Blended research

Some projects require a combination of research methods to achieve relevant and effective results. This can involve virtually any combination of methodologies, from diary studies (paper or digital) to interviews and data gathered with wearables. STBY will help you choose the right blend of methods and approaches, depending on the phase a project is in and the questions you have.

A combination of qualitative and quantitative research can support a business case with ‘hard’ evidence in the form of numbers and statistics, while also providing rich and empathic illustrations of the user experience in everyday life. We have experience with two mixed-method research designs: exploratory and explanatory sequential design. Exploratory sequential design involves first collecting qualitative exploratory data and using this information to guide further, larger-scale quantitative enquiry (e.g. surveys or auto-ethnography). Explanatory sequential design helps to explore quantitative findings. Here, quantitative data is used as the starting point. We then gather and use qualitative data to explain the quantitative data in more detail. Often these approaches are strung together in a series of phases.

Longitudinal studies engage research participants in different interactions over time to build a firm understanding of potential changes in people’s behaviour and preferences. Some research questions are just too difficult to investigate through only one interaction. They may require data which takes time to collect, or it may be necessary to give participants more time to gain experience and reflect on a topic, so they are better prepared to provide insights during follow-up activities. Another reason to undertake longitudinal studies is to study change over time, for example, to see whether users’ initial response to a new service is sustained, or changes.

Some examples of projects we’ve worked on:

Blending quantitative and qualitative research

Probing collectives of users

Co-creating insights on the far future

Longitudinal learning about behaviour change

Co-creating neighbourhood participation

You can also read more about ‘blended research in our publication Explorers