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Customer Experience, Design, Technology

Using Biometric Research to Enhance Customer Experience

2 minute read | By: Sam Stevens

The User Perception, Cognition & Interaction (UPCI) lab at the University of Southern Indiana (USI) is known for its unique approach to research and their latest project or Escalade Sports’ e-commerce website is no exception. Escalade Sports’ wanted to know how the updates to their e-commerce website impacted customer’s experience. As more and more people shop online, they wanted to ensure their website stayed ahead of the curve. To ensure their e-commerce site was a pleasure for their customers to use, they partnered with the UPCI to conduct biometric research capturing data at a unique level to assess how the client felt while shopping on their website.


The UPCI lab focuses on decision making in the context of computer-based information presentation and task by measuring human attention, arousal, cognition and emotion. The team conducts experiments using leading software platforms that integrates subject responses through the use of eye tracking, facial expression, galvanic skin response, EEG and survey technology.


Their research project was conducted by Zachary Pirnat (lead) and Dr. Dinko Bačić (advisor) who measured biometric responses (attention [eye tracking], emotions [facial expressions], arousal [galvanic skin response], cognitive states [EEG]), using a variety of leading research tools including Truthlab’s Higher Education and Academic Program (HEAP).


This intersection of biometric research combined with customer experience research makes the UPCI a great fit for Truthlab’s HEAP. Truthlab seeks opportunities to provide a new angle and insights into current practices in the research field. Additional perspectives from the customers’ point of view can reveal new research paths.


Following an initial usage test, Zachary recorded the respondent watching themselves using the site and describe what they were thinking and feeling during the experience. Using Truthlab, Zachary then created video clips and themes, through a video clip card sorting feature, based on the patterns he observed during the study. The themes and clips were then exported for their presentation to the client and the local IT Alliance. “As I conducted the study, I noticed patterns emerging of page layouts changing the starting position of visual fixations amongst participants. It was very easy to create clips and organize them in themes by pattern using Truthlab,” said Zachary.


Combining the biometric data with the voice of the respondent helped them dive a layer deeper in the research study. “Truthlab helped us answer the why of the research triangle. Why respondents had the responses they did,” said Dr. Bačić. “Seeing they were having trouble based on eye movement and biometric data paired with the respondent describing why in their own voice was incredibly valuable. It was also fascinating to see USI’s undergraduate student being comfortable using leading UX research platforms.” Dr. Bačić plans to use continue to use Truthlab as part of structured debriefing at the end of every biometric experiment, strengthening the quality of the research, especially the post-hoc analysis.


In order to create the best customer experience, it is often not enough to ensure the product solves a given problem but to ensure the way the product approaches and delivers the solution is aligned with the expectation of the customer. Listening to the customer express themselves in their own voice is vital to crafting an enjoyable solution experience.


Also Read: What college should be about and why UX research is tough