Welcome to Bellbird.

Our blog contains a great many articles on user / usability testing, plain language, research with 'older' people and different research methods.


How Behavioural Economics and Qualitative Research can Work Together

This is the second of two posts about using Behavioural Economics (B.E.) and qualitative research together. The first post described ways in which qualitative research could benefit from a ‘broadened’ view of B.E. This second post describes how B.E. and qualitative research can work together, by making the best of both worlds.

B.E. and qualitative research can work well together because they share a parent – contemporary social science.

B.E. was revolutionary because it applied the same social science to economics that has been used by social-science trained researchers for decades.  ‘Everything is relative’, ‘people are influenced by what others think’, and ‘behaviour is best researched in context’, are all part of the B.E. canon and have also been part of the best kind of qualitative approach for a long time. 

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This infographic details six useful lessons from information designers and information psychologists on how to attract the attention of customers and stakeholders in ‘lean forward mode’:

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Are you afraid that technology has taught us all to live in a fast multi-tasking world so that your customers and stakeholders have ‘the attention span of a goldfish’?

Don’t worry. Just because many of us multitask while watching movies, that doesn’t mean that we can’t pay attention when we have a goal to achieve. I like this distinction from from Google on how people pay attention, by leaning forward, or leaning back. Whether someone ‘leans forward’ mode or ‘leans back’ mode depends on their goals at the time.

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Getting the most out of Behavioural Economics in Qualitative Research

Are you considering using qualitative research for strategic positioning, brand development, or customer experience projects? Do you also want to use the insights you have learnt from Behavioural Economics  (B.E.) but worry whether B.E. is compatible with qualitative research?  

Perhaps you have heard people say that qualitative research isn’t useful because ‘people don’t know why they do things’ for example, which has led some people to conduct research only about behaviour and not about what motivates people to behave as they do, or about how people think.

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Why steam came out of Charlie’s ears

Suzanne and I recently took part in a NewMR webinar event ‘New but not Tech’. We were talking about sense making, and about how people make sense of their experiences. Someone asked if that meant that sense making was an ethnographic technique, and I said:

“No, because in sense making what we are interested in is what is going on in people’s heads.”

With steam coming out of his ears, ethnographer Charlie Cochrane of Jump the Fence posed this question in response:

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The Art of the Long Interview

We use the 'long interview' qualitative research technique in our research when we want the people we are talking to to think and not just tell us the first thing that comes to mind.

Here are some tips on how to conduct long qualitative interviews.

What is a ‘long interview’?   A long interview is a one-on-one interview that takes at least an hour and is conversational in style.  Some IDI’s (individual in-depth interviews) fall into the ‘long interview’ category, but only if they are conversational and – it has to be said – long.

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Did you Celebrate World Emoji Day?

I was thrilled and a little terrified  to be invited by the BBC Asia Pacific, based in Singapore to appear on their Breakfast TV show to talk about World Emoji Day – July 17th.

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Qualitative Analysis Skills: A Primer Part 1

What does it mean to have an ‘analysis plan’ for qualitative research?

When you have an analysis plan you know who will do what and how you are going to deal with the information.

  • If you have several researchers working on a project, is everyone going to analyse their own interviews or groups independently or will you delegate it all to one person?  
  • Whether you are going to share the task, or if you are doing it all yourself, you need to know the answers  to questions like these

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A discourse analysis of 'hope you are well?'

How to spot a fake: a discourse analysis of 'hope you are well?'

First of all - an apology

I recently -  carelessly  - allowed some people called University of Skills to access my LinkedIn address book. I now think that everyone I am (was?) connected to received an email from me saying something like this: 'Hey, Hope you are well ....' followed by a plug for the University of Skills website, which I wont repeat here. I apologise. I did not realise they would do that and I won't do it again.

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