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Our Methods

We use a wide variety of methods in unison to see customers lives from many angles and gather the richest information possible.

Whether you are looking to grow your business, refine products and services, or explore new markets, we tailor our research and development methods to each client's industry and business goals.

Research Methods

Self-Documentation

We ask research participants to take pictures of their daily activities such as shopping, dining, working, commuting, etc. and write a journal for up to two weeks. This gives us access to information that is normally harder to capture due to traveling distance and time restrictions. It gives us a glimpse into people’s lives before we interview them in person. It allows us to get information in real-time as activities unfold and get to know to customers over a longer period of time.

In-Context Interviews

We study people by visiting them in their own context and video recording the experience. When we study people in their own environment, it is easier for them to remember details. We use the environment to probe people to tell stories based on their surroundings. It is a combination of observation and an in-depth interview. If possible, we ask people to reenact certain activities or show us what they do in real-time to understand their interaction with space and objects.

Stakeholder Interviews

This method is about understanding the mission, vision, and process within a company as well as the work culture. Sometimes interviews can be a group activity that we facilitate, which allows different team members within an organization to discuss roles, relationships, and players in their business. Other times, interviews take place with stakeholders outside of an organization including collaborators, partners, contractors, or consultants in their offices to understand the strengths and weakness of business relationships and the potential opportunities to align their businesses goals and processes.

Development Methods

Customer Co-Creation

Co-Creation is an exercise that we do with real customers to generate product or service concepts for our client. Because people cannot always articulate their needs, we invite customers into the design process by having them create something together and observe how they think and troubleshoot. When people make things, they must use their intuition, which helps unlock people’s subconscious behaviors. The goal is not to get a final design, but rather to understand the rationale behind their thinking to uncover latent needs rather than just explicit ones.

Behavioral Prototyping

Using mock-up environments, we test a prototype of a product or service at different stages of development and engage with real customers to learn, build on, refine through iteration. It can be done in early stages with a paper prototype or with a constructed environment such as a testing laboratory.

Idea Generation Workshops

We gather several departments of a company to take part in a creative workshop and produce hundreds of new ideas for products and services. The workshop activities encourage people to take ownership of their ideas and have their voices heard. Sketching ideas on paper stimulates right-brain activity, which supports creativity. Generating ideas leads to new solutions to business problems not thought of before. Some ideas can be implemented immediately and others can be developed and implemented at a later date. This method improves communication between people within an organization and helps encourage synergy between multiple parties.

Other Methods

Additional research approaches have included in-depth, in-person interviews, site observation, participatory research, expert interviews, trend research, and intercept interviews.

To learn more about how our methods work in real practice, take a look at our case studies.