Key take-outs from the ‘Combining CX, UX and MR’ Virtual Summit

Anthony Shephard-Williams, research director, shares his key take outs from the recent ‘Combining CX (Customer Experience), UX (User Experience) and MR (Market Research)’ Virtual Summit.

Over the last few years, I have been increasingly exposed to the (relatively new) worlds of CX and UX in my role as a “market researcher” and more recently have led and delivered on several market research projects that could be considered as having more of a ‘UX’ focus.

After attending many in-person training courses over the years (many coordinated by the Market Research Society and held in London), last week I attended my first virtual summit (delivered by MRS Live).  It didn’t disappoint and I came away from the session feeling inspired and motivated to the extent that I wanted to share my take-outs whilst still fresh in my mind.

Here are a few of the headlines:

  • The lines between the role of CX, UX and MR are becoming increasingly blurred – within the research industry, traditionally there was a distinct “line in the sand” as to whether you were a ‘quallie’ (qualitative research) or a ‘quantie’ (quantitative research). Over time, this distinction will have changed for most people. For example, I started off as a “quantie”, then I found a love of qualitative research so became a “quallie”. Now, although my specialist field is in online qualitative research, I do very much flit between the two (and everything else in between), but my role isn’t binary; I imagine the number of UX / CX projects I am involved in moving forward will increase, and with this exposure to different methods and tools my wider skill-set in relation to CX and UX (in combination with MR) will become more rounded. Whilst we’re not taking anything away from CX, UX and MR (they are all individual areas of specialism in their own right), they will all naturally become more integrated over time.
‘Combining CX, UX and MR’
  • The relationship between disciplines and stakeholders is pivotal to a project’s success – as with any project, stakeholder buy-in is essential and it goes without saying that any discipline working closely together (whether this involves people working from CX, UX, MR or any other department) must put the effort into creating and maintaining strong relationships. With projects involving combined disciplines, it is more important than ever to ensure that communication is effective. It can be easy to lose sight of what other teams are doing or trying to achieve relative to your own goals and objectives. It is also essential to ensure that insights are disseminated effectively and shared or filtered down more widely (an example discussed during the session related to the Sky TV customer journey and it being essential for engineers to have an understanding of insights related to deaf customers as they go out to work in their homes).
  • There is a need to change our mind-set with how we report on numbers – in quantitative research reports we would typically not make statistically robust claims on anything with a sub-sample size of n=50 or below, whereas with traditional qualitative research we would never typically use numbers in a report (as the sample sizes tend to be much smaller). However, UX research is challenging the way we feel about numbers, and although UX projects may not always have a statistically robust sample size (they tend to be more in line with traditional qualitative research sample sizes; and I’ve recently led on a very fruitful UX project with 15 people), the findings of UX research can often be presented in numbers as we need to ‘count’ behaviours. For example, “10 out of 15 could not navigate to this point of the website” or “it took between 5 and 8 clicks for the majority of people to add this item to their basket”. Hence, we have to be a bit more open minded with UX reporting and the inclusion of numbers.
  • Inclusivity must always be front of mind with digital journeys / experience – for example, around 26 million people in the UK could be considered as potentially vulnerable. This means that companies have to be proactive in recognising vulnerability and understanding customers’ needs. There is much work to be done in supporting the vulnerable in digital adoption and ensuring websites, online journeys and experiences are designed with accessibility for all in mind.
  • The combination of CX, UX and MR can only bring greater levels of understanding overall – whilst the lines are becoming more blurred and research buyers may be wondering if it is UX, CX or MR they need to commission, I would question whether it is really necessary to define and label it? Let’s get back to basics and consider what the original research objective is. Then let us consider how we go about finding the most appropriate solution or tools to meet that objective, keeping in mind the very fact that we are all working towards achieving common goals.

If you have any questions about any projects related to “CX”, “UX” or indeed “MR”, feel free to get in touch –