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MAZDA and SYZYGY

Please assist with the following case study on observation methods. This is for a Business Research Design course.

Case Study - Observation Methods

MAZDA and SYZYGY

When Mazda Motor Europe set out to improve its Web site, the company wanted details about how consumers were using the site and whether finding information was easy. Mazda hired a research firm called Syzygy to answer those questions with observational research. Syzygy's methods include the use of an eye-tracking device that uses infrared light rays to record what areas of a computer screen a user is viewing. For instance, the device measured the process computer users followed in order to look for a local dealer or arranging a test drive. Whenever a process seemed confusing or difficult, the company looked for ways to make the Web site easier to navigate.

To conduct this observational study, Syzygy arranged for 16 subjects in Germany and the United Kingdom to be observed as they used the Web site. The subjects in Germany were observed with the eye-tracking equipment. As the equipment measured each subject's gaze, software recorded the location on the screen and graphed the data. Syzygy's results included three-dimensional contour maps highlighting the "peak" areas where most of the computer users' attention was directed.

Questions

1. What could Mazda learn from eye-tracking software that would be difficult to learn from other observational methods?
2. What are the shortcomings of this method?
3. Along with the eye-tracking research, what other research methods could help Mazda assess the usability of it Web site? Summarize your advice for how Mazda could use complementary methods to obtain a complete understanding of its Web site usability.

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Case Study - Observation Methods
MAZDA and SYZYGY

When Mazda Motor Europe set out to improve its Web site, the company wanted details about how consumers were using the site and whether finding information was easy. Mazda hired a research firm called Syzygy to answer those questions with observational research. Syzygy's methods include the use of an eye-tracking device that uses infrared light rays to record what areas of a computer screen a user is viewing. For instance, the device measured the process computer users followed in order to look for a local dealer or arranging a test drive. Whenever a process seemed confusing or difficult, the company looked for ways to make the Web site easier to navigate.

To conduct this observational study, Syzygy arranged for 16 subjects in Germany and the United Kingdom to be observed as they used the Web site. The subjects in Germany were observed with the eye-tracking equipment. As the equipment measured each subject's gaze, software recorded the location on the screen ...

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