At M Design our approach to consumer insight is holistic and integrative, meaning we focus on the end user but also aim to understand other relevant stakeholders (e.g. purchaser versus user, sales rep versus end consumer, etc.) as well as relevant marketing/branding issues and marketplace context. Our ultimate goal is to create designs that:
We believe that true insight comes from a deep understanding of users and the context in which they use the products. It’s about observing and asking questions. It’s about identifying needs, noticing opportunities and finding ways to get at the underlying goals and priorities that drive choices (Is it rational? Emotional? Habitual?) It’s our mission to understand who, what, when, where, how, and why for each product we design in order to enhance the overall product experience.
Each design challenge is unique and consequently each approach to developing insight varies. At the front end we generally devour existing research, look at key characteristics of the marketplace (country, culture, lifestyle, economics, etc.), look at trends and assess competitors. If we feel additional research is needed to deepen understanding or address unanswered questions, our in-house research team (which includes designers) customizes a research plan. It’s typically qualitative and usually involves some form of user observation and or user interaction. Methods range from in-person ethnographic interviews and “day-in-the-life” shadowing to user-generated video to online photos journals to name just a few. On the back end, once we have initial designs to share with users (e.g. design concepts, storyboards with sketches or prototypes), we conduct focus groups, one-on-one interviews, or in-home interviews (or other contextual locations) for design optimization purposes.
Regardless of the design challenge you provide or the research method we employ to gather insight and understanding, we are committed to providing a holistic and practical solution to guide the design process as well as your business’ strategic decision making.