• joshwilsher

Day 5 - Kano Analysis

The Kano analysis allows researchers to determine the priority level of features in an app or product. Depending on customer satisfaction and legislative rules, the product can be designed to please, surprise and make sure that customers don't leave for a competitor.

What I Learned:

When choosing what methods to learn about, I was excited when coming across the kano analysis because it said "not all product attributes are equally important to the customer". I think done properly, UX research can build off this and a functioning, helpful product can be built. I think this is a method that can be implemented more as I feel like many companies who are new to UX try to shove as many features in as possible.

Myself, I have always designed with a less is more approach and have researched what is important to the customer. I liked how the KA uses categories to help us sort out our research. They are:

  1. Required - The user MUST have this. Also legislative requirements

  2. Desired - Not required but would help users be more happy.

  3. Exciter/Delighter - Not required or expected but surprises users and improves their quality of life use.

  4. Neutral - Users don't care either way.

  5. Anti-Feature - Features that make use of the product difficult

I enjoyed reading about was the "exciter/delighter" category. This is such an important category in not only the KA but also UX design in general. We should be designing in a way that we are phantoms and a user doesn't realize that they needed or wanted a certain feature. This is why exciter/delighter is an important area to take note of. The exciter category also reminds me of what my professor, Michael Harper once said to me (and I'm paraphrasing):

"UX is a thankless job. If you are designing correctly, customers don't notice what you have changed because they expect it."

Case Study - Pokemon Go:

With an active community and being an app that blew up on release, Pokemon Go seemed to be like a good example to look at how the kano effect is relevant in consumer facing products. Personally, I played Pokemon Go when it first released and then gave up on it for a couple of years. After hearing of new features and my brothers coercing me back into it, I play from time to time if i'm out and about.

Since the COVID19 pandemic started, it's been an interesting experience for Pokemon Go but the game has also had changes that fit into the KA categories. With this case study I'm going to highlight a category and what feature from Pokemon Go fits into it.

1. Required

Raid Pass Return

Since the implementation of raids, users have been asking for a change to it. To join a raid, you need a raid pass. These can be obtained once a day for free or extras purchased through the store. The problem with this was that once you submitted your raid pass, you had to do the raid or lose your pass. Other players might not join, so it was a gamble with your daily raid pass.

Users have begged since then for a feature to be put in that allows players to determine raid party size before fully committing their raid pass.

Finally, this summer, raid pass return was implemented.

While this might not be required for the app to work, it was definitely required for users to enjoy the game.

2. Desired

Friend Raid Invites

Staying on the topic of raids, players wished for the opportunity to invite in-game friends to raids. This desire was expressed by the community due to the implementation of "remote raid passes" that allowed anyone, anywhere to join a raid. If a person can join anywhere, why can't I invite my friend from across town?

While remote invites weren't a needed feature, they increased the player satisfaction. Many players felt like they had been listened to and were relived by the feature being put into the game. Many players already play with friends, so in adapting to the pandemic, they answered to the player desires.

3. Exciter/Delighter

Buddy System

A few years ago, the Pokemon buddy system was introduced. This system allowed players to assign a Pokemon to their character and as they walked, they would be rewarded with points and "candy" from their partner.

This feature was never asked for by the community and was not really expected. That said, it was a play feature that excited the player base because it meant that they could progress in the game through another means. (Candy is used to evolve characters and complete a persons collection)

The feature also provided a way for players to feel attached to the game through their character.

Overall, not a needed or wanted feature but it delighted players with what they were now able to do.

4. Neutral


One feature that friends can use in Pokemon Go, is gift sending. When you send a gift to a friend, it gives them items and shows a little postcard of where the gift was collected.

Recently, gift stickers were added. These had no effect on the gift or game, other than they make your postcard look a little cooler. They act as small messages but not much else.

This is a good example of a neutral feature because it had no significance on the player or game. No one hated it, no one really cared about it. Many time when I send or receive a gift, there's no sticker attached.

It's simply cosmetic.

5. Anti-Feature


"pay to play/win" generally has a negative connotation among player bases. It's good for business but bad for customer satisfaction. Pokemon Go isn't terrible with its pay to play mechanics but it can infuriate players at times, especially when special events are locked behind a price.

While players have ways to obtain items for free, generally the good or useful items come at a price, in the shop. On top of that, a player has to earn coins by controlling "gyms" or simply buying them with real currency through the app store.

Again, this isn't a full anti-feature but can negatively impact the players experience when presenting them with a paywall.

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