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Knowing How Research Insights Transforming through research

Knowing How Research Insights is an independent user / mainstream research company and network of like-minded professionals, with more than 15 years' experience working in tech product development, education and skills, lifelong learning, social justice, public policy, health and social care, and employability skills. Working with positive impact.

What do we do?

We provide independent expert collaborative research services for clients in the private, public and NGO sectors. Everything we do is bespoke, tailored to solving problems and delivering business objectives. We take on anything from a discrete package of discovery research, to a series of usability tests or independent evaluation, through to full end-to-end work packages. Our hall-mark is evidence-based actionable insight.

Our research principles

  • Representing the users' voice taking a UCD approach
  • Focusing on understanding and communicating users' needs, problems, behaviours and contexts
  • Understanding and illustrating the user experience
  • Applying method to suit the need
  • Only analysing / reporting what is there in the evidence
  • Analysis treated as more than an affinity map or coding - method of analysis applied according to research question
  • Connecting findings to organisational objectives and aims
  • Effective collaborative working in multi-disciplinary agile teams
  • Addressing assumptions head on and iteratively

Our Values

  • Do no harm
  • Challenge assumptions
  • Manage risk
  • Honesty and integrity
  • Focus on users
  • Work transparently and collaboratively with our clients
  • Embedding accessibility and inclusivity thinking and action at all levels, at all stages

Latest blog: "Do's and Don'ts of usability testing: how to get successful outcomes" (Medium / Bootcamp/ UX Collective)

The Wild West of User Research Contracting (Medium, User Weekly by Jan Ahrend)

Who we work for

Contact us for a no-strings consultation

Lead Research and Director, Lesley Crane PhD Dip. UX Design: "Welcome! I'm a senior user researcher with 15+ years cross-sector experience in UX and mainstream (qualitative and quantitative) research, and a qualified UX Designer. In the last five years, I've had the privilege of working on a diverse range of programmes including organisational behaviour change, product development, social justice, learning and development, education2employment, and the impact of Covid on young people's career chances. I like to think that in most if not all cases, my work has made a positive difference: delivering improved human experience and business outcomes."

We are fully experienced in 'end-to-end research projects' - research design and hypothesis, planning, recruitment, implementation and analysis (thematic, narrative, discursive, conversation, content, descriptive statistics), using findings to drive insight and actionable recommendations. And we have a useful background in software design/development, project management, IM and creative media.

Deep discovery analysis work exploring multiple variables and their projected impact on project outcomes, using NVIVO. 8 hours of verbatim transcriptions.

In the last 4 years, we've worked on research projects investigating the apprentice user experience (transition to FT employment, and impact of C-19/lockdown); designed new content for a leading adult skills assessment platform, researched how adult ESOL learners and practitioners currently use EdTech and their challenges, and developed and piloted an innovative custom-designed adult pedagogy for a particular category of learner as a part of a transnational project team. More recently, we've been working with NHS Digital on the research and design of a new Primary Care online procurement support app to be rolled out nationally to more than 5,500 practices, plus an expanded publishing platform and CRM, and with the Test & Trace team at the Department for Health and Social Care.

Persona development, Online surveys reporting, data analysis
The Flow Diagram addressing issues identified through UTs, Affinity Diagram, and Customer Journey Map
Sketching out the interactions
Detailed wireframes

The last step of this project involved creating detailed wireframes for each screen/state of the app with detailed instructions to developers on interaction, functionality, user feedback, component placement and navigation. The more detailed this step is, the more the development can be done accurately and efficiently.

Check out the functional prototype, created using Figma, designed to demonstrate the functionality design and user flow through the app. This version is designed for desktop with the design specifically tailored to subsequent development as a responsible website design, capable of adapting to any device.

A project we're particularly proud of involved working with a team of partners to build and deploy a national online platform that aggregates family-relevant data from all Local Authorities across England. This was achieved through researching and developing a new taxonomy (card sorting workshops), and training personnel across all local government authorities in its application as core to the metadata solution. This allows the aggregator to seamlessly receive data pushed automatically 24/7, tagged accurately to a common information architecture.

  • From initial research project design and planning (defining the research hypothesis and question(s)), to participant profiling, sampling and screening, adhering to ethical standards (e.g., BERA) ....
  • .....to the design of research methods, primarily qualitative with a smidgeon of quantitative, analysis and reporting with findings clearly mapped to actionable insights;
  • Preliminary and Discovery / Field research - in-person and remote;
  • Usability testing and Evaluation studies - in-person or remote - mobile or desktop;
  • Various user research techniques including Interviews, workshops, group chat, ethnography, story-telling, Personas development, A/B testing, Card sorting, online surveys, experimental....whatever is appropriate to the context, user group and research questions;
  • Analytic tools include NVIVO 12, affinity diagrams, customer journey maps, storytelling and using methods / approaches including thematic and categorical analysis, conversation / discourse analysis, descriptive statistics, etc.;
  • Interaction design, development and testing of MVP/Prototypes and production of detailed application wireframes;
  • All leading to evidence-based findings with actionable insights drawing on in-depth data analysis with findings grounded in and building on pre-existing research;
  • Skilled at making effective and compelling presentations to stakeholders;
  • Familiar with GDPR, GDS plus W3C accessibility standards.

Affiliations: User Experience Professionals' Association (UK), Associate with the Learning & Work Institute, National Foundation for Education Research, and AlphaPlus

Contact lesley@knowing-how.com for a no-strings attached consultation today!