Our research capability continues despite the lockdown

By Tracy Marshall | 07/04/2020

There is no question that the Coronavirus is significantly affecting lives and challenging businesses around the globe. The pandemic is forcing us to reassess and adjust to new challenges in all aspects of our daily life, whether that be in a personal or professional capacity.

Here at Sigma, the adjustment to working from home has been swift and undisruptive. Our team are already familiar with remote work — our Macclesfield team experienced 3 months working from home last year whilst the office was completely refurbished. This time, keeping in mind the seriousness of the situation, we are managing to keep morale high with lots of communication: we engage in daily lunchtime video chats, and the Friday chat has seen the adoption of the popular Sigma quiz.

A major focus of work at Sigma continues to be user research. Because of its huge importance, user research will remain a significant practice for Sigma regardless of where we work. Although remote research is nothing new to our team, we have made adjustments to our catalogue of tools and practices to ensure that the lack of physical access to testing labs, equipment and participants does not impact the quality of our research and usability testing.

As well as having a wide range of technologies to help us with our research, our remote team’s services include all of our standard offerings:

  • Recruitment of study participants
  • Electronic consent
  • Collaborative workshops
  • Interviews
  • Focus groups
  • Diary studies
  • Moderator-led usability sessions (with observers if required)
  • Accessibility and inclusion testing and audits
  • Surveys
  • Training for client organisations

In addition, our recruitment partners continue to offer the same great service — they run their fieldwork operations at full capacity, finding suitable participants for remote research studies.

So, despite the challenges and uncertainly of these unprecedented times our research continues, all be it, we are all working much further apart. We have always promoted the need for user involvement at all stages of our research, design, development and testing. This helps to build more inclusive products and this approach can absolutely continue online. If we can help you keep your own design and development projects going, please get in touch.