Below are examples of some of our recent work with public, voluntary and third sector organisations, helping them to build capacity and skills for making the most of qualitative data and research.

Resources for using ethnography in design

In 2019 we were invited by Ravensbourne University in London to develop a series of training sessions to supporting the use of ethnographic research methods (in-depth observation and engagement) for human-centred design. The course was delivered to students on the Master’s in Design course, with a focus on how ethnography can help designers address ‘wicked problems’.

While few students had any prior knowledge of ethnography, they found the sessions engaging and valuable. They reported increased confidence in applying ethnographic approaches to their design and social innovation work.  Some examples of student feedback:

“The structure of these sessions was absolutely a surprise for me. At the beginning I thought to be not very interested in the topic, now I realise how much it’s useful”

“I think the structure was brilliant and I was able to learn everything I need to know about ethnography in an easy way”

“Since starting these sessions I have introduced ethnography to my students for a retail design unit which has been great so far”

Tailored training

In 2018, we were invited to work with CILIP, the professional body for library and information professionals, to develop a training session introducing their members to qualitative data and research.

We developed an online training session in the form of a webinar. Reflecting the needs and interests of CILIP members, we designed the session to cover basic principles plus how to use qualitative approaches effectively within different information professions.

We adopted an interactive approach to the webinar, inviting participants to share their experiences and views on using qualitative approaches in their professions. Feedback from participants was very positive:

This has been excellent! I’m very enthused and motivated. Thank you, Joanna”

You’re a genius. This was so clear and reassuring. Thank you.”

Designing an evaluation of a school-based wellbeing programme

Since 2018 we have been working with the Sheffield-based Flower 125 health programme to design an evaluation of the programme’s impacts, using a range of qualitative methods.

This has involved working closely with the programme’s founders to understand its philosophy for supporting people who work with young people to empower them to improve their mental and physical wellbeing.

We have developed an evaluation plan that uses qualitative approaches to explore experiences and effects of the Flower 125 programme on young people, parents, staff and educational settings.