User research is not design. It identifies the problems your design should solve.
Good user research is key to creating brilliant experiences. We provide an accurate, in-depth understanding of your users and their needs to aid decision making in NPD, design, brand and customer experience.
No matter how complex your target audience, we can work with you to bring your users to life, give you insight into their behaviours, goals, and needs and ensure the user is at the centre of the design process.
We use softer, qualitative techniques to truly step into the shoes of the user and fill in gaps and confirm results with more quantitative techniques such as analytics and surveys; so you can be sure your experience strategy is built from balanced and comprehensive user insight.
We can help at every stage of your user research, including planning, participant recruiting, testing, execution and reporting. And of course, we help you to keep stakeholders involved at every stage through a collaborative and transparent approach, allowing them to view results of research through real-time techniques, workshops and reports.
This technique involves carrying out intensive, exploratory interviews with a small number of participants, designed to reveal their underlying motives, attitudes, perceptions and behaviour related to a particular topic or experience e.g. buying a car. They are a way of gathering insight on what people do, rather than what they say and rigorous and accurate participant recruitment and screening are key to their success.
Contextual inquiry research involves observing and interrogating participants in their natural environment related to the behaviour you wish to observe. For example, you may wish to ask why someone has chosen to sit at a particular table in a coffee shop. This is user research in its most real time form, as the natural user behaviour can be observed and instantly investigated at the same time, giving little opportunity for responses based on perception or recall.
Open and close card sorting are quick and simple methods for developing the structure and navigation of your content. This technique involves asking participants to categorise topics in the way that they find most logical. The results of card sorting mean that you get to miss all of those lengthy internal conversations about which menu should go where on your website!
The workhorses of user research. Focus groups and user workshops can be used at any stage of your user research, to uncover ideas or to test concepts and reactions. The key to their success is the right participant recruitment and strong moderation of the sessions. We have experience in making sure you get the most out of your focus groups and avoiding common pitfalls such as group think, vividness effect or alter leader bias.
Diary studies form a research method that involves providing participants with the materials and structure to record daily events, tasks and perceptions around a given subject in order to gain insight into their behaviour and needs over time. They are analysed to give patterns of behaviour and emotions which can be used to uncover user motivations, goals and perceptions.
All of these methods typically involve observing participants’ attention and interaction behaviour on websites or apps. They focus on where users spend their time by using specific software to show mouse hovers, scroll rates, eye focus and on-page clicks before delivering easy-to-understand reports and visual representations of your users’ focus. We work with a number of eye-tracking, click analytics and heat-mapping software and hardware providers and tests can be conducted remotely, in-store or in specialised testing labs.
Conjoint analysis allows you to see which values and features of a product, service, design or experience are most important to your users. It typically involves presenting a series of differing options, each with different values/features associated with it. Participants are then asked to give their preference for each one. It is a great technique for avoiding users stating what they think they would like, over and above what they would actually like. The results can also be used for decisions in branding and messaging.
Surveys are a quick and cost-effective way of getting a larger representation of your audience than the more qualitative techniques. They can be carried out online, over the phone or in-person and can give quick, instantaneous results depending on the collection method. We can help plan, design and seed your survey as well as collate, analyse and present results – all in a way that meet your research objectives.