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003 DesignThinking (1).pptx

  1. DESIGN THINKING Understanding the User Dr. Sushil Kumar Dixit Lal Bahadur shastri Institute of Management, Delhi PGDM (Research and Business Analytics) PGDM (E-Business) Jan-March, 2023
  2. Why do we need Consumer research? Deep Qualitative Insights • to design and develop solutions that engage users and help customers get their relevant jobs done • Understanding customers and their needs, expectations, as well as the contexts in which those needs arise • Qualitative research methods allow us to reveal the contexts and expectations in ways that traditional quantitative methods do not. 2
  3. Design Thinking Process The Double Diamond Model of Design
  4. Qualitative Research in Human Centered Design • Empathy is the ability to identify and understand other peoples’ emotions from their point of view, rather than from your own. • To empathize, you need to observe, engage and immerse. • Observe the customers and their behavior in the context of their everyday lives and their naturally occurring environment. • Engage with them by interacting with and interviewing customers. • Immerse yourself in their context by experiencing what they experience. 4
  5. How to Start the Research Process • Qualitative customer research starts with open research: that is, the holistic collection of data and the synthesis of observations carried out with a mindset of “all is data”. • The goal is to get a feel for the context of the potential customers, do trend research, collect statistical data and gather input about competitors or the market. • This is the foundation for setting a research objective and a common-sense step in approaching the customer research objective. • Sources for open research may include megatrend maps, statistical data and infographics (e.g., Statista or sources on demographic research), and pages like • Moreover, you can research potential competitive markets by finding industry-wide trends, technologies, thought leaders and conferences. • Once you have gathered these initial insights about your potential customers and solution field, the way is paved for more in-depth and hands-on qualitative research. 5
  6. Whom to Address to Build Empathy • According to the author of Talking to Humans, Giff Constable, the best way to begin qualitative research is to first have an idea whom to talk to and observe. • He recommends people from these three categories of groups: • the typical customer you envision if you get traction with your idea • your early adopters, i.e., the people who will take a chance on your product before anyone else • critical partners for distribution, fulfillment, or other parts of your business 6
  7. Qualitative Methods • Qualitative methods are used when you begin to design an offering under uncertainty and many questions are open. • Who is your target group? • What problems and needs does this target group have? • Where do you see a niche market? • What is your offering going to be? • Qualitative research helps to gain insights into these initial questions before coming up with any solution ideas. 7
  8. Qualitative Methods • This phase is structured but unpredictable. • It is important to take up a curious beginner’s mindset that focuses on details and nuances. • At this stage it is not about proving something to be either right or wrong but rather engaging in exploration and discovery of your potential target group and its contexts. • You start with researching the people you think could be potential customers. Insights and empathy emerge from these first encounters and guide the following research. • New insights have a great impact on where to steer the research in the subsequent phase, e.g., how to change the questions or whom to talk to next. • Qualitative research is done with only a few participants at the same time, so sampling matters – that is, deciding whom you choose to interact with and where to collect the next data slices. • It is important to encounter the participants in their own contexts or the potential product-related contexts. Choose locations where the participants are comfortable and behave naturally. 8
  9. Behavioural and Attitudenal Studies • Qualitative research can be differentiated into behavioral and attitudinal studies. • Behavioral studies shed light on what people do, how they use a product or service or how they create solutions for themselves if something is not working according to their needs. Observational field studies are the best methods to identify behaviors and should be done first. • Attitudinal studies focus on what people say, what their sentiment is towards something and what choices they have made in the past. Attitudes can best be researched by conducting interviews, in the field or in the lab. Attitudinal studies build on the learnings from behavioral studies. 9
  10. Behavioural Studies Ethnographic Observation • Open research helps to build assumptions and hunches in order to formulate a research question. • The research question and the idea of who your target customer might be determines the choice of your first field site for your research. The chosen site should be accessible for you to observe your subjects. • Once you are in the field, you should bear in mind that the best way to understand peoples’ needs is through observation and seeing the world through their eyes and staying in the background. • Your observation can be guided by the following questions: • Whom do I see? • What are people doing? What are they trying to accomplish? • What is the social setting like? Are people alone or in groups? Are they interacting with each other? • Is the person going through difficulty fulfilling the task or activity I am observing? Can I identify any pain points? • Is the person delighted by something? Can I identify any wow-effects? • Is the person using any workarounds or hacks for the observed activity? • What else is happening on site that is relevant to my observation and research? 10
  11. Behavioural Studies Ethnographic Observation • After each observation, write field notes on what you experienced. • Effective field notes consist of several parts. First, write down the words and phrases you heard on the field site. Second, describe what happened on the site (who, what, where, when, how). Third comes the analysis of what you learned about your research question or other related points. Fourth, you reflect about what you thought, felt and learned when making observations. Finally, you note down which new questions emerged or which future actions can be derived from this observation.6 • As a result of the observation and analyzing field notes, you gain a data foundation that allows you to develop informed assumptions and insights, which potentially change or specify your initial research question. • When analyzing the data pay attention to patterns, connections, similarities or contrasting points. • The overall goal of observation is to learn in the process and refine your idea of the target group and their needs, iteration by iteration. • Most likely after the observation rounds, many new questions will emerge. Try to find answers for these questions: What do my field data slices tell me? What have I learned in the field? What unique things can I say about my research question? 11
  12. Attitudenal Studies Ethnographic Interview • Observations and assumptions can be clarified and supplemented in the interview phase. • This allows you to gain greater insights about attitudes and motivations that have remained uncertain. • In ethnographic research, analysis and interpretation take place throughout the process. • Hence, interviews can be conducted during or after observations, e.g., when subjects need to be asked for clarification, or after the observation phase once the data has been analyzed. • Conducting interviews requires several steps of preparation. • First, the interviewees need to be sampled and invited. In order to do this, the target group needs to be refined again. It is also advisable to invite extreme users who either do not use the observed offering or activity at all or, on the contrary, use it very extensively. This widens the perspective on how different people create workarounds for themselves and helps to understand people who either do not feel the need or have explicitly decided against using a particular offering. Exploring the boundaries of a target group helps to refine it successively. • Second, you need to prepare the interview. Think about the questions that emerged from the observations, which help to support your refined research question. Make a list of questions and formulate them in an open-ended format. Ensure that at least one observer is joining the interview to take notes. Choose a room or setting that is comfortable for the interviewee and stay in the interviewee’s context if possible. 12
  13. Attitudenal Studies Ethnographic Interview • Third, in conducting the interview many points need to be considered. Many experienced interviewers give advice on what to pay attention : • Interviews should be face to face; one person at a time. • Listen; do not talk more than necessary. • Practice active listening (summarize, parrot back or misrepresent intentionally). • Note taker or observer takes notes of actual quotes; don’t interpret them yet. • Start with a warm-up. • Avoid confirmation bias (do not try to confirm your assumptions). • Get interviewees to tell a story or give real-life examples of behavior and usage. • Look for solution hacks. • Ask why and keep asking why until you can drill down to the root causes (e.g., with the “5 Why” method).9 • If you are present with interviewees in their home or office environment where they habitually use the product or service, have them demonstrate how they use it. As they walk through the process, delve into the ease or difficulties that they might encounter at each step. 13
  14. Synthesizing Research Data With DT Tools • During ethnographic observations and interviews, troves of insights and data are gathered. It cannot be sufficiently emphasized that this is an iterative and unpredictable process of learning, whereby new insights may emerge unexpectedly, potentially disrupting any initial plans you may have formulated. • During the process you will refine your target group and the research questions, ultimately gaining a good understanding of your potential customers’ needs. Several design thinking tools can be used to structure your collected data and transform it into communicable artifacts. They help focus your discussion and offer a perspective for the analysis of the data. 14
  15. Synthesizing Research Data With DT Tools Personas • “Personas” are a classic tool to humanize the target group. • Personas are hypothetical or fictitious consumers with human characteristics. Although they are supposed to represent a larger group of consumers, the traits seem very personal and individual. As opposed to generic target groups that are characterized by demographics and averages, personas make it easier to relate to and know who you are designing for. However, beware of creating personas that combine the average traits of everyone and end up representing no one. Rather, define personas in their contexts including their motivations in that context. The “future user” tool extends the persona by extrapolating motivations and lifestyles. This method takes on the perspective of how today’s personas might develop in the future. For very radical innovation projects or offerings that will be used in the future, it is beneficial to build empathy with the future users as well. 15
  16. Synthesizing Research Data With DT Tools A Day in the Life • This tool sheds light on the subject’s day-to-day routine and on the day-and-night rhythm. • It may yield insights about the typical activities in a person’s everyday life that are performed subconsciously, allowing you to learn about interaction points and potential gaps. • The data to fill in the daily routine can be gathered by following and observing the person all day or by means of conducting in-depth interviews. This method is time consuming but enables you to identify potential opportunities for product offerings. 16
  17. Synthesizing Research Data With DT Tools Empathy Map • The “empathy map” is a tool that visualizes what the user says, thinks, does and feels. • Once you have completed the ethnographic observations and interviews, bulks of data are at your fingertips to fill the map. • Make sure you stick with what you saw and heard and write it down in the form of direct quotes. • This avoids interpretation biases and helps you communicate your insights to others more effectively. • Empathy maps can be created for single users or as an aggregated version for multiple users. Below is an example of an empathy map for buying a TV. 17
  18. Synthesizing Research Data With DT Tools Empathy Map 18
  19. Synthesizing Research Data With DT Tools Customer Journey Map • Mapping out the “customer journey” is another helpful method when you already know which offering you are trying to develop or improve. • The goal is to identify the different phases, channels and touchpoints the customer goes through before, during and after using or buying an offering. • This uncovers the customers’ expectations, wow effects, anxieties and pain points in the process. • The identified gaps represent the innovation potential for optimizing the offering. • Below is a Starbucks’ “Customer Journey Map” as an example for Eric, a repeat customer who wants to drink coffee and do some work at a Starbucks cafe. It shows the potential steps on his customer journey as a sequence with different values that may enrich or impair his customer experience. 19
  20. Synthesizing Research Data With DT Tools Customer Journey Map 20
  21. Qualitative Customer Research- Summary • Qualitative customer research is essential to successfully build empathy and an emotional connection with your potential customers. • It is the foundational phase before designing offerings and creates the basis for any ideation process and further research. • Time not spent on gaining a thorough understanding of your customers and their needs will negatively impact your effectiveness throughout the development and delivery of the offering. 21
  22. Traditional Market Researc • Automotive pioneer Henry Ford once proclaimed: ‘‘If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said ‘a faster horse.’‘ • Ron Johnson, creator of the Apple Genius Bars, noted: ‘‘You can’t follow the customer. You’ve got to lead your customers-----anticipate their needs and meet those needs, even before they know what they want.’’ • Steve Jobs of Apple also eschewed traditional market research methods, claiming: ‘‘It’s really hard to design products by focus groups. A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.” • The innovative chef Ferran Adrià put it: ‘‘Creativity comes first. Then comes the customer.’ 22
  23. Extreme Customers • Extreme consumers include those who fall in both tails of a normal distribution of customers -- those with needs, behaviors, attitudes, and emotions atypical of the average consumer. They include: • People who are experts in your product category, and those who have never used (or heard of) it. • People who suffer from constraints that inhibit their use of your product, and those who use your product in creatively brilliant ways that you never imagined. • Rabid fans that are obsessed with your brand or product (‘‘lovers’’), and those who trash- talk it every chance they get (‘‘haters’’). • People who reject using your product (whether as a matter of principle or out of necessity), and those who overindulge. 23
  24. What’s Wrong with Traditional Market Research • The Knowing That/Knowing Why Gap: Traditional market research is best used to provide data on customers’ beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors. It is less suitable for providing insight into the reasons why those beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors have evolved. • The Cognitive Access Gap: Consumers’ ability to describe what they want or why they buy is limited by their imaginations and by lack of cognitive access to the motivations driving their purchases. • The Inductive/Deductive/Abductive Thinking Gap: Most traditional market research techniques rely on inductive or deductive logic, focusing on drawing inferences from common patterns observed in data. Techniques that leverage abductive logic focus on drawing inferences from the exploration of irregular or surprising data. 24
  25. The Problem with Average Consumer • The problem with average consumers is that they’re just a bit, well, average. By concentrating solely on the bulge at the center of the bell curve…we are more likely to confirm what we already know than learn something new and surprising. • Igor Ansoff’s ‘‘weak signal theory’’ warns that ignoring outlier behavior can be costly. Ansoff notes that strategies often fail when managers overlook weak signals: ambiguous, atypical or anomalous market data. This type of data, often dismissed by managers, can be critical in predicting, warding against, and capitalizing on discontinuous or disruptive market forces. • Rather than ignoring extreme consumers, therefore, it is wise to learn from them. 25
  26. Going Extreme- Categories of Extreme Customers The Fringe (Edgy Consumers) • Who better to provide insight into toilet cleaners than someone suffering from obsessive- compulsive disorder? • Who better to design a more fashionable sandal than a podiatrist, a foot fetishist, and a spiritual guide who teaches people to walk barefoot across hot coals? • Nike looked to religious cults to uncover the secrets of generating such passionate loyalty for their brand that it resembles religious zeal and idolatry. • Sense Worldwide leverages its Sense Network, a global online community populated by those who live on the fringe of society, such as goths, punks, geeks, simple living advocates, and off-the-griders, to uncover innovative ideas. • For example, when average consumers rejected the original formula for energy drink Red Bull because it didn’t taste like cola, Sense Worldwide took the fledgling product concept to ravers -- consumers who often stay up all night dancing and partying. Cola taste was a negative for these extreme consumers, who preferred Red Bull’s medicinal taste because it made the product seem better able to accommodate their need to go days without sleep. This key insight drove the eventual positioning of the product -- as ‘‘giving you wings’’ -- when it became more mainstream. 26
  27. Going Extreme- Categories of Extreme Customers Product Category Virgins • Seek out consumers who have never used your product and who have little to no knowledge of it. Such naïve, uninitiated consumers are often called product category virgins. Novices often ask the simple questions that help uncover the taken-for-granted assumptions under which we operate and which hold us back from radical innovation. • Nintendo’s design team sought out consumers who had never played a videogame; the result was the Nintendo Wii, a gaming console that would have been panned by gamers due to its unsophisticated graphics and simple games but was passionately embraced by non-gamers. • Designers can simulate the experience of the uninitiated by placing themselves into an unfamiliar product or service experience. When IDEO was working with a health care client, they sent one of their lead designers to the emergency room with a faux injury so he could undergo the patient experience first-hand. It was his first visit to an emergency room and his experience provided the team with concrete observational data and his own emotional responses. • Advertising agencies working on traditionally female products have asked the men on their creative teams to experiment with these unfamiliar products, encouraging them to wear high heels or shave their legs; the resulting naïve observations can provide novel ideas. 27
  28. Going Extreme- Categories of Extreme Customers Customer with Constraints • Seek out people for whom existing products are problematic due to constraints, disabilities or other special conditions that limit them in their usage. Considering barriers that discourage some customers from purchase can help identify important constraints that -- if removed or mitigated -- can open up new customer segments. Consumers in certain market segments face economic, structural, and cultural constraints unimaginable to managers. Managers often approach constraints as roadblocks, but constraints can aid the design process. • Sohrab Vossoughi of Ziba Design, a design and innovation consultancy, noted: ‘‘Constraints are opportunities. They force you to be creative. They focus your attention and clarify your thinking.’’ 28
  29. Going Extreme- Categories of Extreme Customers Customer with Constraints • Some designers use empathy tools -- such as clouded glasses to simulate vision impairment and belly suits to simulate pregnancy -- to simulate consumer constraints. When developing a car targeted towards elderly drivers, Ford engineers donned a jumpsuit constructed to simulate some of the physical constraints associated with aging: the suit limited their vision and hearing, reduced the mobility of their arms and legs, and reduced the dexterity of their hands. This enabled them to design the cockpit of the car with larger, more ergonomic knobs and buttons, larger print and eye-friendly colors in the dashboard display, and doors that open wider -- to better appeal to older drivers. • Embrace, a non-profit organization, sought to reduce premature infant deaths in developing countries by creating a low-cost incubator. When the team headed to the field, they noted that mothers of premature infants carried their babies in a pouch close to their bodies, simulating the warm environment of an incubator. This spurred a design that incorporated many aspects that emerged from their field observations, a design that more closely resembled a sleeping bag than the boxy design of contemporary incubators, that worked without electricity because many users were off the grid, and that was quickly sanitized by boiling water because many users lacked sanitation facilities. Understanding and working with these constraints allowed the team to design a less expensive and more effective product. 29
  30. Going Extreme- Categories of Extreme Customers Customer with Constraints • Some designers use empathy tools -- such as clouded glasses to simulate vision impairment and belly suits to simulate pregnancy -- to simulate consumer constraints. When developing a car targeted towards elderly drivers, Ford engineers donned a jumpsuit constructed to simulate some of the physical constraints associated with aging: the suit limited their vision and hearing, reduced the mobility of their arms and legs, and reduced the dexterity of their hands. This enabled them to design the cockpit of the car with larger, more ergonomic knobs and buttons, larger print and eye-friendly colors in the dashboard display, and doors that open wider -- to better appeal to older drivers. • Embrace, a non-profit organization, sought to reduce premature infant deaths in developing countries by creating a low-cost incubator. When the team headed to the field, they noted that mothers of premature infants carried their babies in a pouch close to their bodies, simulating the warm environment of an incubator. This spurred a design that incorporated many aspects that emerged from their field observations, a design that more closely resembled a sleeping bag than the boxy design of contemporary incubators, that worked without electricity because many users were off the grid, and that was quickly sanitized by boiling water because many users lacked sanitation facilities. Understanding and working with these constraints allowed the team to design a less expensive and more effective product. 30
  31. Going Extreme- Categories of Extreme Customers Lovers, Haters and Opt-outers • Find people who are passionately for -- or passionately against -- your product or brand. These people can be easily found in pro- or anti-brand online communities or in interest communities. Offline, brand fanatics can be found standing in line all night for a new product release or attending product launches or protests devoted (or opposed) to your offerings. • Lead users or superusers, those who use your product first and often, frequently provide forward looking insights. Indeed, lead users often modify products themselves to better meet their advanced needs. Observation of such jury-rigged constructions can generate product ideas with appeal for the masses. • Finally, critics are often an untapped mine of innovative ideas. Consumers who have used and then rejected a product category can also provide valuable insight. Who are the most outspoken rejecters? Why do they hate the brand or product? Attempting to overcome the objections of rejecters can lead to novel ideas. The designers of Vibram’s Five Fingers running shoes developed their innovative design after studying people who had rejected running shoes in favor of running barefoot. 31
  32. Understanding Extreme Users- Exercise • Your primary objective in this exercise is to study extreme users to develop a radical and revolutionary product or service concept. • First, choose a product or service category for which you would like to generate new product or service innovations. • Then, choose one of the methods outlined below to identify and study extreme consumers to inform your idea generation process. 32
  33. Understanding Extreme Users- Exercise • Conduct an UnFocus Group: Assemble a diverse and unconventional (think eccentric, weird, quirky) group of 6-10 consumers together for a focus group. Your goal is to maximize the diversity of participants so that non-traditional ideas can emerge. • Shadow Outliers: Identify 5-6 extreme consumers and shadow them as they interact with your product or service. Follow them as they shop or use the product. Tagging along allows you to understand and observe their day-to-day routines, social interactions, and purchasing and usage behaviors. • Utilize Empathy Tools: Handicap yourself with empathy tools that allow you to simulate the different experiences of different users. What constraints do some of the customers in your target segment face in your product category? How might you simulate those constraints in your own life to allow you to ‘‘walk in the shoes’’ of your customers? Are there every day conveniences that you can forgo to embody their experience? • Conduct a Netnography of Lovers or Haters: Use online ethnography, or netnography, to analyze the conversations of consumers in online brand communities. Find fan clubs or affinity groups like (Porsche) and (Apple) to uncover these extreme proponents’ views. And, look for the haters. Find sites like (Dell) or (Walmart) to view the arguments against a product or service. What are these consumers’ values? Who are their leaders? What brings them together or drives them apart? • Go Extreme Yourself: Be extreme in your own consumer behavior. If you are an avid user of your client’s product category, deprive yourself of it for a week. Or, go to the opposite extreme and immerse yourself in the product category for a week -- overdoing it to gain insight into the experience of superusers. To better understand fast food culture, Morgan Spurlock ate nothing but McDonald’s for one year (documented in his film Super Size Me). John Winter Smith (of the film Starbucking) visited all of the world’s Starbucks. 33
  34. Understanding Extreme Users- Exercise • Finally, compare and contrast your extreme consumer research experiences with traditional market research techniques. Use the following discussion questions to structure your thinking: • What did you learn from studying extreme consumers? What kinds of insights did you glean from this research that you could not uncover using traditional market research techniques? • In what ways are these techniques more and less effective than traditional market research methods? How well did these techniques address the common problems associated with traditional market research methods? • What challenges would you face in implementing the ideas that came from using these techniques in designing new products and services? How might you overcome them? 34
  35. 35 Exercise Option Implementation Option Sample Activity Conduct Un-focus Group Adhere to IDEO’s brainstorming guidelines to encourage rich, creative and divergent contributions from all participants: encourage wild ideas, defer judgment to avoid interrupting the flow of ideas, build on the ideas of others, hold one conversation at a time, go for quantity. Encourage play: Have a box filled with curiosities to inspire participants. Go visual: encourage participants to sketch their ideas in pictures or bring in photos that represent their thoughts and feelings about the product category or brand. A team designing a health supplement gathered together a heterogeneous group including a doctor, an herbalist, an acupuncturist, and a member of a religious group that rejects modern medicine in favor of prayer. A team designing an energy drink gathered together people who need to stay alert and people who need energy: an investment banker, a weight lifter, an air force pilot, and a personal trainer. Shadow Outliers Observe how the consumption activity is embedded in the everyday lives and activities of your participants. Note in detail all tasks, actions, objects, participants, and interactions involved in the process. Ask participants to describe their thoughts aloud during their activities. A team designing a car sharing service shadowed hitch hikers. A team designing a new car targeted to new drivers sat in the back seat during driver’s education classes. A team designing a skin care product observed the morning routine of both heavy users (6+ skin care products used per day) and non-users (no skin care products ever used).
  36. 36 Exercise Option Implementation Option Sample Activity Utilize Empathy Keep a diary of the physical, social, and emotional experiences you have while using your empathy tools. Write down all of the constraints, roadblocks, and problems you encounter -- and use these to prompt brainstorming possible solutions. A team designing an ecommerce website accessed websites using a dial-up modem to simulate the slower Internet connection speeds experienced by consumers in an emerging market. A team designing a women’s razor put on vision reducing glasses and doused their hands in olive oil while shaving to simulate the foggy, slippery environment of a morning shower. Conduct a Netnography of Lovers or Haters Sample a diversity of online communities (3-6), sample enough conversations (100+) and include the voices of a diverse group of posters (50+) within each community. Document the traditions and rituals in which consumers engage to uncover the deeper meaning that the product has for them. Note the specific language and stories that consumers use to express their views -- both positive and negative. A team designing a fast food restaurant studied online McDonald’s fan clubs and brand communities. A team designing a product designed to help users quit smoking studied online anti-smoking communities. Go Extreme Yourself Take notes on the effects of your extreme usage on your physical and emotional state. Note the ways in which being extreme changed your attitudes and feelings towards the product or service -- for better and for worse. A team working on mobile telecommunications gave up their cell phones for one week. A team working on baby food ate nothing but baby food for one week. A team working on rice cookers made all of their meals in a rice cooker for one week.
  37. DT Process- Deliver Stage 37

Notas do Editor

  1. HBR defines ethnography as a “branch of anthropology that involves trying to understand how people live their lives.” For the purposes of market research, ethnography is an indirect methodology where consumers’ natural behaviour in their everyday environment is observed. Ethnography allows researchers to immerse themselves in the consumers’ lifestyle in order to understand their point of view in detail and depth. Generally, an ethnographic study involves a researcher observing behaviour either in person or via cameras pre-installed in participant homes, work places, etc. Think of the show Gogglebox where viewers observe the reaction to other people watching TV – that’s ethnography. In the traditional approach, logistics alone make this method pricey and time consuming and with technological developments happening at pace (we are on the 7th version of iPhone already!); the move of ethnographic studies to the digital environment was a natural step forward. The main difference between traditional and digital ethnographic studies is the toolkit a researcher uses. In the traditional version, a researcher would use cameras, notepads, etc. whereas in digital ethnography, they use social media, smartphones, online blogs, etc. research is collected: 1. Social Media Analytics Social media is used by 2.3 billion people and any one Internet user has on average 5.54 social media accounts. On Twitter alone, there are 500 million tweets sent each day and the network has 310 million active users each month. This demonstrates the volume of consumer feedback available to researchers. Social media posts are unprompted – there is no direction from a researcher on content. Posts are shared organically on topics which are important to the consumer at that moment in time. This makes social analytics a great example of digital ethnography. 2. Eye Tracking What better way to understand a consumer’s natural behaviour than to see what they see. Eye tracking has several applications in market research from understanding shopper behaviour, to measuring marketing effectiveness, to exploring how consumers interact with digital content. All that is required is for participants to wear glasses which track their eyes movements as they shop, browse the Internet, etc. 3. Scrapbooks Whilst scrapbooks are not as sophisticated as eye tracking, they are just as effective in allowing consumers to show you what surrounds them, what attracts their attention and what they find visually appealing. Participants simply submit photos of items, places, or situations that stand out to them or they feel had a significant influence on their decision. In this way, researchers can once again immerse themselves in consumer’s environment. 4. Discovery Forums Whilst “a picture is worth a thousand words”, sometimes it’s the words that count. Describing day-to-day routines, behaviour around the house or interactions with particular people (e.g. family members) is sometimes done more easily in words. In addition, the anonymity created by an online environment encourages consumers to open up and write in great depth. Another format of digital ethnography is Vox Pop videos. This activity uses the high consumer engagement with smartphones and their sophistication to the researcher’s advantage. Participants record short video messages where they ‘think out loud’ and share those thoughts with a researcher almost instantly. This activity is also a very good way for participants to show how they do things: for example, how they interact with a product for the first time. Do they read instruction manual or dive right in and figure it out via trial and error? 6. Online Diaries Those of you who kept a diary know what a great way they are to record your daily experiences. Online diaries are therefore an excellent way of getting to know your customers. By their nature, online diaries allow researchers to read entries ‘in situ’, giving them an immediate insight into customer lives. These are just some examples of ethnographic studies. What are your experiences with this type of market research? Share your stories with us below.