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User research helps you understand what your users want so you can build the digital service they need.

Why do it?

Understanding who your users are and what they want to achieve will enable you to meet their needs. User research helps answer these questions and informs the development of effective websites. It can be conducted at all stages of the design process – from early concept testing through to established site redesign. This includes:

  • User goal research – to understand what users want
  • Organisational research – to understand the organisation’s aims and objectives from their digital presence
  • Concept testing – to test new concepts and ideas

How we do it

Typically, there are three elements to each project:

  • Project preparation: We work with you to plan the research, so you get the right solution – not an ‘off the shelf’ one. At this stage we will discuss research approaches – what we choose will depend on the question you’re trying to answer. We offer a range of qualitative and quantitative approaches to understand needs and attitudes: Depth interviews, Focus groups, Ethnographic research, Online discussion groups and Online surveys.
  • Recruitment: We undertake our own respondent recruitment – we do not use third parties. We believe this allows us to recruit more accurately to our client’s specification, provide greater flexibility, and treat respondents in a decent and ethical way.
  • Conducting the research: This will depend on the research approach adopted.
    • Depth interviews and focus groups tend to be held in research studio where they can be recorded
    • Ethnographic research is conducted in the field – this could be in the home, workplace or a sports venue, wherever the site would typically be used
    • Online discussion forums typically run across 4 or 5 days with new tasks posed daily
    • Online surveys are usually posted online or linked to from social media and run until an adequate number of responses is achieved – at least 100.

When the research methodology permits, a key element of our approach is to encourage all those in an organisation who can influence the implementation of the research to observe some respondent sessions.

This helps your organisation take ownership of the research results and develop a collective view of the issues and actions.

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