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Customer & User Research in Branding

An interview with
Michele Ronsen


How can you properly understand the audience you plan to target? How can you make sure the logo designs you create will attract the right person? How can you know if the identity you create will actually perform? The only way to know for sure is to use customer and UX research.

To learn more, Ian interviews Michele Ronsen, the founder of Curiosity Tank, an agency who specialises in design and user research.

In this episode we take a deep dive into User Research, to understand how it can be applied throughout the entire stretch of a brand identity design project from start to finish. From the customer research you can carry out prior to starting a project, right through to testing a logo design with the desired audience.

Michele is an executive with more than twenty years of experience in academia, start-ups, and the Fortune 500s, and she's worked with clients including Slack, Xero, Microsoft, Facebook, PayPal and many more!

Michele Ronsen Interview Transcription

Ian Paget: This interview is following on from the conversation with Philip VanDusen. He briefly covered the topic of user research and suggested that he could put me in touch with someone. He kindly put me in touch with you, so I thought it would be amazing to have an in-depth discussion around user research.

I have a number of questions running through a typical brand identity project. I'm not expert on the topic at all, so I'm sure that the questions I have will probably steer off-track quite a bit. But I think, as a starting point for listeners that aren't familiar with what it is, would you mind giving an overview as to what user research is?

Michele Ronson: Sure. Thanks for having me, Ian. User research is the process of figuring out how people think about, interpret, and use products and services. It's adapted from and builds on a variety of methods from social science, HCI, design, and other domains.

Ultimately, it helps us build empathy for the people that will consume or use the products and services we're designing in an evidence-based and structured manner. That would be the high-level goal. The end goal, though, is to improve people's experience while using these products and services.

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