Taking a walk in our participants’ shoes

When we pause and think about what we ask participants to do during qualitative research in the name of creativity and problem solving, the volume of techniques in our toolkit is immense.

But we’ve learned over the years that these methods are not the preserve of things like NPD and innovation studies – they’re just as relevant to us as a business.

image Internal staff meetings can run the risk of slipping into a creativity-stifling rut. So we like to make a point of dropping in a bit of disruption to these regular meetings, whether it’s just changing the location, format or applying the techniques that deliver insight in our research.

Yesterday, for example, we had an excellent staff meeting exploring our image and the topic of business development. The emphasis was on movement, sparking the creative part of our brains and using action techniques to solve these business tasks. Part of the session involved getting the pastels out and thinking in images which prompted some new and exciting areas for us on these themes.

More generally, this approach also acts as a regular reminder of what it feels like to be in participants’ shoes; and can mean that we tweak the techniques when we next use them in research.

Adam Blunt


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