STBY recently organized an intensive, one week field trip in London for an international financial services company looking to expand to new markets. The objective of the trip, as established collaboratively by the STBY team and the multi-departmental client team, was to take a deep dive into the differences in norms, motivations, customs, and local regulations in their particular market space. Building upon similar field trips in the past, STBY created a custom schedule to accommodate for the various different types of questions the client team wanted answered.
The week started with two interactive lab sessions, co-facilitated by a member of STBY and a member of the client team. The aim of these labs was to gain a general understanding of how various stakeholders interact with payments solutions in the UK. We recruited twelve people to join us in two immersive, hands-on sessions at the STBY studio. Various prompts and activities were designed to reveal different types of information, including general payment habits, perceptions, norms and desires regarding both front and back office routines and behaviours. The activities in the labs were very hands-on, prompting insightful discussion between the participants and the clients.
The remainder of the week was spent in the field, conducting site observations and follow-up interviews. These field visits were complementary to the lab sessions, allowing the client team to further explore the different contexts in which users interact with financial services. Whereas the labs provided a safe and comfortable space for the client team to better understand their users and potential users in the UK, the field observations and follow-up interviews gave the client a messier and untamed view of the norms and habits surrounding various services in a more natural context.
This agile, pressure-cooker approach to research is intensive and immersive. Facilitating such a programme requires ongoing and agile communication with the client team, and quick and continuous integration of feedback. With such a fast-paced series of events, it is also important to continuously reflect upon each activity, so as to connect the dots between the smaller detailed insights and the grander questions regarding key objectives. Daily debriefs ensured that all members of the joint project team were on the same page and that the research kept heading in the desired direction.
For clients who operate in highly competitive, fast-moving markets, these intensive research field-trips can pack a huge punch. They allow stakeholders from across departments to literally immerse themselves in new markets, with the potential to uncover useful insights through a rapid co-creative approach.