The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

Everything Wrong With Bad Researchers Can Be Summed Up With This Article …
July 8, 2013, 6:10 am
Filed under: Comment

Below is an article in the paper regarding the new OS7 software for iPhone.

What I’d like you to pay most attention to is the highlighted quote from Baluca Budiu, a researcher from the Neilsen group.

Now I appreciate some people were expecting more innovation from Apple … I appreciate this update is tinkering with the ‘well known’ … I even accept OS7 has more than a dash of influence from the Windows Mobile operating system … but to suggest that because they both have incorporated a ‘flat design’ means they will both experience the same response from their users is utterly, utterly fucking ridiculous.

Virgin Atlantic uses the same jet technology on their aircraft as Garuda Airlines, but that doesn’t mean they both fall out the sky at an alarmingly regular rate.

Nor does the fact I went to the same school – and was taught by the same drama teacher – as Samantha Morton [admittedly at different times] mean I am suddenly going to be a Hollywood actor.

This low rent game of ‘attribute snap’ that people like Baluca like to use to justify their viewpoint, drives me nuts.

At best it’s naive, at worst it’s a demonstration they have no concept or ability to appreciate the importance of context or reality.

Besides, is it really bad that people will have to ‘re-learn’ stuff?

I know Northern wrote a great post about the power of stability, convenience & ease … but I quite like the fact there may be some new things for me to learn … to experience … to play with.

And even if I didn’t, I think I am smart enough to be able to work it out within a few hours, seriously, it’s not going to be that fucking hard and as an added bonus, I get to feel like I’ve achieved something – which is more than I tend to experience on an average day.

For the record, I really like the Windows Phone operating system.

I know some have deemed it ‘a failure’, but even if that is the case, I can assure Baluca, it is for far more reasons than simply because they used a flat display.

Maybe it’s because they called the thing ‘Windows’ … a name that is intimately associated with work when people view their mobile as a tool that gives them freedom.

Or maybe it’s because they linked with a mobile brand that had about as much desirability as a $2 crack whore with a dose of the clap.

Or it could be that after 20 years of telling people to always look for the ‘start’ button, they had forgotten to educate people about the new symbolism.

Or maybe it was too expensive or had shit distribution or they did bad ads or any one of countless other reasons.

The point is, when researchers – or anyone – for that matter, starts spouting viewpoints based on the flimsiest of ‘evidence’, then they are doing themselves far more harm than they are intending to do to the other party, which is why if you ever find yourself in this sort of position, I would encourage you to do one of the following:

1. Remind them of the difference between objectivity and subjectivity.

2. Explain to them why not everyone is entitled to have an opinion.

3. Hit them. Hit them very, very hard.


39 Comments so far
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A Brit wins wimbledon for the first time in 1000 years and you write a post on ios7? I know you’re only 50% Brit but that’s still a cultural offence.

Comment by DH

well fucking said dave. we have a dour scot to claim as a courageous englishman. nothing else matters.

Comment by andy@cynic

Here here.

Comment by George

To be fair to me, I never expected him to win … though with the Lions coming good, maybe I should have seen it coming … but even then, the odd victorious blip doesn’t make up for a long history of choking.

Still, it was brilliant and I’m bloody knackered this morning for listening to it. I need a holiday. Which i [sort-of] have tomorrow.

No, I’m not joking. Hahaha.

Comment by Rob

OK, I am.

Comment by Rob

youre fucking not are you. you motherfucker.

Comment by andy@cynic

24 hours and we’ll know who is right. My money is on Andy.

Comment by DH

Andy will claim he’s right, but I’m away for work. Honest.

Comment by Rob

if he was a Nike athlete he would have

Comment by northern

Don’t you start.

Comment by Rob

Sweetening Baz up for a freebie? You’re so transparent.

Comment by DH

Good points but bad example. And since you insist on objective evidence, let me remind you of the recent post when you accepted that you’d fallen into the same trap.

You may have time during your many holidays to learn a new system, but the rest of us want something that just works and view four hours as a waste of time rather than an investment towards the “achievement”of being able to do what we used to be able to do with our our previous phone operating system.

Comment by John

dont give me that bullshit doddsy, judging by all your dear john comments on this shithole blog, you have more time to learn new fucking shit than anyone. even mr 100 holidays a year campbell.

Comment by andy@cynic

It’s my cure for insomnia.

Comment by John

this blog is mine.

Comment by andy@cynic

True John, maybe I am the exception rather than the rule – but have you tried it? It’s hardly like you’re starting from scratch … in fact I’d say it’s not that different to what people have to go through/discover with their annual ‘update’ so maybe we’re both being a little dramatic?

Comment by Rob

You’re assuming I can afford a smartphone.

Comment by John

As for the association of Windows with work rather than Microsoft, that sounds to me like one of those insights simultaneously seeded and harvested from groups. But that, I accept, is just an opinion.

Comment by John

i buy that association. you definitely dont associate the fuckers with happy days and excitement. isnt that the reason they went with microsoft xbox not windows xbox. dont blame them. who the fuck would want a game system with a name where the first game that comes to mind is mine sweeper.

Comment by andy@cynic

I agree you don’t associate it with happy days and excitement, but that doesn’t mean you associate it with the opposite. We’re too eager to believe in associations when the default position of most people most of the time is apathy or indifference.

Comment by John

To be fair to windows, solitaire used to keep me occupied for hours. Normally when Rob an George were taking us through their presentation.

Comment by DH

I’m sure George had more than one presentation.

Comment by John

Even if the response to the word “windows” induces apathy or indifference, doesn’t that highlight one of the issues Robert is talking about?

Comment by George

I let Robert write the presentations which by default, mean I only had one presentation as well.

Comment by George

Agreed, there are so many opportunities to generate truth-based associations but my point is that far fewer pertain than marketers would like to believe.

Comment by John

Oh I’d be happy to have a bet with you on that … especially in terms of how Asia relates to the word ‘Windows’.

Comment by Rob

the word “nielsen” says everyfucking thing wrong with research campbell.

Comment by andy@cynic

I currently use the iOS7 iPhone 5 developers release and a windows phone (Nokia Lumia 520) side by side. Although I really try to love the windows phone, it remains hard. Being a complete sucker for minimalism I enjoy the phone a lot, but its just not natural enough. The flow is wrong as soon as you hit second level menus. The flatter iOS7 design has a little bit of a learning curve (I guess it is fair to say more than its predecessors) but looks way better than before. I had my mom try it and she is used to her iPhone and is not tech savvy. She had no problem using my iPhone with the new iOS.

My only concern would be that these more minimalist and flatter designs will depersonalise the phone experience for some people. It makes the phone more a device and less a companion. Siri might offer a solution to this in the future, but that’s still a long way to go.

Comment by Paul

companion? Only in lovemarks land..

Comment by niko

Your best post ever.

Comment by Bazza

Can I have a new 512gb Macbook Air then please?

Comment by Rob

The best advice I was ever given was to make researchers your best friend. The qual ones were easy, they’re so lonely after countless nights in hotels, with stale sandwiches or pot noodle as their only solace, they’re patheticall grateful for anyone who wants to talk to them.
The people who seem to think they have the license to say what they want are media folk in my business, It’s an unspoken rule that you never comment on someone else’s work in an all agency situation, and if pushed, give a politicians answer (then stick the knife in during a private conversation) but not for meeja folks, oh no. They’re greedilly hovering for scraps of strategy and even creative income, I know, but they don’t have to be so bloody shameless.
By the way, I’m this close to getting brainjuicer comissioned for a project and I’m actually excited. Partly because I think they’re great, but I hate researching work – but not in this case, when the client has said in the past, to an illustraters work, “But I thought it would look like more like wacky races” using research defensively can be a very sneaky, but useful weapon.
Not to mention working with creative directors who are the equivalent of the Wizard of Oz – behind the fashionable exterior and mostly made up reel, a little man who gets his best ideas from reading D&Ad and googling Wally Ollins

Comment by northern

Great point Northern …

I have a great respect for great researchers, but sadly there seems to be less and less as their companies focus on giving the client what they want to hear rather than what will help them be a stronger & better business.

As for your comment on media folk … well maybe I should go and work for Mindshare because I have been known to be a bit of a bastard in ‘group’ meetings. Though being a Brit in Asia, it means if I smile, people think it’s charming rather than destroying. Well, that’s my excuse anyway.

Funnily enough, I’m in talks with our Brainjuicer friends right now too. Emotion based research companies … The Smiths … bald heads … going to South Korea … this is starting to scare me. But probably not as much as it is likely to be scaring you.

Comment by Rob

Oh, don’t get me wrong, I love destroying others’ work, but only because I seem to have cracked the trick of looking like I’m enthusiastic about it while being the opposite. Too many Yes Minister’s on UK Gold I think.
The best way to put a knife in someone’s back is to charm them into not realising it’s happening.

Comment by northern

Oh yes … when you’re being thanked for basically shitting on shit from a great height, you know you have mastered the art of ‘constructive criticism’ and your career as a wily politician is ready for takeoff.

Comment by Rob

What is scaring me about South Korea is the fact I agreed to do a seminar.

Comment by northern

Oh that is awesome.

I’ll be there.



Comment by Rob

Clapping at the slides I’ve desperately stole from you

Comment by northern

Which I stole off George.

Comment by Rob

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