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When to Use Neuromarketing Usability Research?

Neuromarketing, Usability, Research

When to Use Neuromarketing Usability Research?

And when to just go with a survey?

When Neuromarketing Usability research was first born, many people thought the same thing: the end of traditional research is near. Enough with all the questionnaires. Cancel the focus groups and send the interviewers home. Because from now on we conduct research by looking inside the brain. After all, that’s where the real answers lie. Right?

Yes and no.


95% of the decisions that we make during a day emerge from our subconsciousness. Which means that nine times out of ten, we have to dive into the subconsciousness in order to find the real answer. However, the truth is a little more nuanced than that.

In this blog we explain in which situations brain data allows for a more complete picture of user experience, but also when traditional market research is the way to go. So hold on to those surveys for now and continue reading.

Why Neuromarketing Usability Research?

People don’t do what they say, and don’t say what they do.

Our brains are stimulated all day long, and by everything around us. If we would have to process all these stimuli, we would go crazy. To make our lives a little bit easier, our brain uses shortcuts.

Curious to find out which shortcuts we’re talking about? Download the Bias Cheat-Sheet of your brain!

Download de Bias Cheat Sheet!

Benieuwd naar de 10 meest gebruikte mental shortcuts die jouw brein gebruikt?
We hebben ze voor je op een rijtje gezet:

Download jouw Cheat Sheet (1,3 MB)
Of lees: Hoe werkt neuromarketing EEG onderzoek?
Waar mogen we jouw Cheat Sheet heensturen?

Our brains do us a favour by transferring a large part of the stimuli processing to our subconsciousness. On the one hand, this is great: It’s the reason why we are not completely exhausted by the time it’s lunch time. But on the other hand, it keeps us from being able to take a look inside our own minds in order to understand – and explain – why we behave the way we do. We simply don’t have access to our subconsciousness.

This is where Neuromarketing Usability Research enters the picture. Using an EEG we can access this brain data. EEG is a tried and tested technique to measure the electric activity in the brain. Using this brain activity, we can extract customers’ true user experience interacting with a website, app or other interface. 

For which questions do you need Neuromarketing Usability research?

Sound wonderful, this EEG. But is it always the optimal solution?


We like to think of it this way: Neuromarketing Usability research is an addition to – and not a replacement of – traditional research. If you are interested in conscious and rational decision-making, the good old questionnaire is a great instrument to measure customer experience.

Is it possible to ask it? Than ask it! It is faster and often somewhat cheaper than neuro usability research.

Are you, for instance, curious to find out whether participants can find certain information on your website? Or whether they missed elements that kept them from making a decision? Then they are perfectly capable of telling you this. It involves conscious steps in the decision-making process – and you can ask people about that.  

However, there are many things that you can’t ask. Many aspects of user experience are too subtle to get through to the conscious mind, but have a significant impact on conversion. Do you want to know whether certain content engages people, is easy to process, or a step further: incites purchasing behaviour? Then you must look inside the brain.

neuro usability onderzoek neuromarketing wanneer

How do you know what’s the way to go: Neurmarketing Usability Research of traditional usability research?

At Unravel we find it incredibly important to match the appropriate tool to the appropriate question. Despite the fact that our toolbox is primarily filled with neuromarketing methods, we are critical. Is EEG really necessary? Do we need brain data to answer this question? Or are traditional methods satisfactory?

Does the latter apply? Then we recommend you to let neuromarketing be (for now). Because although we are more than happy to set up a cool new neuromarketing usability study, we want what’s best for our customer. Because you – the customer – don’t benefit from unsatisfactory answers to your questions, but we as a marketing bureau do no more.

Reasons to wait with neuromarketing for a while:

  • You have never done usability research before > start with easily accessible, regular research
  • You have never consulted a behaviour professional > improve on quick-wins first
  • The decision-making process is rational and happens over a long period of time > turn to explicit research

Are you doubting whether Neuromarketing Usability Research is the best method for you to bring usability to the next level and increase conversion? Ask us! We can go over the pros and cons of the different types of research together. This way we will get to the appropriate method for you research question.

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