At Hopscotch Labs, like all other researchers, we ask our research participants to share their lives with us, in return they must trust that we’ll use that information to make their lives better.

If you don’t look like, sound like or feel like your research participants, it takes time to understand them and gain their trust and good will. As a design researcher, I’ve run into this within disciplines that I don’t spend time in—music, military, 911 centers, hospitals. Some topics are easier to get up to speed on faster. You can learn what it means to be a musician, to be a military spouse, to miss bathroom breaks because of the urgency of your work. You can even dress the part—buying scrubs or a 3 piece suit. What you can’t change is your own cultural bias, the color of your skin, the tenor of your voice, or your read of a situation.

Your research participants need a champion—someone to communicate the nuance of their actions and beliefs and the meaning behind their words.

Finding your Champion

1. Who is your audience?

The first step we take at Hopscotch Labs is to know your intended audience.

Research on Motivation, pictured here are community college students in a Detroit-based fire fighter certificate program.

Read more about our processes here.