When addressing projects in LATAM we should take into consideration a number of key aspects that ensure the quality of the project. Here are some reflections made by the team at the offices of The Cocktail Analysis in Mexico and Colombia, which has also led projects in other countries in the region (such as Brazil, Argentina, Ecuador …), that will help you ensure the success of UX research projects.



Please consider local peculiarities and poses a representative sample of the LATAM universe.

When carrying out UX Research Projects, one of the first activities is, based on the objectives of the project, define a representative sample that not only reflects the target of the product to assessed, but also consider the sociodemographic and cultural peculiarities of the LATAM market. Some of these peculiarities are:

    • The importance of the Socioeconomic Level: In most Latin American countries there are government entities that measure and segment the population according to their economic situation. It is convenient to use this information to raise a sample that takes into account the different perspectives of each population segment and the relevance of each one; this becomes important if we consider that the class distribution is very different among regions and social gaps between each class are higher both economic, cultural level and in relation to consumer habits.
    • The geographic dispersion: It is advisable to consider that due to the large of the Latin American countries is common to find substantial differences in the perception and the behaviour of the user/consumer regarding to the city where they live. If  possible, it is ideal to select a sample that includes the most important cities in the target country. According to the object of study, if it is feasible, consider rural locations.
    • Low levels of Bancarization: It is important to perform a general search on the levels of banking services in the target country, since in LATAM these are usually found below the world average. If they are not taken into account, this can skew the results of the research. Furthermore, it is possible that the barrier to the use of a product is solely due to the penetration of the payment contemplated is not available / usual in the selected country.
    • Devices: If the research is focused on mobile, there are statistics that show the Smartphone penetration and the market shares that Android and iOS have in each country. Generally the Android market share is majority compared to the iOS.
    • Do not underestimate the ability of the consumer: Even though it may seem that the digital market in Latin America is still in its infancy, reality shows a extense variety of consumption styles according to the technological knowledge of the user ranging from the most basic to a segment which behaves very similar to the way consumers in mature markets behave, so it is important to consider this variety in the sample.



The selection of the participants for the tests is a very sensible aspect that needs to be cared at maximum. It is recommended to have the greatest control and care about the recruitment, especially in markets less mature where this task is less professional. Some elements that from The Cocktail Analysis are considered for this task can be carried out in a successful way:

    • Flexibility and opening with the recruitment agency: It is convenient to consider the agency as part of the team. In this way, if there are some complexities (E.g. it is difficult to find a profile or a participant has already canceled) the agency will have the confidence to tell you and offer you viable solutions. Creo que eso sobra: or to find them among both.
    • Anticipate the recruitment: We advise you to ask the recruitment agency to start the searching of the participants at least 2 weeks before the fieldwork and that the agency gives you constant feedback during this time: this will help to avoid drop outs and plan the best schedule possible. Thus, the recruitment agency can formalize the invitation to the participants few days before the fieldwork is carried out and the participants have a clear schedule and they are able to know if they will be available at the time of the interview or the session.
    • Consider backups:  Depending on the size of the sample, it is recommended to consider a representative number of backups: so that, if a participant is unable to attend, he/she can be replaced quickly. Although this is a common practice in research, in Latin America it becomes very important because traffic issues and displacements in large cities.
    • Preventive Schedule: In most major Latin American cities travel times are very long due to the large size of cities and the consequent mobility problems this entails. So it is highly advisable to choose a schedule in which there is at least 30 minutes between each interview: if an interview is delayed, there is time to spare and it is not necessary to rush things.


In Fieldwork

Be patient, plan with anticipation and understand the culture of the country where you are in.

  • “Tropicalize”: When making a discussion guide or screener is necessary to approach and learn a little about the colloquial vocabulary used in the country to refer to digital terminology. For example, “computadora” in Mexico and “computador” in Colombia, “café” in Mexico and “tinto” in Colombia. A proper vocabulary always make the participants feel more comfortable.
  • Internet Connection Stability: The quality of Internet services in Latin America in terms of signal and speed is often limited. If the tests planned for research require intensive use of Internet, you always have to perform speed tests at key points where the research will be carried out one day before the field day.
  • Facilities: It is important to choose a place that is well connected in order to facilitate the displacement of participants (close to major access routes, close to public transport, with parking available …)
  • Courtesy Bias: Culturally in Latin America there is usually a courtesy bias. In our experience, the same product assessed via survey in Spain, USA and LATAM, initially it is always better valued in LATAM. Therefore, the time in which the participants express their opinion, it is necessary to be emphatic at the time of telling them they are free to say what they think and if something does not like them, they can honestly say it. Otherwise you probably just find comments like “I love it!” and “It’s great!”. Another example in this line is, if you are planning to apply a SUS questionnaire (Standard Usability Scale) to evaluate the usability of your product, takes into account the results tend to be a little higher because culturally Latinos tend to assess positively the new services, products and interfaces.
The Cocktail Analysis

The Cocktail Analysis is a research agency and strategic consultancy specialising in consumer trends, communications and technologies, with offices in Madrid, México and Bogotá.


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5 ways in which your company can greatly benefit from UX Research

roi ux

User Experience is becoming more and more important and most companies are aware of this but sometimes convincing managers to do UX research is a hard nut to crack. Conducting UX research has great benefits which can be translated into benefits for sales, benefits for development and also benefits for the company itself due to its effect on operation costs, development costs and the effect on sales revenue. We will cover these benefits in the hope that it will help you persuade your client or prospect.  

1. Making usable products and detecting sales obstacles

It is an option to test or analyze an existing website and optimize it based upon user insights. But it would be even better to start building a new website/ product based upon insights you gathered by using different UX research methods. When you know from the beginning what your users want you are able to make a product according to their needs.

It may always occur that certain webpages form a bottleneck, through analytics you can detect where visitors leave your website and sales obstacles are created because people are leaving at a critical page or moment. Thanks to UX Research you can find out why these pages/elements are bottlenecks for your sales. Get to know your user and his/hers behavior. See how they interact with your website and what goes wrong. You’ll find out how to optimize your website, ultimately leading to higher sales, more visitors and returning customers.

2. Get to know your users 

Traditional research uses average statistics to recapitulate the ideal customer. However the average person doesn’t exist, for example if you want to target the average Belgian household, you need to target one that spends 10.434 Euros on housing, 2.091 Euros on household appliances, products and tools. One that has a capital of 400.000 Euros and consists of 2.98 people. Good luck finding those! Average statistics can be helpful in certain ways but they aren’t helpful if we try to understand the population for which we are developing products. It’s no use to design for an average person, you can better design for a real specific user based on qualitative research like a persona.

List all the information that you need to know:

  • What do you already know about your customer?
  • What is his situation?
  • What does he really need?
  • What are his priorities?
  • Does he use similar products/services?
  • How does he inform himself about the product/ service? Or who informs him?

3. Great UX leads to increased revenue

A usable website leads to increased revenue because potential buyers are able to find and purchase what they’re looking for. The fact that users can finish their tasks on your website will increase sales, improve customer satisfaction and decrease complaints which has an influence on the loyalty. Providing your users with a usable website is more important than you think.

“79% of website visitors will search for another site to complete the task if they can’t find what they’re looking for” (source)

Don’t lose potential customers over a website. There is an easy solution, thanks to UX research you can pinpoint how users want to navigate (or use a product), based on those insights you can make a website (or product) that’s intuitive to use. Because of this people find your website (or product) easy to use and this along with the added value it gives, they will be inclined to pay a premium for what you’re selling online (or a product that makes their lives easier). This increases user adoption and satisfaction.

Companies who invest in User Experience research have a greater revenue than companies who don’t invest in it (UX Probe).

graph revenue

Research of Forrester shows companies who have implemented user experience in their business strategy have gained 43% in performance of 6 years whereas S&P 500 companies only gained 14.5% over the same period of time. Companies who don’t invest in UX lost 33.9%.

Go to to view the full report.


Next to the fact that your users are inclined to pay a premium for great UX (and so leading to increased gains from the investment), you can also ultimately increase revenue by not spending as much on development and so reducing the cost of investment.

4. Focusing on User Experience leads to 3 ways to reduce costs

  1. Development time: When you’re doing User Experience research, you are able to reduce the development time of a project by 33% to 50% (source) which inevitably will lower development costs. The time spent on development is lower in UX projects because you know from the start what the user wants and how he will use your product; which leaves you to simply focus on implementing those tasks.
  2. User requirements: Did you know that 70% of projects fail due to the lack of user acceptance? (source) This is mainly because project managers fail to understand the requirements properly and rely on assumptions. Thanks to UX techniques you can gain insights in those requirements. Make sure you get confirmation by iterative testing. We always say, fail early, fail often, this way in the end you’ll have a product that will surely meet the needs of the user.
  3. Developments costs: Another advantage is detecting errors early on in the development process. Fixing errors after development costs a company €100, fixing the same error before development costs only €1, so to speak.

 5. Investing in UX research leads to an essential competitive advantage

Thanks to UX research you can exactly find out what your customers want, need and expect from you. This gives you a competitive advantage towards other companies in your market. But be aware, more and more companies are investing in UX and customers are very demanding, they have growing expectations and are very intolerant for bad experiences. So they can easily decide to shop elsewhere.

89% of consumers purchased from a competitor following a poor customer experience.” (source)

On the other hand there is also a hidden advantage, thanks to UX research you can ‘spy’ on your competitors. You can benchmark different websites (or products) and find out what users find good or bad about company x, find out why they shop there or prefer another company.

These advantages prove that it pays to offer more than a ‘good enough’ website or product. It’s definitely worth investing in UX research.          

We’ve already written two articles on this topic, go to our corporate blog to view them more in depth. 

Want to say hi? Or would you like more information? Go to our website or contact us via or call us on +32 478 40 51 86, we are more than happy to talk to you.

Katrien Pypen, U-Sentric

Katrien Pypen  is a  User Experience expert @ U-Sentric Belgium with a huge interest in strategic marketing and customer behavior.

U-SENTRIC is a non-traditional Human Centered Research company with the optimistic belief that enhancing products and experiences we encounter every day can enrich people’s lives. We help boosting your business with mapping the needs of your customers and work with you to examine how we can customize and further optimize your products and services.

You can contact me via or connect with me on LinkedIn.

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