Uncovering product and market opportunities can be an added benefit of conducting a user research study.
Medical device user research is necessarily focused on the user interaction intricacies of the device itself. Paying attention to those interactions will certainly reveal insights into how you can design the device so that you optimize its usability.
However, there is a second benefit to conducting user research that is often overlooked. By conducting observational research in real-world situations, researchers and designers can gain a broad view of how the device is used in context. The interplay of people, other products, and environments that takes place as the device is retrieved from stock and readied for use can uncover hidden product and market opportunities if you observe those activities intently. For example, you might find opportunities to develop complimentary products, improved packaging systems, and better training materials, each addressing user pain points outside of any usability issues relating to the primary device you are studying.
To uncover hidden product and market opportunities, consider not only the device being studied, but the entire ecosystem that surrounds it. You should be able to identify critical relationships that will spark ideas for complimentary products and services to satisfy needs that are not currently being met.
If you are looking to increase revenue by expanding your product line, carefully observe your users as they interact with your device in their everyday workflow. Rather than focusing narrowly on your device, be aware of and think about how you might develop products that would compliment your device’s use. You will often find opportunities to address users’ pain points that arise at various stages of their workflow that don’t necessarily concern the usability of your device itself. Without the right focus, you won’t pick up on those opportunities. Employing that focus can also suggest new markets that you could move into while still remaining true to your business’s core competencies and without having to change your business model.
By paying attention to the use environment and the context in which users interact with your device, you can uncover opportunities for not just improving your device, but also for growing your revenue stream. That will dramatically increase the value of any user research study you conduct.