A psychological evaluation of TextHELP Systems software highlighted the benefits of the product, supporting marketing and leading to new contracts and predicted increase in exports.

Impacts

  • Data gathered during the KTP relating to the company's main software product formed a key component in both national and international marketing
  • The research led to $550k of business from a customer in Florida
  • An overall increase in exports of about $2.9 million was predicted
  • Following the KTP, the company set up a continuous research programme into the efficacy of all its new products.

About the research

TextHELP Systems Limited designs and markets software for students with learning difficulties. The Antrim-based company specialises in the development and marketing of assistive technology for people seeking to develop their language skills through the use of a computer. A Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) with Queen's University Belfast carried out a psychological evaluation of the effectiveness of Texthelp's main software product, with the aim of using the results in marketing.

A new series of test procedures was designed and piloted to determine how the product could assist children with dyslexia in achieving learning objectives. A cross-sectional representative sample of the secondary school population was selected for the tests.

Testing focused on areas that included reading comprehension, word meanings, proofreading for spelling errors and proofreading for homophone errors. A database was constructed from the findings to carry out analyses, and a report of the study was submitted to a peer-reviewed academic psychology journal.

TextHELP became one of the first in the field with this form of product validation, where independently conducted empirical research highlighted the benefits of the product.