UIEtips: Understanding the Kano Model – A Tool for Sophisticated Designers

Jared Spool

January 18th, 2011

“We learned that it was all about getting the basics right,” the product manager told me, having just come back from a tour of observing multiple customers. “We can invest in all the nifty new features we want, but if we don’t get the product’s basic features to work right, our users don’t care.”

This was news to her. But it wasn’t news to me. That’s because “getting the basics right” is a basic tenet (no pun intended) of the Kano Model. Had the product manager known about this model and how it works, she wouldn’t have been so surprised by her customer’s reactions to new features.

In this UIEtips, we’ll closely inspect the Kano Model and see what it can bring us.

Read the article: Understanding The Kano Model – A Tool for Sophisticated Designers

Does the Kano Model explain things you’ve learned about your designs and your users? We’d love to hear about your experiences. Share them with us below.

3 Responses to “UIEtips: Understanding the Kano Model – A Tool for Sophisticated Designers”

  1. Joe Baz Says:

    Anecdotally speaking, I’ve found this to be the case by seeing how critics compare software applications.

    When listing the pros and cons, they are very quick to highlight the cons of the application, be it feature or UX related. Ironically enough, for the software applications that work as expected they are not jumping for joy in their review.

    So the criticism is not parallel for software applications that don’t innovate and build those excitement factors. The cost of doing business in the world of software is much higher today than it was thanks to folks like Google and Apple.

  2. Rachel Oxburgh Says:

    My issue with the Kano graphs is that they are somewhat ambiguous and that this ambiguity allows (in my view) for misleading interpretation. The horizontal axis (investment) appears to represent both whether a feature is present and whether it is well-executed. I would agree that absence of an ‘excitement feature’ can not disappoint a user, but I would argue that the presence of a poorly executed/sub-functional excitement feature can indeed lead to disappointment and frustration. I think it’s an important points as the implication of the curve drawn is that you can’t fail to add value with excitement features but in fact they need to be well executed and properly functional in order not to disappoint.

  3. James Says:

    Flickr indeed were pioneers ‘back in the day’. Perhaps they’d do well to read this article and rediscover some of the energy and ideas that made Flickr so exciting when it first came out: sadly, it’s barely changed (or innovated) since.

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