Research By Design

I’ve been really interested recently in the divergence of two fields that are very similar – ‘market research’ and ‘user or design’ research. To be honest, this has all taken me by surprise.  In about 2005, I sat through a presentation by a UX company.  It was horrible.  It was on the usability of a…

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Using Qualitative Researchers to Build Empathy in Design

No matter the model of innovation you use, whether you call it design thinking, human-centered design or service design (or Norman) – whenever you start on the journey, you’ll start by building consumer or customer empathy. And we researchers know a thing or two about that. There’s seems to be a big disconnect between the…

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In Defence of the Classics

There has been a lot of talk recently about the ‘death’ of focus groups.  They’re frequently criticised for being an out-dated methodology, surpassed by new innovations in technology and in methodology.  They’re seen as ‘too System 2’, too rational.  Not an accurate read on behaviour.  Subject to biases and social norming.  Clearly flawed and unusable….

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Why are they ‘Traditional’ Focus Groups?

I’ve been doing a bit of reading lately – catching up with some Wendy Gordon, the blogs and also reading the sites of different agencies around the globe (what can I say, I’m a curious person – I own my ‘stickybeak’ tendencies). I’ve been pondering the way that many of us describe focus groups.  On…

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Working the room: Making the room set up work for you

“You can always tell a qualitative researcher, by the fact they reorganise the room as soon as they go in there” So the other night I went to do groups and I was faced with this…   Now, there are different schools of thought and different personal preferences on how we like to have our…

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Qualitative Market Research Using Social Media: Is this closing the gap and bringing research to the participants?

It’s been a good ten years or more since the first online qualitative tools entered the market.  In that time we’ve seen this method innovate and change constantly as participants’ level of comfort communicating online has increased. Whilst initial adoption of the methodology was slow (at least in Australia), the introduction of MySpace, then Facebook…

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Six tips for phone in-depth interviews

Over the last week (and this week for that matter), I’ve been working on a project involving a large number of phone in-depth interviews.  Now other #mrx bloggers, wiser and more articulate than I, may be able to give instructions on the best theoretical ways to conduct and analyse these interviews, but I thought I…

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Social Media Women #MRX Event

Last Tuesday night I had the pleasure of presenting with Kate Tribe at Sydney’s Social Media Women event.  Social Media Women is a networking group based in Sydney.  They hold fantastic monthly events, with speakers from various industries sharing knowledge on how to work within social media / bring social media into your lives or…

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Group rooms, our home away from home

In this business we spend A LOT of time in group rooms.  Some are great and some are not so great… and there are a number of others sitting in between that.  These are the top things I look for in a  group room – but I’d be interested in what other people are after:…

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So you want to be a qualitative researcher?

You’re in your first few years as a researcher and you think – those quallies look like they have it pretty good.  They travel more than your average quant researcher, they seem to have fun toys to play with (play doh, collages, projective techniques), and sometimes they’re even able to come into work late! Well,…

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