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Product Clinics and Product Testing

Product Clinics and Product Testing

What is a clinic?

At a clinic products or prototypes can be tested in their competitive environment. “Clinic” here means that the participants approach the product in a central test. The questions examined at a clinic can range from design via serviceability through to price elasticities.

Common clinics in the automotive sector are static or dynamic clinics. At static clinics for example the way a design is evaluated, can be studied at an early point in the product development process. For this, prototypes and competitors are displayed alongside each other in a hall.  
At dynamic clinics for example road tests are carried out on electronic systems which are still in development. Questions which are to the fore here include:

  • Does the driver understand the system?
  • Does he understand how to operate it?
  • How can and must the operation and the system be optimised?
  • How great is the customer acceptance?

Typical survey techniques we use in our clinics are:

  • Individual interviews
  • In-depth interviews
  • Self-completion questionnaires
  • Usability tests with UsePrisma®
  • Conjoint analysis

In the last 10 years, the Spiegel Institut Mannheim has held roughly 120 clinics worldwide, for example:

  • Benchmark testing of the competitive environment with and without a prototype (static/dynamic): Cars, commercial vehicles, tractors, combine harvesters, field choppers
  • Usability tests on electronic and everyday appliances (static/dynamic): Washing machines, vacuum cleaners, lancing devices and blood sugar measuring devices (diabetes products)
  • Benchmark testing of automotive systems (static/dynamic): Multimedia systems, navigation systems, driver information systems, driver assistance systems