The Sixth W

Listening places

What are our places? What happens in our experiential laboratory? How does our method work within and “without” a lab?

We could start by listening, we could start by caring for people and their needs and affirm that our task is to implement customer care. This should not happen downstream, as in a classic after-sales service for consumers, but upstream, involving the individual in the creation of the goods and services which are then offered to him. This should always be the guiding principle both in relationships between people and businesses and for the same people who provide products or services.

Our Experience LAB
It is not a normal laboratory,

but a place unlike any other. There are no guinea pigs or experiments, and tools are reduced to a minimum in order to disintermediate as much as possible the experiences and relationships. Because the human person is the subject and the object of our work.
The lab is not just a studio or a place where analyses are made or services provided, but a place where experiences, interactions and relationships are lived through, replicated and observed.
It is not just a workshop where artefacts are presented, interfaces are tested and services validated.

The Experience LAB is a human space similar to a house: a wooden or stone structure that has, for at least five or six thousand years, hosted, stimulated and recorded experiences.

It is the place where people become involved, where we apply our method of listening, detection, measurement and restitution of experiences. A method that is applied, as we have seen, to people who are users or customers. A plastic method that changes, grows and is refined by the continuous contribution of researchers, scientists, professionals, entrepreneurs and users.

A model that we hope will spread, thereby integrating and extending the methods of recognition and restitution. The object and the approach strategy changes during the research because the mixed method that we apply is carried out as a continuous process, i.e. continuous improvement, which develops partly during observation (the interweaving of observation and analysis) and is retroactive and cyclical (theoretical reflection and consequent re-reading of the observed elements).

The value of our work

The value restituted by the research with partner companies is potentially huge – often bigger than everyone’s expectations. It injects meaning into everyone’s role and overlooks the pragmatic goals that usually trigger the research. A perfect example of this is the meaning of the relationship with the brand. It is a value that grows; it is not removed from the user; rather, it increases due to an involvement which, over time, becomes sustainable, circular and inexhaustible.

Our job is to show with clear and heuristically sound metrics the direction that people indicate. The partners have the facility and the duty to spread value and apply its results.

This is the added value of our work, of TSW as a company and of The Sixth W as a method.

In this work we analyse the expectations and behaviours of people using methods and tools involving user experience research, cognitive psychology and biometric surveys to gather feedback during the relationship/interaction with the brand, its services and its products.

Beyond the data and quantitative metrics we also apply qualitative research survey techniques, which could be presented in six different stages:

1. preparation of a situation with realistic conditions and an extraordinarily ordinary environment (receive);
2. direct observation and analysis of non-verbal behaviour (observe);
3. execution of tasks that include thinking aloud and qualitative interviews (ask);
4. analysis of silence and implicit answers (listen);
5. use of data (read and re-read);
6. restitution of value (share).

The view from within

Drawing on anthropological and sociological research and ethnographic methodology in particular, the TSW approach involves innovative use of the participant observation technique. The researcher must engage in a high level of involvement in the observed entity and an equally intense level of interaction with the subjects under examination in order to understand the meaning of their actions.

In this case the involvement, participation and recreation of experiences from within is also required from the request commissioner and the professionals of the partner companies of TSW that provide interfaces, objects or services for their customers.

Rebuilding from within means living the experiences and behaviours displayed by the subjects, interacting and participating through the researchers … seeing, listening and being present in each moment for clients attending that are, in turn, attended.

In the protocol that we apply, the researchers – who have a role as facilitators and restitutors – support the client and the user, in order to activate a bilateral process of identification with and understanding of motivations.

This understanding becomes, for everyone, a “view from within” that dismantles and overcomes the marked differences between the internal and external point of view and brings users and customers to full disintermediated participation in the experience in question and the established relationship.

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