Everything we do at Bravand is underpinned by research.

We don’t just get the crayons out and start designing something beautiful that we think people will love. We take the time to get under the skin of a problem. We get out there and talk to people. We prototype and test and iterate. That’s the secret to creating something that meets the requirements of a business and the needs of users. It also means you don’t have to waste money fixing issues that could’ve been avoided.

I (Ross Musgrove) head up all of Bravand’s market and user research, so thought I’d share my top tips so you can get started with your own research.

Start with why. Why do you need to do this research?

Simply put, organisations that do good research perform better than those that don’t. Many businesses fail due to poor/no research.

Understanding your market gives you a competitive advantage:

Size. Is it growing/shrinking, future trends/forecasts. 

Users. Who are these people? What are their needs? How do they view us/our competitors?

Knowledge is power.

Who are you going to speak to?

  • Your customers/buyers/users. They may not all be the same person.
  • If you have existing users, as long as you have permission to speak to them, speak to them.
  • If you don’t have existing users, there are a number of tools you can use to find people that could be your users (see ‘Where will you find them?’ below).

What are you going to ask them?

Write down:

  • What you know and want to test/learn/validate. Remember, things change!
  • What you think you know and want to test/learn/validate.
  • What you know you don’t know, and want to learn.
  • Engage your stakeholders, share your plan and ask them if there’s anything additional that they want to know. Your internal audience wants to feel heard and understood too. Stakeholder management is really important.
  • Write your script. The script helps guide the conversation, not stifle it.

Where will you find them?

How will you interact with them?

  • Face-to-face in person? (probably not for a while…)
  • Face-to-face remotely? (Lookback, Skype, Zoom).
  • Online questionnaire? (Typeform, SurveyMonkey).

When will you do this?

Right now!  Seriously – you have no excuses, get on and do this. Now’s as good a time as any to capture someone’s attention.

  • Be flexible – this needs to be on the user’s terms.
  • Remember – this will never be as important to anyone else as it is to you. Be patient. It can feel like herding cats at times.
  • Give yourself enough time.

This process can really drain you. And don’t do all of the data collection and then start analysing. It’s a mammoth task. Stay agile. Review your data frequently. Just don’t jump to any conclusions…

If you’ve got a burning question, a story to share or want to talk about how we can help you, drop me a line at ross@bravand.com.

Also on the blog…

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