Don’t let today’s circumstances slow you down.

Since our beginning over 20 years ago, we have pioneered innovative approaches to conduct global, remote user research to model, define, and measure desired experiences. Today, we can stream that research directly to you wherever you are.


Mobile Moments™

Our Mobile Moments™ process allows people to capture and journal their experiences over time giving you the definitive moments in their lives and the context in which these moments happen. It’s a great approach for use cases and jobs to be done.


Prime. Dream. Create. ™

Prime. Dream. Create.™ is our proprietary Qualtrics module that uses projective techniques understand desired experiences and co-create the ideal future solution.


Remote Insight Translation™

Remote Insight Translation™ workshops leverage online tools such as Stormboard and Mural to align dispersed teams around what people want and how they want it delivered.


GlobalStream™

Our Global Stream™ technology uses a multiplex video capture (multiple camera views) of interactions with your product or service concepts and streams these directly to you in real time.


ExperienceMetrics™

Lextant’s patented Experience Metrics™ process features forward thinking methods and protocols that help brands measure what matters most to customers.  Concrete results provide a secret weapon for companies to get ahead and stay ahead.


DriveThruTesting™

Our Drive-Through Testing™ collects customers’ experiences with products or services from the safety of their own vehicle.


We know that while the circumstances may have changed, your goals to deliver better customer experiences to market have not. Lextant is at the ready to help you make smart choices, sharpen decisions, and eliminate guesswork so you can move forward faster.

If you’re looking for new ways to keep your business moving right now or are just interested in learning more about remote experience-driven design approaches, we want to hear from you.

 

Measure What Really Matters

The perfect customer experience is the holy grail for development teams. But the very nature of the word “experience” can seem woolly, subjective and intangible.  Current market research methods that focus on customer satisfaction surveys are not providing the clarity to move the needle.

Experience Metrics™ is a patented experience measurement solution that balances creativity with rigor.  It brings clarity and control to experience design. We built it, we own it, we do it every day. No one else has it. Experience Metrics™ offers:

Forward-thinking processes for defining ideal experiences.

Experience Metrics frees teams to see beyond the limitations by the category and design instead toward a desired ideal. And because an ideal persists, they can pursue their experiential goals iteratively and year-over-year, moving beyond incremental growth and toward disruptive change.

Concrete resources that translate ideal experiences into actionable details.

Experience Metrics capture ideal experience attributes in concrete visual and verbal tools so that extended teams can work against a single, unifying model. Measurable details become manageable details, minimizing guesswork.

Proven protocols that bring confidence to customer experience initiatives.

Experience Metrics reduce the risk of NPD initiatives, sharpen decisions about how to refresh existing offers, and provide a nuanced way to understand competitive offers. More importantly, it has the power to identify the white spaces where emergent needs may reveal game-changing opportunities.

Autonomous Interiors: What Will the Future Look Like?


What is the key to success with autonomous interiors?

When we think about autonomous interiors, it is very easy to focus on the technology.

Our belief is that the human experience – not technology – will determine the future.  So, if you want to create experiences that are truly transformative, you need to go beyond the technology—to the psychology.

What does the ideal driver and passenger experience feel like? What does the interior need to look like to make people feel this way? What product features and attributes will help create the desired experience? What are the design cues that can help?

The best interiors will be those that have thought through these questions to create experiences that let the driver enjoy the ride and allow the full promise of autonomous vehicles to be realized.


What new activities will the autonomous interior offer?

Technological advances in deep learning, connective services, voice, virtual reality and surface technology are all coming together to supercharge what is possible in autonomous vehicles.

At Lextant, we see these advances through the lens of consumer behavior and desire—the interior of the future needs to be about psychology as much as technology. The goal is for the experience as a whole to not only meet needs but to anticipate them… inspiring connection, collaboration and relaxation.

For example, energized glass coupled with augmented reality opens up new opportunities for connection. Imagine the wind screen becoming a window to the world.  Drive through a new city, see where relevant services are located, get information on history and culture, and then use virtual reality services to tour the sites en route.

We also see interiors facilitating connections with family, friends and networks. As the technology moves off a single screen, you won’t need apps on your phone, the capabilities move with you. Just use voice to pull up information on the glass.

There will be new collaborative opportunities too.  Rather than having to plug in and open up, multimodal surfaces will allow you to pull out a table that can serve as a screen or a video conferencing station or simply as a counter to work on. That is empowering.

And, the same configurable surfaces that facilitate productivity can also be used to tune the world out. Users will be able to control acoustics and lighting and to set moods so they can truly switch off.

And then, there will be the moment when drivers just want to drive. The autonomous interior, particularly in cars for personal use, will need to cater to the desire for freedom and empowerment that have always been at the heart of the driving experience.


What novel “transitional” technologies (fold-away steering wheels, moveable seating, interactive windshields/windows etc.) will debut first?

The move to full automation will not happen overnight. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has defined six levels of automation. Up to at least level three, there are still times when the driver needs to be able to take control—for example, in unplanned turn-taking or more complex or emergency situations.

As drivers move across levels of automation, it is more difficult for occupants to know their roles in the experience – What do I need to be responsible for? What can the automation at each level do? What can I interact with and when? In what situations can I use certain features?

For example, if a steering wheel is present in a fully autonomous mode, can I interact with it? The key to successful experiences is to establish trust and ease of use by removing any ambiguity or unpredictability from the experience through effective design. For example, steering wheels can fold away during high levels of autonomation to make it clear that the vehicle is in control. Audi has demonstrated this type of concept allowing the occupants to “take up” the steering wheel when needed or desired in a clear signaling of control.

Another example is GM’s Super Cruise technology that uses infrared to monitor the driver’s facial focus. It then signals when the driver needs to re-engage.

Continued investment in experiences and technologies that can promote trust is critical.

How Will the Autonomous Interior Interact with Humans?

Autonomous interiors will interact with humans in a variety of ways.

The interior will engage the driver with accessible interfaces.  It will connect to technology that has limitless potential beyond the vehicle but is natural and intuitive.

It will make the occupants feel in control by providing choices, foreshadowing the moves the vehicle is about to make or informing him or her about upcoming dangers or changes in the route.

It will promote productivity —driving to the next event on the calendar, saving time by picking the passenger up and making sure that essential items are not forgotten.

And it will interact with the driver to ensure focus on critical information.

Part of being smart will involve predictive technologies. For example, the autonomous interior will adapt the lighting, temperature levels and music genres based on what you are doing at any point in time. Or it could remind you to take an umbrella because it knows it is likely to rain.

The goal is to do this all in a way that makes the driver feel relaxed.

Desired Experiences in Autonomous Vehicles

Autonomous vehicles offer incredible promise. Morgan Stanley has estimated $5.6 trillion in worldwide safety, fuel conservation and productivity savings from autonomous cars. For the driver and passenger, it’s the promise to get more out of the journey than ever before.

At Lextant, we have spent the last 10 years researching the car of the future at our Automotive Research Facility.  Our focus has been on understanding what will actually happen when technology is in the driver’s seat and using research to uncover the characteristics that will define future interior experiences.


What we have found is that the autonomous interior will need to meet three key needs:

Firstly, the need to connect.

This includes connecting both with people and with the world around you. It is about being able to be present in the environment and also being able to build relationships.

Secondly, the need to collaborate or be productive. 

The interior will need to make it easy to get work done.

And thirdly, the need to “collect” or relax.

This need might be met by the ergonomics of the seat or with mood music, lighting or temperature.


In some ways, these needs are no different than the needs of passengers today.  However, when the person is in the driving seat, you also need to convince them that it is OK to let the car take over.

Inside the Cocoon

Lextant loves this article by Chris Nelson of Automobile Magazine who explores how the interior of the car will change as the autonomous vehicle revolution takes shape.

The article is full of interesting perspectives and quotes.  Here are some of our favorites:

Klaus Bischoff, Volkswagen’s executive director of design: “The traditional automotive interior is built around the driver and the steering wheel for the best possible control and view of the vehicle’s surroundings.  The autonomous interior, however, is based on the passenger’s needs. The autonomous interior gives passengers time to do what they want while getting where they want to go.”

Infiniti’s design boss Karim Habib: “I think we’re going to discover a lot of that, the fact that you have glass around you, showing things whizzing by you,”. Maybe windows will be replaced by energized glass, projecting images of the outside world via a 360-degree camera, darkening to opaque when you ask.

Domagoj Dukec, head of design for BMW i and M, says the movable seat won’t debut until the “seat belt issue” is resolved: Will cars be so predictably safe that there’s no need to buckle up? “We’d need a highly intelligent airbag system that will know immediately how each individual passenger is sitting at that particular moment.”

Mercedes’ director of interior design, Hartmut Sinkwitz, wonders if we need a steering wheel at all. “Maybe we only need a joystick or something that gives you a perfect interaction to really conduct or to really steer and control the car,”

Jose Wyszogrod, chief designer of interior styling and UX/UI for Honda R&D Americas talks to the fact that humans stream 500 million hours of YouTube content every day. “It’s clear that users will continue this behavior in their autonomous vehicles’ personal space,” despite voiced desires to relax or work while not driving.

And one from our own Chris Rockwell who was interviewed for the story:

“The interior of the future needs to be about psychology as much as technology.  The goal is for the experience as a whole to not only meet needs but to anticipate them, inspiring connection, collaboration, and relaxation.”


Click here to read the full article at Automobile Magazine.

Helping New Consumers Make Healthy Choices

Challenge

Conagra saw an opportunity to attract a new generation of consumers to their Healthy Choice brand.  They reached out to Lextant to redefine and gain concrete tips on how to make the Healthy Choice brand relevant to new consumers and how to expand consumption occasions.


Action

Lextant used customer segmentation data to define an ideal healthy food experience and identify opportunities for the Healthy Choice brand to expand meals to include new recipes and different times of day. Additionally, the data helped determine factors to increase brand appeal among the hard-to-reach millennials demographic.


Result

  • Lextant research helped Conagra develop new lines and recipes, including the nutrient dense, protein-packed Power Bowls and breakfast options.
  • Insights from Lextant consumer information resulted in a 30% growth in all Healthy Choice segments.
  • New recipes and positioning helped drive an 18% increase in usage by millennials—a group that typically rejects frozen foods and is traditionally hard to reach.

Lextant is proud to help Conagra drive innovation through the lens of the consumer. To learn more about Conagra’s innovation approach, click here.

Lextant Hires New VP and Opens Chicago Office

Lextant, the human experience firm, today announced the hire of Jon Denham as vice president of its strategic account services team. Denham brings nearly 30 years of design and strategy experience in the consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry to his new leadership role. Denham will also head Lextant’s first regional office beyond its headquarters in Columbus, Ohio, expanding the firm’s presence to Chicago.

As a member of Lextant’s senior team, Denham will evolve the company’s client service and strategy capabilities, focusing first on the promotion of Lextant’s innovative Desirability offering – a proven approach helping companies link consumer behaviors and ideals to the design of new products and services.

“Lextant has been the secret behind some of the most successful brands in the CPG industry,” said Denham. “To create great experiences, a company needs to align its teams with a clear understanding of the consumer. As a former client, I’ve seen first-hand how unique and impactful Lextant’s approach is. There really isn’t anything like it in the industry. I look forward to bringing the strategic Desirability offer to a wider market and working closely with the diverse client base Lextant serves.”

Prior to joining Lextant, Denham served as the vice president of disruptive design and innovation at ConAgra Brands, and held various design leadership roles at Procter & Gamble and Kraft Foods.

“I‘m very pleased to have Jon on the team,” said Lextant CEO and founder, Chris Rockwell. “He has a proven ability to connect consumer insights to effective market innovation. He understands how large organizations work and the challenges our clients face, allowing us to be more strategic and have an even stronger impact on their bottom line.”

The Chicago office is the first to open outside of Ohio. Recent growth in Lextant’s transportation, financial services, healthcare, and CPG businesses are driving a need for an increased presence in key markets. The company foresees additional expansion locations in the coming years.

Using Sensory Cues to Deliver on Three Universal Consumer Desires

The number of beauty and fragrance products in the market today has grown almost indefinitely. Store aisles are oversaturated with brands, messages and choices available. It’s more important than ever for brands to stand out on these crowded shelves.

The sheer volume of product choices is overwhelming, but brands can cut through the clutter by using sensory cues to communicate specific benefits that resonate with consumers. Sensory cues are found in products across industries. These cues are key to delivering messages by viscerally communicating what consumers desire in these products, which leads to the “moment of truth” when shoppers become customers.

Sensory cues need to deliver on three universal customer desires that have stood the test of time and transcend geographic boundaries. Through state of the art research techniques, we know that consumers desire a product that is effective, is easy to use and provides an enjoyable experience:

1. Effective

Packaging features like shape and colors help shoppers recognize what a product is for. They can help provide certainty that a product will deliver what they want. Packaging sensory cues should reveal what’s inside and can help brands communicate certain benefits without making claims. If a shopper is looking for a natural and humane product, light colors offer a cue that reflects healthy or medicinal ingredients without using words.

2. Easy to Use

Sensory cues should convey that a product will be straight-forward in functionality. Shoppers want to clearly understand functionality by looking at the packaging. It’s also critical to clearly demonstrate how to open, apply and transport a product. For example, design cues can help communicate that a product is portable by signaling it is small, compact and won’t spill on the go.

3. Enjoyable

Today, consumers also expect an enjoyable experience with a beauty or fragrance product. Packaging is part of the consumer experience with that product and brand. For example, sensory cues like glitter, pastel colors and curvy shapes visually communicate femininity. A silver, chrome or gold finish can illustrate a luxurious or lavish experience.

Sensory cues are delivered at every touchpoint between a product and a consumer. Product packaging must be intentionally designed with these three universal desires in mind. Brands should use sensory cues to discover what to deliver and then communicate these messages in a way that consumers understand, ultimately leading to the moment-of-truth interaction and hopefully resulting in a purchase.

To read the full article, visit Beauty Packaging Magazine.