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Research Spotlight: Observational Research

















Originally published May 2021


As we begin to re-emerge from COVID, observing customers in person will soon be feasible again. Observational research can be critical to new product development and to evolving products & services throughout their lifecycle. What better way to understand what users really need from a product or service than to watch them use it? Users may not be able to explain what causes them to struggle, but by observing them you will be able to see it for yourself!

Can organizations conduct observational research themselves? Of course, and they should! Nothing is as impactful for understanding customers' successes and pain points as seeing users in action in their natural environment. Having said that, there are also reasons to work with outside experts to do observational research, such as:


They can be candid with us

As members of a society, we have a natural tendency towards being polite and sparing people from more direct or critical feedback that we might have. Involving a neutral 3rd party allows that feedback to be shared without the social risk of upsetting someone!

We know how to ask the right questions

Our staff at Advantage Research includes decades of interviewing experience which means we are skilled in knowing what questions to ask, how to ask them, and what to listen & watch for in the responses.

Separating fact from fiction, trend from outlier

Our experience with observational and other types of qualitative research means that we are skilled at interpreting & summarizing the results, and presenting them in a way that will be clear and actionable.


If you need help with observational research for your organization, Advantage Research can recommend an approach that is right for you. Contact us today to start the conversation!