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  • Tom

Our Favourite Research Methods

Dovetailed is a proudly human-centred design agency engaged with cutting edge technologies. But creating user friendly innovations and keeping our finger on the pulse of emerging trends is not something that happens by itself. It relies on good quality research. Recently we have collected together the different research methods we have used across the range of different projects we work on and we want to share some of our favourites with you.


Things have moved on from the old days of endless tick sheets with the invention of a range of new survey tools. Surveys, when properly designed, can not only deliver great insights but also a great user experience that allows you to build a relationship with your research participants.

Typeform is a great tool for creating surveys that we can use in a range of applications. We always trial any survey in-house and make sure they are usable on mobile, if we don’t like taking the survey we can’t expect our participants to either!

Surveys are one of our favourite methods because they are a great way to collect a wide range of input, whether that is across a large population of users or across different levels of an organisation. It’s an easy way to reach out to a much larger audience. We develop our own questions as well as use widely recognised metrics from the latest research into human-computer interaction.

Research Probes

Probes are a great way to work, especially when we are testing out grounds for innovation. Originally developed as physical kits that would allow the designer to build empathy with the user they have been endlessly reinvented for different purposes.

We like to use them to capture snapshots of the users every day, especially their inventiveness when dealing with problems. Band-Aid solutions are an easy way to see where the pain-points lie and gain insight into everyday resourcefulness.

Well-designed probes allow users to participate but also get a better insight themselves into a particular task or interaction. At Dovetailed we love probes that make us consider stuff we normally take for granted and help us question if there is not a better way to do what we need to do. We’re currently working on a probe based around food, watch this space for more news!

Heuristic Analysis

This technique is a great way to quickly assess what the major problems are with a product. It is often a great option for clients who have developed an app or service that they want to grow but are unsure where to invest research and development time.

Heuristic analysis is about us (the experts) testing out the usability of a digital product. We highlight major issues based on a set of rules and the particular context the product is used in.

Good research is never limited to a heuristic analysis. The report we generate is a great conversation starter, helping you make the case for investment or to unlock the path to super products and high-quality experiences.

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