Title: Assessing Efficacy of Assistive Technology Transfers: Validation of the T2RERC's Technology Transfer Model
Author: Vathsala I Stone
Publication:Canadian Evaluation Society and the American Evaluation Association
Conventional wisdom asserts that consumer involvement in product development is vital to ensuring a product’s appeal, usability and customer satisfaction. The project team employs a collaborative approach for designing consumer products intended for use by people with various levels of functional abilities whether due to age (children, seniors and adults), gender or health status.
The Black & Decker® Lids-Off™ automatic jar opener – which resulted from this process -- hit one million-unit sales volume in its first year. Sales measure initial product appeal, but how does one determine utility and satisfaction? A three-phase efficacy study examined the product’s quality and value from the consumer perspective. This paper presents the third and final phase of the study, when consumers tested the jar opener in their home setting. The paper highlights the key concepts underlying the investigation of quality and value for products designed through this approach.
Descriptive analysis demonstrated that the jar opener was rated high for usability and other aspects of quality. Consumer’s reported value of the jar opener also remained consistently high. The product’s actual value was inferred by having seventy-five percent of the participants purchase the product with a portion of their monetary compensation at the end of the study. High consumer satisfaction and product acceptance was evident in its voluntary and constant consumer use during the trial period. At two year follow-up, nearly 65% perceived that jar opener improved their independence in cooking and an equal proportion (67%) agreed that the product made a positive impact to their quality of life. A Pearson correlation analysis between usage and value ratings indicated that consumers who used the jar opener more often were those consumers who perceived an enhanced independence and quality of life.
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