User and audience research

Get insight direct from the people who use your service or buy your products to inform your strategy and decision making.

We adopt user research techniques as a central part of our services, with a variety of different methods we can choose from according to the desired outcomes and your needs.

Our digital expert, Jake says

Headshot of Jake Lambert

The research process allows us to validate findings from quantitative data analysis, understand user needs and prevent personal assumptions and opinions from taking centre stage during decision making.

Jake Lambert, Head of Conversion Services

Methods of understanding the user

To better understand how to meet their needs, it's vital that you fully understand your users. We use the following tactics to gain this knowledge.

Immersive research

A technique used to improve understanding of the customer and build empathy with them, by gaining first-hand insight from different perspectives. Dogfooding is where we become the customer by using the product or service and bluecoating is where we become or shadow employees who regularly deal with customers.


Speaking directly to people relevant to your business, whether existing customers or matching an audience profile, helps to challenge or validate ideas and assumptions. We ask about their needs and experiences to see if these correspond to the views of stakeholders and often uncover valuable new findings at the same time.

Focus groups

A moderated discussion of a 'group' of users (normally 5-10). Although they are more widely used as a market research tool, they can be useful for gaining a better understanding of user needs as well as their opinions on a product or service.


User surveys run on your website can provide a good way of getting a large amount of feedback in a short amount of time. Tools like Hotjar and Usabilla can be used to obtain feedback from users while they interact with a website or app.

User research and audience research

How to choose the right user research method

Deciding on the most suitable method depends on your objectives, the questions you are trying to answer and where you are in the discovery or design process.

This useful guide will help you map your user research goals and questions to the right methods.

Getting the business viewpoint

As a first step, we work with project stakeholders to set the vision and a framework to work within. This includes defining and prioritising target audiences, and understanding how these relate to business objectives and project goals. We also gather information that will help us to get the best results throughout the research process.

Empathy mapping

Switching from a business-centric mindset to audience-first through empathy mapping, we capture what is already known about users, their needs and the things that affect them.

Stakeholder insight

The best insights about your users may be locked away among customer support teams. If they know and speak to your customers, we want to listen to them.

Data analysis

Quantitative data provides the trends and large-scale patterns that explains the 'what'. This complements the qualitative research that follows and unlocks the 'why'.

User testing guide

Read our guide about choosing the right user testing method

Watching users undertake tasks allows businesses to find out where their audiences may be experiencing confusion and any difficulties they are having. Findings from user testing give clear direction for design changes or A/B tests.

Optimising information architecture

The information architecture (IA) of a website identifies and defines how content is organised, structured and named. It provides the foundations on which everything else is built and is critical to a successful experience. After all, if your users can't find what they need quickly and intuitively, no amount of creative design will paper over the cracks.

Card sorting

An interactive workshop that helps design and evaluate the information architecture of a website. Individual participants or small groups organise topics into categories and label them.

Tree testing

Used to evaluate a website's current navigation or a proposed solution reached during the card sorting workshop. Participants are set the task of finding information, allowing us to identify the different ways people interact with the IA.

Chat with our team about audience research

How audience research helps

Most challenges in digital can be more effectively met by considering the perspective of your users and audiences.

Designing experiences

Whether it's a new website, an app or something else, knowing beforehand what the intended users need and expect will produce a better outcome. The insight that comes from audience research can inform structure, design, user experience and content to provide users an experience that truly satisfies.

Read about experience design

Driving conversions

Discovering how people react to small, seemingly insignificant, elements of their experience can reveal major barriers to conversion that would otherwise be overlooked. The insight our research delivers can power a testing programme that delivers significant commercial gains.

More on conversion rate optimisation

Improving marketing strategy

Engaging with your audiences away from your website will be more effective if you know what resonates with them and where they can be reached. This can help inform social media strategy, off-site content marketing and show how to connect the online and offline worlds.

Our content marketing services

Meeting search intent

Understanding in detail how your audiences use search engines, what they search for and what they consider a satisfying answer to their query is a major component of an effective content strategy. SEO is far more than keywords and links - sustainable performance comes through attention to detail in both content and user experience.

Find out about SEO strategy

Audience related client stories


Talk to us about learning about your audience

Tell us your needs and we'll be in touch