging for users, leading to confusion and distributed attention. Brow furrow and lower success rates indicated a need for clearer design elements and more effective funneling of actions.

00:37:16 – Applying Insights from Testing to Website Redesign
Insights from the previous tests informed the redesign of the entire website. Big buttons, clear choices, and reducing cognitive load were integrated into other areas of the site, improving user experience.

00:43:23 – Eye Tracking Results: Less is More
The study found that participants spent more time looking at the short testimonials compared to the long ones. They also showed less brow furrow and had a better overall experience with the shorter testimonials. This suggests that less text is more effective in capturing attention and providing a positive user experience.

00:45:37 – Importance of Short Testimonials
The research showed that shorter testimonials are more effective in capturing attention and creating anticipation for the product. Participants were able to absorb the positive feedback more easily and had a better overall experience. Short testimonials provide social proof without overwhelming the users with excessive text.

00:46:56 – Evolution of Data Collection Technology
The pandemic and the shift towards collecting data in naturalistic environments have led to the development of online data collection platforms. These platforms allow researchers to record facial expression analysis and eye-tracking data using webcams, eliminating the need for specialized equipment. This opens up new possibilities for remote data collection and collaboration.

00:49:20 – Tips for Conducting Experiments
When conducting experiments, it’s important to keep them small, be thoughtful about what to test, and test often. Focus on the most important aspects, avoid testing too many variables at once, and have a clear understanding of what you want to achieve. Testing helps understand and predict human behavior.

00:52:22 –  Conclusion,
Melina’s top insights from the conversation. What stuck with you while listening to the episode? What are you going to try? Come share it with Melina on social media — you’ll find her as @thebrainybiz everywhere and as Melina Palmer on LinkedIn.

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