intO On De-Westernising Research

Always wanted to know how to get the most out of your research projects? Well, have read of some great insights from Joanna Brassett, Founding Director of intO – an innovation consultancy that works across the world developing strategies for companies like Uber, Skyscanner, and Nike. Joanna explains how research can help us understand socio-cultural trends that are relevant, and how they can influence business in the future and improve user experiences.

Here are some of the insights from our conversation: 


FLA: What do you do before starting research? 

JB: We often experience clients who have the ambition to gain new knowledge, but don’t have the focus at the beginning of this phase. That is where we come in ready to help them and take them on this journey. 

FLA: Any tips on conducting user research remotely? 

JB: The best tip I can give you as a researcher, is to gain trust from your users - then they start opening up which is where most of the exciting insights come from. It’s less about the technical side and more about preplanning and having a really good research guide before interviewing your users. 

FLA: Are there moments with clients who don’t believe in research, who think it’s a waste of time and money? How would you educate them on the power of good research? 

JB: Absolutely - there’s a spectrum of different businesses who have different levels of knowledge of innovation practices. From organisations who don’t believe in the value of design, to others who are pushing the boundaries of innovation and experimentation. We always start any engagement with a client by identifying where they fall on this knowledge spectrum. 

FLA: For you, what is the most important part to focus on in any research project? 

JB: For me, my focus is really to de-westernise research - start designing products that are not based on just those countries and those behaviours. Because in the end, especially when brands launch globally, people in South America for instance are using products or services that are based on solely European insights. 

If you want to hear more interesting insights from Joanna, listen to the full interview on our Creative Capes Podcast: 


Apple Podcasts 


If you want to see our faces, watch it below on our Youtube Channel @futurelondonacademy.

Joanna is also our research expert on our Innovation Masterclass - Why wait to up your innovation game? find more information here


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