I’ve been doing a lot of website and app UX research this year for clients using a range of methods including depths, retrospective think alouds, web clinics, forums and eye tracking.
I met a brilliant digital design agency called @NkdEyeLondon the other day. During this meeting, I realised that the MR industry and web design industry both employ qualitative researchers to do a very similar job. Nkd Eye’s clients tend to be marketing directors, digital directors and media directors who hold responsibility and budget for website development and research. NkdEye will create or redesign a website and run the research using some very clever methods, not unlike the methods we use.
Our clients tend to be managers and directors in MR functions, holding budget for all research that takes place within that company - including website development. So it makes sense for our clients in the MR function to use the research agencies they already know and trust.
It looks like both industries are working in parallel universes, running qualitative research to develop digital materials using the same methods, but for different types of stakeholders.
For digital owners choosing a supplier to research their digital communications, the question isn’t which agency to choose, it’s which industry is best suited for the work.
On the one hand you have a specialist web development industry who can offer a huge degree of UX experience - which makes perfect sense for particular projects. On the other hand, you may have marketing and communications strategy oriented work that may suit the skills of an MR agency.