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A critical part of product development is ensuring that all your effort and resources are not wasted. From the early phase of the process until after the product is launched, evaluation research is an iterative process used to evaluate the concept and gather data to improve the solution.
We will look at evaluation research, its types, and how you can use it to evaluate your products to cater to your customers’ needs.
Evaluation research also referred to as program evaluation or evaluative research, is the systematic assessment of the value of resources and time committed to a project, product, or specific goal. The main objective of evaluation research is to determine whether or not a process has achieved a goal or yielded the desired results.
Evaluation research is an integral part of the product development process, especially in the early design phases, and is continually utilized until the product is finalized. It is also used to monitor user experience after the product is launched in the market by gathering their feedback.
Evaluative research uses quantitative and/or qualitative research methods, to collect customer feedback on aspects such as usability, accessibility, desirability, etc., to improve the product & ensure that the solution meets the user’s needs.
You can also use the research process to understand the current market need by evaluating competitors’ products. The evaluation research can start before you have your own project. You can begin by monitoring competitors’ products to understand what is working in the market and what isn’t.
Evaluation research plays a vital role in helping you learn about your product & market.
Evaluation research enables you to continue to improve user experience by gathering meaningful feedback. It can help you hear from the users what is working and what isn’t; thus, you can identify what needs improvement.
Gathering customers’ evaluations of your product helps you gauge whether you are building the right product for the audience. It lets you understand if the solution you are offering is exactly what your audiences need.
Evaluative research helps determine if the solution adds value to the users. You can evaluate the effectiveness of the product. These insights can help you make strategic decisions and help build efficient solutions for future offerings.
There are three ways you can gather user feedback to evaluate your products. The following section explains the types of evaluation research.
Although there are many different types of approaches to evaluation research, we will specifically explore the following three techniques that are most commonly used:
This is a type of evaluation research conducted before embarking on a project or activity. It involves assessing the different needs and wants of a target market to set the tone for the project by allowing organizations to set appropriate objectives for it.
As the name suggests, mid-term evaluation is conducted while a project is in action to assess how far a project has come and whether or not it is in line with the set goals and objectives that were determined for it.
In mid-term evaluation, organizations can discern whether any changes or modifications are required to the current strategies being implemented on the off chance that the project isn’t going in the right direction.
The summative evaluation research, also referred to as end-term evaluation, is conducted immediately after completing a project. It is used to evaluate the results or output of the project concerning the objectives and projected results.
This form of evaluative research allows researchers to measure the degree of success of a project, and these results can be shared with stakeholders as well as prospective investors.
There are many different applications of evaluation research and many situations in which its use is appropriate.
Part of product development is evaluation, and it can be challenging to decide how to conduct evaluation research. We will tackle this question in the section.
Determining which research method to use for evaluation research can be challenging. However, based on the purpose, you can select how you want to gather user feedback.
Surveys are the most common method when it comes to gathering customer/user feedback. It can help you tap into a large response group and gather insightful feedback for a detailed evaluation of your product. Surveys can be used at a determined interval for a period to analyze users’ satisfaction with the product and determine its baseline.
Questionnaires can also help establish a benchmark for customer experience and satisfaction. By administering it continuously, you can monitor if any change in the product impacts the user experience.
Product developers also often rely on usability testing, A/B testing, etc., to test the product’s features. Focus groups can be used to observe and test the product and get direct feedback from users in an interactive environment.
The critical factor in determining the research process is to select the participants who represent your target audience. One of the best ways to go about it is selecting respondents from a survey panel. You can efficiently choose people who are a part of your target audience and conduct surveys continuously using the same panelists to track the impact of changes made in the product.
Asking the right questions can help you make informed decisions faster. Let’s see some questions you can ask while conducting evaluation research.
Evaluation research helps you determine the effectiveness of the effort and resources on the product. It ensures that the product adds value and meets the users’ expectations.
Evaluative research is an important factor that helps you test the product before and after its launch to ensure that it works as intended.
The research process enables you to gather evidence to study the competition, your target audience, their needs, etc. Evaluative research helps you understand whether the solution you are building addresses the needs and challenges of its users.
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Evaluation research refers to the systematic assessment of the value of time and resources allocated to achieve a certain goal.
The following are a few advantages of evaluation research:
Some common qualitative methods of evaluation research are one-on-one interviews, case studies, qualitative observation, and focus groups.
Some quantitative methods of evaluation research are polls, surveys, and questionnaires.
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