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As part of an evaluation I want to use the Kano model to determine if a feature being added to an existing system is something that will be used or not. Since we are only looking at the addition of a single feature do we ask a single functional and dysfunctional question? Right now the question is:

Functional - If the Machine Vision feature reduces your time to complete the task how would you feel?

Dysfunctional - If the Machine Vision (MV) feature has no affect on time to complete the task how would you feel?

I am wondering if we should ask other questions in regards to the feature, such as if the MV feature improved communications in the team how would you feel, or if the MV feature improved coordination how would you feel.

Or is Kano survey simply meant to ask a general question about a feature being liked or disliked

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Get the phrasing right

Firstly, the phrasing seems to be off - assuming that Machine Vision does reduce task time, you should be asking how they would feel if the product had that feature, and how they feel if it did not have that feature. You can mention the benefit of the feature as part of describing it or explaining it.

The Machine Vision feature can reduce your time to complete the task.
How would you feel if the system had Machine Vision?
How would you feel if the system did not have Machine Vision?"

What are you really asking about?

On the other hand, since you do mention other ways that the Machine Vision feature might benefit the user you could instead change the focus of the survey. Kano analysis isn't just for asking about features - you can ask about more abstract qualities too.

So, you could have one question touting the efficiency and time reduction benefit of Machine Vision, and same again for improved communications, and again for improved coordination. You don't even need to mention the specific feature that will be providing that benefit.

We can add a feature that can reduce your time to complete the task.
How would you feel if the system did have this feature?
How would you feel if the system did not have this feature?

We can add a feature that can improve team communication.
How would you feel if the system did have this feature?
How would you feel if the system did not have this feature?

We can add a feature that can improve team coordination.
How would you feel if the system did have this feature?
How would you feel if the system did not have this feature?

Asking these multiple questions would then provide guidance as to which benefit to focus on in design and development (which as we know is so often a trial of compromises).

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I want to use the Kano model to determine if a feature being added to an existing system is something that will be used or not

I'm not necessarily sure the Kano Model is the best tool to help you answer this question. For this I would recommend surveying users, showing them wireframes, or even building a quick proof-of-concept that you could demonstrate to request feedback.

Kano Model as an Internal Tool

My preference for using the Kano Model is to try to identify and prioritize the business value of new features. So I typically reserve this conversation with business stakeholders, such as project managers and product owners.

The way I tend to explain it is there are 3 categories: basic needs, performance needs, and exciters. Each of these categories must stack on top of one another. Meaning, we absolutely have to meet the basic needs before considering improving performance, or we have nothing. Then we have to have a product that not only works, but works well, before we can begin polishing it. I find this is a good technique for keeping the focus of a team, and ensuring all facets of the product get adequate attention.

Once everyone understands the Kano Model, and in my experience it is usually well received, we are able to answer a lot of these questions internally.

For example:

If the Machine Vision feature reduces your time to complete the task how would you feel?

If we know a feature will reduce the time to complete a task, we can already categorize it as a performance enhancer. The product already works, and we're just making it work more efficiently.

If the Machine Vision (MV) feature has no affect on time to complete the task how would you feel?

Improvements that have no affect on time or performance are often categorized as delighters or exciters. On our web-based products this is often aesthetic design upgrades. For example, a design team may want to begin migrating in the direction of a new style guide. The product works, works well, and now we are investing in improving the perceived value.

Kano Model Conclusion

By answering some of these questions internally, using the Kano Model as a guideline, it helps to stay on course for delivering a great well-rounded product. It helps avoid scenarios where a great UI concept is smoke-and-mirrors, while also helping to avoid creating a technically robust product that has poor UI/UX. It also provides stakeholders more information when deciding where to invest the team's time.

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  • Ben thanks for the information. The Kano survey is just one survey we will are thinking of using. The idea of using Kano is to determine how the operators feel about the new machine vision feature i.e., do they feel like this is a must have, something they should have always had or are they just ambivalent towards it. Ultimately we want to see if they will continue to use the feature even when not being watched (Hawthorne effect). Alternatively we are exploring UTAUT as an alternative survey. Also, note the MV feature is already done we will be doing A/B testing to see if it is a value add. – Doc Jul 28 '16 at 15:01
  • Also, saving time may not be an important factor for your users. They might prioritise other qualities. For some products, features that contribute to saving time and being efficient are Reverse features. So .. do ask, don't assume. – Erics Aug 1 '16 at 16:59

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