solution

To conduct this observational study, Syzygy arranged for 16 subjects in Germany and the United Kingdom to be observed as they used the website. The subjects in Germany were observed with the eye-tracking equipment. As the equipment measured each subject’s gaze, software recorded the location on the screen and graphed the data. Syzygy’s results included three-dimensional contour maps highlighting the “peak” areas where most of the computer users’ attention was directed.

CASE 11.1: Mazda and Syzygy. Page 251

When Mazda Motor Europe set out to improve its website, the company wanted details about how consumers were using the site and whether finding information was easy. Mazda hired a research firm called Syzygy to answer those questions with observational research.14 Syzygy’s methods include the use of an eye-tracking device that uses infrared light rays to record what areas of a computer screen a user is viewing. For instance, the device measured the process computer users followed in order to look for a local dealer or arrange a test drive. Whenever a process seemed confusing or difficult, the company looked for ways to make the website easier to navigate.

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Please respond to all of the following prompts in the class discussion section of your online course:

Read Case 11.1 on page 251 of the text.

What could Mazda learn from eye-tracking software that would be difficult to learn from other observational techniques?

What other techniques might have been incorporated to help Mazda assess the usability of its website? Why would those have helped?

What advantages exist of one research design over the other with regard to measuring the physiological reactions of research participants? What might be some ethical implications of observational methods? Under what circumstances might it be considered profiling?

Consider what it would be like to participate in this kind of an observation. How might knowing that you are being observed change your behavior?

CASE 11.1: Mazda and Syzygy. Page 251

When Mazda Motor Europe set out to improve its website, the company wanted details about how consumers were using the site and whether finding information was easy. Mazda hired a research firm called Syzygy to answer those questions with observational research.14 Syzygy’s methods include the use of an eye-tracking device that uses infrared light rays to record what areas of a computer screen a user is viewing. For instance, the device measured the process computer users followed in order to look for a local dealer or arrange a test drive. Whenever a process seemed confusing or difficult, the company looked for ways to make the website easier to navigate.

Please respond to all of the following prompts in the class discussion section of your online course:

Read Case 11.1 on page 251 of the text.

What could Mazda learn from eye-tracking software that would be difficult to learn from other observational techniques?

What other techniques might have been incorporated to help Mazda assess the usability of its website? Why would those have helped?

What advantages exist of one research design over the other with regard to measuring the physiological reactions of research participants? What might be some ethical implications of observational methods? Under what circumstances might it be considered profiling?

Consider what it would be like to participate in this kind of an observation. How might knowing that you are being observed change your behavior?

 
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