IS480 Team wiki: 2013T2 DR.Jean Labs Motivation

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{ Project Description } { Motivation } { Project Scope } { User Tests } { Design & Prototype }

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Problem Identification


Advertisements are important. They serve to inform people of a myriad of products available and the promotions that come with them. But lately, it has been getting out of hand. It is everywhere. When we are engaged on media platforms, we see ads on the internet, newspaper and television. In public, we see them on the buses, buildings and taxis. The list goes on. All these advertisements yearn for our attention but due to our limited attention span, we might be quick in dismissing some useful information among non-relevant ones. We must bear in mind that advertisements do not come cheap either for the advertisers either.

Observation Notes

Participant 1

Bugis Plus : 2th October 2013/1230 – 5th October 2013/1330

  • Wah Chun and his friends were debating what to eat for lunch.
  • After much discussion, they decided to have their lunch at Manhattan Fish Market in Plaza Sing.
  • After lunch, when Wah Chun and his friends left Plaza Sing to head back to school, a flyer distributor at Dhoby Exchange handed him a coupon for Carl’s Junior.
  • It is a coupon that offered all meals at $5.95.
  • Wah Chun and his friends were quite upset that they didn’t have this coupon earlier, as they would have made cost savings and still enjoy a good lunch together.

Participant 2

Janice’s home: 4th October 2013/ 1930 – 5th October 2013/1930

  • Janice is an avid blog shop shopper and she loves shopping for dresses online, especially when there are discounts and promotions.
  • She views these promotions of shopping deals online in her facebook, where newsfeed from these various blog shops their promotions.
  • Lately, her news feed has been cluttered with so many advertisements, statuses and videos and she has trouble spotting these important promotions.
  • She missed many of these blog shops sales as many of these dresses are sold out quickly when they are released on sales.
  • She finds it troublesome to always have to keep a vigilant eye on these blog shop sites for promotions.

Participant 3

Tanjong Pagar MRT : 25th September 2013/ 1930 – 25th September 2013/2030

  • Grace was waiting at the train platform for her train home and she noticed a lot of people carrying bags of Watson’s shopping bags.
  • These bags appear to be filled with tissue papers, wet wipes, and many other daily necessities.
  • She figured that there was a big sale going on today and she went online to search for Watson’s promotion.
  • Apparently, there is an island-wide Watson’s sales that has up to 50% off in terms of discount for most of the items.
  • When she reached Tampines, she hurried down to a Watson’s shop but to her dismay, many items were already out of stock. The promotion ended that day as well.
  • She was quite disappointed that she had missed this offer while other people knew of it.


In summary, these consumers are not informed of promotions or discounts that could potentially value-add their shopping experience. Once in a while, it may be easy to miss a good deal or promotion, even when you are near the premises of these offers.

Problem & Solutions

Problem 1: Are there discounts around the corner?


  • Participant(s): P1
  • Goal(s):
  1. To know discounts around the corner
  2. Base decision on discounts

P1 has no idea if there are existing discounts in any food outlets unless he checks them one by one. As such, this consumes much time in decision making with his friends.

Potential Solutions
  1. P1 can login in to facebook or twitter to search for existing discounts on food outlets.
  2. P1 can walk around the mall and check his choice of food outlets if there are any existing discounts.
  3. P1 can read some magazines/ news papers for discounts.
  4. P1 can visit groupon or deal.sg to check out promotional coupons

Problem 2: So many advertisments! Where are the ones I want to see?


  • Participant(s): P2
  • Goal(s):
  1. To get info on the related promotional items
  2. Notification when a related promotion is up

P2 finds it hard to track related promotional deals as there are many unrelated advertisements that she is uninterested in. Furthermore, there are times that she missed the “key time” for the promotion as some items are sold out fast.

Potential Solutions
  1. P2 can manually filter advertisements she does not want to see on facebook.
  2. P2 can subscribe to the bloshop’s newsletter to keep track of promotions.
  3. P2 can look for other shops that have similar items.
  4. P2 could ask her friends to remind/ inform her of the store’s promotions.

Problem 3: I want to know when a promotion starts!

  • Participant(s): P3
  • Goal(s):
  1. To be informed of new promotions
  2. To get into the promotion craze before it ends

P3 always discover new promotions via her observations and by luck. She finds it hard to track every store’s on-going and new promotions. Worst of all, her time is wasted when she makes the effort to travel down to the store, only to find that items were already sold out as it was already the last day.

Potential Solutions
  1. P3 can read the newspaper everyday to get to now of latest promotions.
  2. P3 could subscribe to newsletters to promotions she wants to be kept updated about.
  3. P3 can pay more attention to billboards at the bus-stops, advertisements on the buses etc.
  4. P3 can visit deal.sg or groupon to check out the latest promotional items.

Market Research

Current Trends

Banner Blindness

Banner Blindness - A Heatmap tracking what the users see Source:http://media.nngroup.com/media/editor/alertbox/banner-blindness-examples.jpg

Banner Blindness, or commonly known also as "Ad Blindness" is a phenomenon whereby users consciously or unconsciously ignore parts of a webpage, where ads are usually placed. If users are looking for a quick fact, they want to get it done swiftly and will not be diverted by banners; if users are engrossed in a story, they're not going to look away from the content.

As seen on the left picture, users mentally block out what is perceived to be ads at the side of the web page, reading the main content itself. This reflex action renders many advertisements to be ineffective in attracting attention and may not justify the high costs spent on getting such advertisements deployed.

An extension of this banner blindness problem...

Similarly in reality, commuters may time to time become oblivious to advertisements placed at the roadside or on transit systems. This is because after a long period of being exposed to advertisements, people are starting to filter away "junk" information around them, choosing not to fixate within elements in their surroundings that resemble ads.

Leveling the playing field between SMEs and MNCs

Conventional forms of advertisements require a substantial upfront payment, which strains the financials of most companies, in particular Small and Medium Enterprises(SMEs)where cost of advertising is a high fixed cost. On the other hand, Multinational Companies(MNCs) are able to absorb these advertising costs and market their products using these main stream platforms.

Sqkii requires no upfront payment, which gives advertisers greater control and flexibility. It provides full focus of your advertisement to users similarly to that of a double full page advertisement on a newspaper or magazine, possibly providing SMEs to compete more effectively with the big players in the industry.

Cost Differences between SQKII and other advertising platforms(Monthly)

Attributes SQKII Groupon Mobile App Newspaper Magazine MRT Panel Display Single Decker Bus
Upfront Payment 0 0 $24,000 $64,000 (1 issue a month) $6,700 (1 issue a month) $39,600 $2,000
Subsequent Payment $0.04 per impression 50% of profits gained N.A $0.0475 per impression $0.0893 per impression N.A N.A

Focus Group Study

24 university students took part in our focus group study that aims to:

  1. Understand how long a person takes to understand an ad
  2. Understand how often a user makes a purchase based on promotions available
  3. Understand what kind of incentive attracts a user

Gender: 9 Males and 15 females

Age: 18-23 Years Old

Advertisements used:

Scoot Ad

These are the results tabulated:

1. Would you like to be paid for viewing an advertisement in a time span of 10seconds?

100% said yes.

2. Time taken to understand an Ad

Mean time calculated for a person to understand an advertisement is 7.67 seconds.

3. How often do you visit coupons/deals/discounts website? i.e. Groupon, Deals.com.sg, Greatdeals.com.sg

Majority of users will visit promotional sites, if they know how to get there

4. Do you buy coupons online?

58.35% of users would buy coupons online

5. If you could only choose 1 reward, which would you choose? $10 Cash or $20 E-Dollar?

Users are drawn to cash incentives more than e-dollars.

Conclusion from Market Research

From our market research, we made a few observations:

  • Conventional mode of advertisement proved to be a risky investment for companies, as it is expensive and may not be attractive to users.
  • If users are only concerned about reading an interesting content, there are opportunities to be reaped from using the concept of "Advertising as the content".
  • Most users would like to purchase from promotions and deals, but they need to be guided towards them.

Product Comparison

Analysis table.JPG