What do consumers like about designing their own products?

What did you like about the product configurator?

We recently ran a research study that investigated consumer tastes and preferences in the context of product customization.  The goal was to find out what consumers want from a product customizer.  We asked them to run through a Treehouse Logic product configurator and then respond to a series of questions.

The results are very telling:  User experience design is top priority.  Consumers are no longer of tolerant of websites that are not intuitive and fun to use.   Good usability includes application performance, a smart layout, and comprehensive navigation.   When users are exposed to an A+ site, they appreciate it.  During the user flow, consumers need obvious answers to questions like ‘where am I?,’ ‘what do I do next?’ and “how do I finish?”

In addition to ease of use, respondents mentioned the ability to navigate many choices, and the importance of visualization of the custom product.

  • 50% complimented the site’s ease of use
  • 33% appreciated the rich selection of choices, (ie a graceful solution to “the paradox of choice.”)
  • 17% raved about the visualization, ie zoom, alternate views, and the importance of seeing high quality, accurate images of the product as they design it.

179 respondents answered the optional open-ended question “What did you like most about the product customizer?”  Here are a few verbatim answers.

Ease of use:

“Intuitive, lots of preprogrammed options, fast, very EASY”

“Easy and simple steps with a quick update of pricing on additional additions.”

“Its intuitive design and customizing features”

Selection:

“A wide range of selections.  Various colors.”

“I liked being able to choose colors for every component.”

“Broad options for materials and colors.”

Visualization:

“Very fast in seeing what I wanted to appear in my changes”

“The zoom feature  – the varying viewpoints of the product”

“I liked the visualization of the custom bag.”

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