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I have been asked by a client to provide justification for the usage of the Kano Model.

I believe I have sufficiently convinced them of the benefits and value, but the one thing I am lacking is statistics to prove that this is a widely used model in the UX industry.

Have there been any surveys on usage of Kano or at the very least is there a list of companies using it for product development?

Any information you can share would be immensely helpful.

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  • Just out of interest, how exactly do you se the model?
    – Izhaki
    Jun 18 '14 at 21:29
  • There probably isn't (and I am not sure how widely it is actually used), but you should try to set your own metrics and benchmarks to show the benefit. See previous questions regarding the Kano Model if you haven't already: ux.stackexchange.com/questions/42853/…
    – Michael Lai
    Jun 18 '14 at 21:58
  • @Izhaki We surveyed users on a list of proposed features (a mix of existing and new) in order to prioritize development as well as test some management assumptions about the importance of those features. The results have been very valuable so far, but there is always the fear by some managers that they shouldn't trust the results because they haven't used this model before.
    – user50649
    Jun 20 '14 at 17:51
  • @MichaelLai Yes, I did read your thread earlier and found it very helpful, thank you. We are working on some internal metrics to better illustrate the benefits.
    – user50649
    Jun 20 '14 at 17:53
  • @user50649 So I am assuming that you have already broken down your product features according to the categories in the Kano model, and then linked each product release and sales revenue according to the number of feature categories to see what the best balance is? It would make for some interesting data to analyze for sure.
    – Michael Lai
    Jun 22 '14 at 22:34
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I'm confused about this one as to really dig into the heart of the Kano model its really about justifying Product Management in an nutshell. You could map potential health index reports (ie some products will likely have some health report they get via surveys, usability studies etc etc that could point to a Kano inference but it'd be honestly a little murky / bias driven anyway).

Kano isn't really a specific methodology or framework for scientific qualitative analysis of UX inside a product (website or desktop), it's simply as your wikipedia link suggests a "theory" only.

You could kind of cheat at this by creating a Risk Matrix style chart, swap out the Y axis for "incentive" and the X axis for "Behavior" ..then survey people to determine their WoW Effect by asking them for a scoring for first reactionary response(s) to the experience. Then keep testing the people as they use the same experience over time, essentially what you're looking for then is the decay point, in which the incentive to use drops but the behavior trends normal (in most situations if the user HAS to use the experience the behavior normally trends upwards but incentive dissipates early).

Also in order to really get into the heart of the Kano Model the Product itself has to have its features broken down into tier1, tier2, tier3 etc hierarchy then have Persona(s) that are supposed own these features be isolated and identified. Then you then have to survey each Persona to determine its health index at each persona level in order to define a complete picture.

Bottom line is it's a case by case basis depending on the Product and how mature the Product Manager is. I used to be a Product Manager of Microsoft .NET and i'd say i rarely met Product Managers in Adobe/Google/Microsoft/etc that even would consider doing the surveys let alone sharing them.

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  • Thank you for your insights Scott. Just out of curiosity, what methods do you think those project managers would typically employ to prioritize feature development?
    – user50649
    Jun 20 '14 at 18:00
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    Time...money..time... :) i rarely see a Project Manager advocate on the user's needs and more about meeting some agenda / deadline that outside those needs. Product Managers aren't much different in many ways "invest low, high impact" are generally both motivators. A good Prod Mgr will set the "themes" and react to delivery. If they get involved in delivery (ie hands on) ..probably a dangerous move on everyones part. Jun 21 '14 at 0:59
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Haven't seen any stats, but I think what you could do is to collect information for your specific products and make some analysis based on the categories of features implemented per release and how it relates back to sales (revenues generated, new customers, etc) and customer support metrics (complaints, positive feedback, etc).

For example:

  • Release A (Delighters - 1, Performance Needs - 3, Basic Needs - 2)
  • Release B (Delighters - 0, Performance Needs - 2, Basic Needs - 5)

Obviously you'll need a lot more data and have a number of different releases to read more into the benefit of such an analysis, but perhaps there are things which become apparent quickly such as if you are in a competitive market and you fail to address Basic Needs in a specific release and the number of existing customers drop off, or if you fail to add Delighters in a specific release and the number of new customers decrease.

I'd love to see if anyone else has done something similar or what everyone's thoughts are on this type of analysis. One of the difficulties of doing this kind of analysis is that the customer's perception of the Basic versus Performance Needs changes, and it would require a very good setup to be able to continuously monitor and track this type of information.

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