Research Methods

During this project budget and access were key concerns. I needed to talk to executive HR representatives at some of the top companies in the world. While I would have loved to do in context interviews, they were not practical.

 I started this project by talking to a number of high ranking members of my client’s company. Discussions focused on what they knew about the Senior HR buyer type, and what they were hoping to learn. These interviews had two goals: 

Give us enough background to effectively run user research
Start to gain buy-in from all areas of the company


 Next we recruited 13  HR executives from various industries and interviewed them about a number of topics. We started broad and went deep. We talked about everything from what they like to do outside of work to what they find most challenging about their job. This research happened to be in full swing as “The Great Recession” hit and all time high, so trust me there were challenges.




The interviews took place over the phone to save money and time, but phone interviews can be challenging. To keep the respondent engaged used a number of different activities.




One of the activities involved asking respondents to do an online homework assignment. We took the results from the assignment to create an interactive Webex experience, so while we were talking about a topic the respondent could be moving items on the screen around to show us relationships and dependencies.



We also did a review of competitors to determine whitespace for new product offering. We also used the competitive review to determine what features were necessary at each price point. The competitive review acted as stimuli during the customer interviews so we were able to incorporate qualitative feedback along with the “hard facts.”