Methods

The methods we use

When we recommend research methods to our clients, we take into account our client's objectives, of course, but also whether the method will allow us to see the story in the data, because it is the story that gives our clients the insights they need.

The methods we use are

  • Qualitative research, also called discovery research

  • Quantitative - survey- research - also called evaluation

  • Cultural insight

Qualitative research is a highly flexible and powerful discovery method

Qualitative research, in our hands, is a highly flexible, insightful, collaborative research technique that helps our clients understand what they need to understand to transform their businesses and innovate.

It has to be that way because our aim is to give clients a deep understanding of people and the culture they live in. That means so much more than observing their behaviour. It means listening - or reading - and then actively inferring what people mean beyond the words they use.

We also take into account that people:

  • Use symbols to express their emotions
  • Develop rituals to create meaning
  • Have a drive to make sense of their experiences.  

We use qualitative research to find out how people really make decisions and discover why they buy and use your product or service. We reveal how our clients' products and services fit into the rich tapestry of people's lives.

Qualitative research needs to be designed by people who understand people, as we do. We are trained in the social sciences and the humanities. We understand motivations, perceptions, cognitive schemas, and rituals and we appreciate the power of the imagination. 

We have fine-tuned traditional techniques such as projective techniques and laddering, make extensive use of implicit techniques such as tasks and observation, and combine that with a sense of excitement about what technology can bring to research.

Our qualitative discovery methods:

  • One on one user interviews, online, phone or face to face

  • Online qualitative

  • Focus groups, online or face to face

  • Ethnography

  • Cultural analysis (semiotics and discourse analysis)

  • Co-creation

 We use advanced qualitative methods

This means:

  1. Our research designs are iterative, exploratory and flexible
  2. We use many activities in our research such as drawing, card sorting and diaries.
  3. We use conceptual models to drive our thinking, including our sensemaking model of decision-making, jobs to be done, symbolism and ritual models or consumer behaviour.
  4. We frequently use a mix of qualitative research methods including semiotics and ethnography.
  5. Our researchers are senior, experienced researchers, fluent in qualitative methods.

Sue is a regular speaker at conferences, workshops and training courses on qualitative research for, for example Research Society, NewMR, QRCA, and Qual360quantitative evaluation methods.

Quantitative research to measure and evaluate

We are highly skilled at designing and conducting survey research, from small to large projects.

Quantitative, evaluation methods

  • Online surveys
  • Telephone (CATI) surveys
  • Hybrid surveys

We always:

  • Custom-design to your brief.
  • Do a cognitive pilot test - ask us about this. 
  • Include free text questions
  • And if at all possible, do some qualitative research first.

Our reporting

We find the story in your data and communicate the findings in plain language.

Many of our reports have been published hich tells you about the professionalism of our reporting. 

Discourse analysis

Cultural insight: discourse analysis

Discourse Analysis has a long history. It began in Linguistics (specifically a branch of Linguistics called ‘Pragmatics’) and has since then been refined and developed by psychologists and anthropologists.

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