Purpose-led investigations into materials, competitors, markets, user experiences and functionality; our research tasks help our clients to uncover what they need to know.

At Make it Clear, our research-led approach to design solutions helps our clients to address fundamental challenges and improve engagement.

We offer a wide range of research activities and recommend that the activity is chosen to suit the project objectives, as outlined in the kick off meeting in the definition stage.

User interviews, for example, are a qualitative research method that we often employ. They are used to evaluate a user’s experience, preference or expectation of a client’s product or service. Market research focus groups are also a qualitative method that we use to gather information about a product’s market or industry by using as many participants as deemed necessary and encouraging relevant discussions.

Surveys, on the other hand, are mostly a qualitative research method (when not asking open ended questions), where responses can be tallied and totalled to provide statistic-based reports for our clients.

Research tasks:

  • Interviews
  • Surveys
  • Competitor reviews
  • Website review and clarity audits
  • Workshops
  • Focus groups
  • Design sprints

Our research process

Step 1: Definition

This stage of the project is focused on discovering or defining the objectives for the research, establishing parameters, incentives and success criteria and gathering any existing data or documentation that Make it Clear may require as context. Identifying the metrics that we can use to identify success or compare with  

Hosting a kick off meeting to agree on the research plan and process, either remotely or in person, we also define the key areas of interest for the research activity and identify relevant client stakeholders. 

  • Define the objectives, parameters and success criteria for the research
  • Select the research method 
  • Host kick off meeting to plan the activity

Step 2: Solution

After selecting the research method, we identify relevant participants and agree on the recruitment method. Recruitment can be managed via a third party agency or by using the client’s contacts. Another option is to run a recruitment drive to uncover willing participants., for example, a short survey on a client’s website 

Regardless of the research activity chosen, we start a research project by reviewing any relevant data and existing documentation; writing a report on this review. The report may include an outline of the research plan according to the agreed objectives, initiatives and process from the kick off meeting. Incentives, if relevant, may be suggested in the kick off meeting and included in this plan. 

  • Agree and initiate the recruitment process
  • Review existing materials 
  • Report on review and outline the research plan

Step 3: Implementation

The stage where the research is completed; this involves either the client or MiC inviting participants to complete the interview sessions when they can. We write the interview script, multiple if there is more than one user type, and iterate this with the client. The script should cover the key areas of the research and is intended to act as a guide for conversation. 

Interviews take a more conversational approach than the script might imply, with the MiC research lead responding to responses naturally with appropriate questions, rather than following the script to the letter. Interviews are usually hosted over a two week period and can take from 30 minutes to an hour. 

We recommend always completing at least 6 interviews for each user type, as this is more likely to get you enough of a varied response. After completing the research, MiC distributes incentives, if required, and reports on the themes discovered, presenting these to the client. Any recommendations for next steps are also outlined here. 

  • Write interview scripts
  • Organise, manage and host interviews with users
  • Report on findings and outline next steps 

Step 4: Optimisation

In order to evaluate the improvements of any creative design solutions implemented after the research has identified the issues, we recommend carrying out post-project research into the user experience. 

  • Define objectives
  • Select research method (ideally the same as before)
  • Complete research and report on findings


June 11, 2020

How observation research helps us improve quick start guides

We support many of our clients to bring clarity to their customer communications.

April 23, 2020

Why we should be conducting remote focus groups

A focus group invites a small number of people to discuss a particular concept, product or service in the form of a pre-planned discussion that is guided by a[...]

April 5, 2018

What does a strategist do?

Having to explain what I do in my role as a strategist is a regular occurrence. It’s definitely a job title that fails the ‘mum test’.