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Have you asked these 9 questions

to your India vendor?

Is the recruitment honest?

As a policy, Kern DOES NOT recruit:
• Employees, close friends, and family members of employees
• Interaction designers and market researchers
• People who have participated in a related study in the past 6 months
• People who work with competitors or related fields.
• Students (unless the study demands it!)

Kern recruits from:

• Extensive database of willing participants and through networkers
• Street intercepts
• Internet forums
• Cold calling from yellow pages

Kern rigorously checks:

• Participants’ language fluency, accent, and communication skills
• Quality of recruitment at two levels to ensure the exact match of the profile
• Kern provides participant details to clients 4 days before the tests
Does your vendor provide India-centric insights?

Kern helps clients during study design
To prevent wrong recruitment, Kern helps clients understand users and usage patterns
in India. Kern helps clients contrast Indian users’ usage patterns with the west.

Kern passionately localizes screener and study protocol

Screeners designed in the west do not work well in India due to many reasons – Self
efficacy, high power distance, and non-individualistic society. To elicit honest
answers from potential participants, Kern localizes the screener and the protocol.

Kern provides deep cultural insights

Kern ALWAYS conducts 2-3 hours cultural de-briefing session for visiting clients. This
contains insights and interpretations of the observed behavior. This session helps
clients take better design decisions. A quick debrief after each session is also done
when the participant’s language is not English.

Kern’s report contains design directions, FREE!

Kern offers design directions of key observed issues to clients after the study,
completely free of charge! And, most clients love this.
Is the testing lab up to global standards?

Kern offers world-class infrastructure:
• Kern’s lab can simulate home, office, retail, or hospital environment
• Air-conditioned testing and observation rooms
• Observation room with very large one way mirror
• Fully digital lab – Morae for recording, tagging, note taking, and analysis
• Specially designed to test portable mobile devices and software interfaces
• 32” & 42’’ LCD monitors for observing picture-in-picture (participant & its screen)
• Professional audio setup
• 8 Mbps internet connectivity with free wireless Internet connection for observers
• Uninterrupted power back-up using UPS and self-start generator
• On demand video streaming for remote observers
• Bottled water, choice of beverages, full lunch, and snacks for observers
• Separate facility for simultaneous translation

For testing in rural areas, Kern has:

• A portable and fully digital usability testing lab
• Designed for devices like mobile phones, handheld medical devices, etc.
Does your vendor have good power back-up?

India has a recognized and frequent problem of power outages. However,
Hyderabad/Secunderabad is far better than Bangalore and Mumbai.

Kern has uninterrupted power back-up in place for any contingencies:

• All usability testing equipment including airconditioners run on uninterrupted

power supply

• Eight-hour Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) unit for running the entire office

• One self-start generator as the second-level backup if UPS starts draining out

• Kern ensures that all tests happen uninterrupted and there is no data loss

• Kern regularly runs rural usability studies on generator back-ups

Does your vendor ensure quality moderation?
• Kern’s moderators can moderate test sessions in most of the common

5 languages spoken in India.

• English is spoken in different accents and dialects, the research team is well
trained and experienced to handle accents and dialects.
• Kern moderators have extensive experience in questioning and probing
• Kern’s moderators are experienced to moderate participants with little or no
education by using effective analogies and examples to elicit feedback.
• Kern’s team can easily conduct 10 back-to-back usability tests in a day.
• The team chooses right moderators for each session depending on:
• Participant’s langauge
• Participant’s gender, and
• Participant’s social hierarchy
Does your vendor take care of participants?
• Kern has ample parking space. Free valet parking is also available.

6 • Kern has a dedicated team member to take care of participants outside the
• Snacks and beverages are provided to participants on demand. This is usually
for participants who come early in the morning or late evening from work.
• Many BoP participants are not comfortable with a moderator of a different
gender. Kern has a choice of experienced male & female moderators for such
• Kern moderators dress up or dress down to make participants feel at ease
with moderators. India is a high power distance country and dressing is an
important part of the social hierarchy.
Does vendor ensure participants turn up?
• Kern provides excellent motivation as well as good compensation for

7 participants.
• Kern provides participants with time slots of their choice.
• Kern runs studies early morning and late evening for office goers.
• Kern runs studies during weekends for participants who cannot attend during
weekdays. Many executives cannot participate during weekdays.
• Participants are sent confirmatory emails, reminder text messages, and phone
calls to ensure they turn up.
• Kern provides pick-up & drop services to ensure participants turn up and
arrive on time. This also ensures very low drop-outs.
• Many participants are recruited through trusted networkers. This forms a
social obligation for participants.
• Kern recruits ample back-ups and floaters for no-shows.
Does the team has relevant experience?
Kern is a boutique usability company and Kern's team is highly specialized and

experienced in many domains.

The usability team consists of:

a. Usability Director: 14 years experience in Usability & User Research. Consulted

with large banks, mobile companies, gaming companies, and software product
companies. Educated at National Institute of Design (India).

b. Sr. Usability Engineers: Have engineering degrees with Masters’ in Design/HCI

from top Indian and American universities. Have extensive and varied work
experience in user research and design of complex systems.

c. Usability Engineers: Have engineering degrees with Masters’ in Design/HCI from

top Indian and American universities. Have at least 2 years work experience in
research and design of complex systems.
d. User Researchers: Have masters/M.Phil degrees in Psychology/Sociology from top
Indian universities. Have extensive experience in user research and usability testing
methodologies. Worked with large European and American companies to provide user
research services in India.
Do you get India experience from your vendor?
Kern helps its clients with everything to make their visit to India and Kern beneficial

9 and memorable.
• Provides guidance and help with Indian visa

• Helps clients find a convenient and in-budget hotel nearby

• Plan your travel to Hyderabad

• Recommends places to visit in India (if on a longer trip)

• Help with sightseeing in and around Hyderabad and accompany them for shopping

• Familiarize them with India, its vibrant people, and diverse culture
• Help understand local food, customs, and langauge

• Kern provides local SIM cards for clients on a longitudinal or large study

• Access to Kern’s hi-speed wireless Internet free of cost before, during, and after the

Kern has a dedicated blog to help clients visiting Hyderabad:

Have you asked these 9 questions to your
India vendor?