A “First Look” Evaluation involves a structured and facilitated interaction by a group of Longevity Explorers, who will interact with a product for a specific period of time in a group discussion setting and render their “first impressions”. This is designed to be a way to get a quick, and relatively inexpensive readout on “what real customers think” about your product or service.
Credibility: Hands-on Evaluation
Even if your target customers learn about your product, how do they know whether it is “good” or “bad”?
Of course, your marketing material will explain why you believe your product or service is excellent. But these days, people take marketing material with a grain of salt.
What’s needed is positive evaluation by a reputable, independent and objective third party — such as Tech-enhanced Life and the Longevity Explorer community.
Of course, we can’t promise that we will like your product. But we can promise we will do our best to give clear and honest feedback. And if we do like your product, we are happy to tell people.
About “First Look” Evaluations
A “First Look” Evaluation involves a structured and facilitated interaction by a group of older adults from the Longevity Explorer community, who will interact with a product for a specific period of time in a group discussion setting and render their “first impressions”. This is designed to be a way to get a quick, and relatively inexpensive readout on “what real customers think” about your product or service.
We have found that the explorers are both frank and forthright. If they like the product they will say so. If they see flaws they will say that too.
Public or Private: You Choose
If you commission a “First Look” Evaluation, you will get to choose — after you hear the results — whether to have it be published on Tech-enhanced Life or to keep it confidential.
If the evaluation is published, it will be clearly marked as a “First Look” evaluation, and be identified as having been “commissioned”.
- If the explorers are enthusiastic, and you choose to have the discussion be published, it will serve as a valuable piece of validation that you can use with potential customers and with investors.
- If the explorers are unenthusiastic, we hope you will use their feedback to improve your product. And the “First Look” evaluation you commissioned will be just for your internal use.
First Look Evaluations vs Product Reviews vs Custom Evaluations
A “First Look” Evaluation has a fundamentally different purpose than the sort of product reviews and comparative evaluations of entire product categories that appear in the Recommendations section of the Tech-enhanced Life website. It is also quite different from the more complex Custom Consulting or Co-development projects we sometimes engage in on behalf of companies.
The Product Reviews and Evaluations we publish in our Recommendations section are designed to benefit the older adults, familes, and caregivers who make up our readership. As such, if we review a product, we publish what we find, warts and all. If we think it is bad, we say so in print — because we think this is how we can make these evaluations of most value to our readers. These Product Reviews are not funded by the companies we review.
The complex custom Consulting & Co-Development projects we do for companies are designed to benefit the companies. The results are almost always confidential, and for the company to use internally only, and the companies generally pay for our help.
A “First Look” Evaluation is different from either of the above. A First Look Evaluation is done for the benefit of the company which commissions it (they pay for our help). If the explorers like the product, we publish the discussion (clearly marked to differentiate it from our internal discussions) and encourage the company to take advantage of this positive evaluation. But, if we do not like the product, the company has the right to keep the discussion for their internal use only and not have it published.
The Details: First Look Evaluations
If you engage with us in a custom project to help with your product development, almost everything can be flexible — including what type of participants there are in any group or one-on-one discussions, and how many participants there will be; whether or not participants execute a confidentiality agreement with your company; whether you can attend in person; at what location the interaction takes place; which city it will be in; exactly when it occurs; and how long the interaction lasts for.
For a “First Look” Evaluation, we intentionally structured things as ….. a “First Look”.
This means it is relatively inexpensive; not as in-depth as some of our custom work; and not at all flexible in structure. Below are the details.
If you prefer something different, we can definitely still help — but that would be a custom engagement and would have a different price. Feel free to contact us if you want to discuss a custom engagement.
Where, When, Who?
First Look Evaluations involve a group of older adults recruited specifically to undertake several “First Look” evaluations on a given day. This has several important implications.
- The First Look Evaluation will happen on a specific date and time that suits the explorers. It’s usually possible to put you on a First Look schedule within a month of signing up.
- The “participants” will be whichever of the Longevity Explorers we invite to that specific meeting. We don’t “select” special “sub-categories” of explorers for the First Look Evaluation. First look evaluations are most useful when you need feedback from a cross section of “intellectually curious older adults”, most of whom fall into the demographic of “middle class Americans”, with ages typically in the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s.
- There are usually between 10-30 explorers at a given meeting.
- First Look Evaluations last for 30 minutes.
- Explorers do not sign any form of paperwork for the “First look Evaluations”. We ask them to keep the discussions to themselves, and we believe they are very good about honoring that. But there is no offical “confidentialty” agreement with your company.
- Representatives of the company can not attend the First Look Evaluation in person (but the entire thing is audio recorded).
- During COVID, our meetings are “virtual”, and company representatives can listen in (but not speak).
- A typical “First Look” virtual panel includes explorers from all around the USA.
- Participants in a First Look evaluation receive compensation for participating.
Designing the Interaction
We have designed and led a rather large number of “interactions” with members of our target audiences — older adults, caregivers, and adult children of aging parents. One of the most important things we have learned is that it is all too easy to have an unproductive interaction if you don’t design the interaction carefully, or don’t facilitate it well.
For this reason, our “First Look” Evaluations work like this.
- Tech-enhanced Life will work with you to help “design” the interaction. You get to have inputs and decide what you want to accomplish. But we will help you figure out how to get the best results.
- Tech-enhanced Life will “facilitate” the interaction.
The entire First Look Evaluation will be audio recorded, and a written transcript will also be created. We do NOT video the interaction.
If you choose for the output to be public, we will publish it on Tech-enhanced Life for everyone to listen to, including non-members. We may edit it lightly for sound quality and to remove off topic segments. However we will not edit it in any way that changes the overall messaging. For example, we will not delete any criticisms. You will have the right to direct people to the audio recording on Tech-enhanced Life, but you will not have the right to republish it elsewhere in part or in whole, or to make modified versions of the recording such as “highlights” or “excerpts”.
If you choose to keep the Evaluation for your internal use only, then the audio will not be published by us, but you will get a copy for your internal use. If you decide not to have the audio published by us, you will also agree not to publish it yourself, or share except for internal purposes, and definitely not to edit it and use excerpts.
Things to Watch Out For
Most of the companies we have worked with greatly overestimate how many things you can dig deeply into in a specific time with a group of older adults. We don’t feel these interactions are useful if they try and cover lots of things, because then everything remains superficial and the value is greatly reduced.
First Look Evaluations work best if the goal is to get some initial impressions on something such as a product, or a specific topic, or a specific “problem” from a group of individuals.
There is a big difference between a survey and an in-depth face to face interaction. Survey questions are usually focused on multiple choice type answers, and often do not tell you what is behind the answers. In contrast, in-depth face to face interactions work best when they leave things a bit open ended, and encourage inter-participant discussion on things. There is an art to designing these. We will help with this part. But don’t come expecting this to be like a “survey”.
We don’t think “Product Pitches” are very useful (unless you are specifically trying to fine tune some marketing material). So, First Look Evaluations do not usually need you to create a pitch or give a pitch, and in fact we actively discourage this. The First Look Evaluation is focused on what the participants think, rather than on what your company has to say.
These are NOT sales pitches. If what you really want is an opportunity to pitch your product to a group of potential customers, this is the wrong format.
Feel free to contact us to ask questions.