What are the disadvantages of the IHUT research methodology?

By Kim Storer

It’s a bit difficult to list out the disadvantages of IHUTs as the advantages are so abundant. But, even the best of products aren’t always best for IHUT testing. Let’s consider some reasons why you might choose a different methodology.

  1. Statistically generalizable results: If one of your main research objectives is to generate results that are statistically sound and generalizable to a specific larger population, it would be wise to consider combining your IHUT with a major quantitative study. IHUTs are often done with small groups of people, perhaps only 100 or 200 very targeted groups of people, which means the results can’t always be generalized to a variety of other demographic groups with a small margin of error. By combining a well-designed IHUT with a large scale survey, you can have the best of both worlds.
  2. Product is too expensive: Some products are simply too expensive to give away for free  – or to reasonably expect people to return them after testing. Expensive electronics are simply not going to work with the IHUT methodology unless you’ve been granted a shockingly huge budget. In such cases, central location tests, where people join the researcher in a predetermined location, are the perfect solution to the problem. Bring the product to a location and people can test it there, either individually or in groups.
  3. fieldwork, data collection, central location, concept test, package test, recruitment, sensory test, taste test, IHUT, advantages, disadvantagesProduct is highly confidential: Some products are highly confidential such that even viewing photos on the internet, where images can be screen-capped or photographed with a cell phone, is a problem. If the risk is too great of losing proprietary information to competitors or to the wider public, central location tests are once again the perfect solution to the IHUT.
  4. Precise control is necessary: If you’re testing a product that has a steep learning curve and has very precise processes and methods for proper usage, an IHUT may not be the best option. Once again, central location tests are the perfect solution. In these cases, the researcher who has been carefully trained to use the product and demonstrate it without bias can guide participants through the test. Of course, if you want to know all the different ways that people misuse and abuse a product while they learn how to use it so that you can compensate for those issues and develop solutions, an IHUT might just be the perfect solution after all!

If you’re convinced you’ve covered all of these potential problems and are a ready to give an IHUT a try, feel free to ask us for a quote!

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Kim is the Field Director at Canadian Viewpoint. She is the person who makes it all happen, from getting interviewers on the phone, to someone’s front door, and in the shopping mall. And, she makes sure consumers receive products in perfect shape for taste tastes, home tests, and any other kind of test our clients can imagine! Kim enjoys dinner with friends, traveling with her family, and taking her sweet pup for long walks.

Canadian Viewpoint is an MRIA Gold Seal field and data collection company that specializes in English and French Canada. Our offline and online services include sample, programming, hosting, mall intercepts, pre-recruits, central location recruitment, mystery shopping, site interviews, IHUTs, sensory testing, discussion boards, CATI, facial coding, and other innovative technologies. Learn more about our services on our website.

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