Doing User Research in Emerging Markets
I learned to do user research in well-lit meeting rooms in London. I learned by watching the experienced researchers of GDS do their thing, talking to a selection of the British public and getting them to use our new website. Since I moved to WorldRemit, some of the user research I’ve done has taken a very similar format.
But — as an international money transfer company for migrants — only half of our service takes place in the UK (or the US, or Europe). So some of my work has involved getting on planes to Africa or Southeast Asia, and setting up research in a totally different environment to what I’m used to. I just got back from one of these research trips to Ghana, where we were talking to people who receive remittances from abroad and testing out a couple of prototypes.
With a few of these trips under my belt, I’ve learned a lot about what works and doesn’t work when doing research in emerging markets. I thought I’d share a few of those lessons.