Processing the Results
Using the original materials and photos, transcribe every customer entry into a spreadsheet that is organized by the same time frame in which the comment was made, keeping track of which customer made each entry, along with any clarifying text from the participant discussion. This means that if you used three calendars during the game, one based on a single day, another on a month, and a third on an entire year, you should have at least three spreadsheets organized around the same time frames. You might be tempted to put each entry into a single spreadsheet, but this approach often fails to match customers' perceptions of time.
Associate additional attributes with each entry so that you can better understand patterns and trends. Attributes that you may find useful and what you can do with them include the following:
The degree to which this is the intended use of your product, ranging from a simple yes/no to a scale from 1 to 3 or 1 to 5. A product that has many unintended uses can be the most challenging to understand. On one hand, the product may be selling well because of these unintended uses, which tends to make people happy because market share and profits are good. But this unintended result is rarely what you want. One problem is that the real market need, and the one that motivated the creation of the product in the first place, is left unanswered. Another problem is that if the product is selling well based on unintended use, what might happen if the company actually identified the right target market and promoted the product to them? Could sales double or triple? Keep in mind that not all unintended uses of a product represent improper design. Indeed, a few unintended uses are usually a benefit, as they help the product team identify new opportunities. Finally, note that unintended uses include things that might appear normal at the surface but upon closer inspection reveal a novel or unintended use. For example, consider the number of people who keep track of "to do" items by adding "appointments" to their calendars.
The degree to which your team was surprised by this use of your product, again using a simple "yes/no" or more complex numeric scale. The greater the surprise, the greater the opportunity for identifying and/or marketing your product to a new set of customers or for increasing use of your product by existing customers.
Your customers' perceptions of how easy it was to use your product to accomplish the task they described. Tasks that your product supports should be retained. Tasks that are difficult to accomplish are clear opportunities for improvement.
The number of customers who indicated they used the product in a similar manner; consensus strengthens the points described previously.