Contextual Laddering

Method suitability

Study type

XField studies
XLab studies
Online studies
Questionnaire

Development phase

XConcepts
Early prototypes
Functional prototypes
XProducts on market

Studied period of experience

XBefore usage
Snapshots
XAn episode
XLong-term UX

Evaluator / Info provider

UX experts
XOne user at a time
Groups of users
Pairs of users

Data

XQualitative
XQuantitative

Applications

XWeb services
XPC software
XMobile software
XHardware designs
Other:

Requirements

XTrained researcher
Special equipment

Summary

One-to-one interviewing technique (qualitative data gathering) + quantitative data analysis technique. Preferably to be done in context.

Description

The interviewer probing into the reasons why certain (consequences of) attributes are important/liked to reveal the respondent's dominant attributes - consequences - values chains related to the product.

Strengths

Answering why - questions
Data at abstract & concrete level
Knowledge on product preferences

Weaknesses

Lot of effort: one interview lasts typically 60-75 min.
Analysis of data - hard
Requires a skilled interviewer

References describing the method

Reynolds, Thomas: Understanding consumer decision making. The means-end approach to marketing and advertising strategy
Cockton, G. (2007). Make evaluation Poverty History. Proceedings Of Chi 2007, pp. 1-13.
Grunert, G. K., & Bech-Larsen, T. (2005). Explaining choice option attractiveness by beliefs elicited by the laddering method. Journal of Economic Psychology, 26(2), pp. 223-241.
Gutman, J. (1982). A means-end chain model based on consumer categorization processes. Journal of Marketing 46(2), pp. 60-72.
Zaman, B. (2008, April). Introducing contextual laddering to evaluate the likeability of games with children. Cognition, Technology & Work 10(2) (pp. 107-117). : Springer.
Jans, G. & Calvi, L. (2006). Using laddering and association techniques to develop a user-friendly mobile (city) application. In R. Meersman, Z. Tari, P. Herrero et al. (Eds.), OTM Workshops 2006, LNCS 4278 (pp. 1956-1965). : Springer.
Abeele, V., & Zaman, B. (2009). Laddering the user experience. Workshop position paper Interact 2009 submitted, no notification yet).

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