What's your background and why did you apply to study for a PhD at WMG?
My background is in Psychology, which looks at understanding human behaviour. More so, I am interested in how products are designed with people in mind. I wanted to further my own knowledge by applying the learning from my first degree into a real world problem which had the potential to make an industrial impact. WMG provided me with a platform to research an emerging area of interest for experts working in both industry and academia. As a result, I was researching a very relevant and important topic in the automotive sector.
Can you briefly explain your research project?
OEMs can use many techniques to capture customer satisfaction and feedback, namely through market research and laboratory based evaluations. The automotive industry is a great example of where market research, customer ratings and reviews can often encourage new car sales, e.g. JD Power Customer Ratings, Top Gear reviews, What Car reviews. However the usability of these methods has not been fully investigated. The efficacy of market research in product development continues to engage experts in their pursuit to gain improved insights, yet the area has received limited attention from an empirical viewpoint. This raised a unique opportunity to investigate how customers take part in market research in comparison to structured evaluations.
This exciting, yet challenging project was extremely multidiscliplinary and received support from both the EPSRC and ESRC. The project also received industrial support from Jaguar Land Rover as well as interest from a US-based market research agency currently providing consumer insights to the automotive sector.
Was the experience of working for your PhD what you expected?
Plans for the future?