What users don’t say: research techniques for effective customer insight

By Paul-Jervis Heath, Head of Creativity at the University of Cambridge.

Organised by BCS East Anglia


  • Focus groups have a place, but when it comes to usability research they’re pretty useless.
  • To design modern digital products and services we need to get inside people’s heads by observing them in their environment.
  • Focus groups are an artificial environment,no good for understanding people’s behaviours performing tasks.
  • Shadowing research method is all about being a professional stalker.
  • Tumblr it’s a brilliant tool for diary studies
  • If you are a in-house UX designer, develop your own research library and keep it alive and healthy.
  • Don’t use big documents to communicate research insights create diagrams and pictures designers can digest.
  • Mingle with your users, put yourself in their shoes, observe them in their natural environment. Its the only way to understand their needs.
  • Do what your users do if you can. It can really help you empathise with them and design for them.
  • The design process is self-correcting because you always keep users involved along the way,so if you assume wrong, they’ll tell you.
  • When you’re designing, you have to build space to be wrong.

Paul will be speaking at UX Scotland conference on 21 June.

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