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The Messenger Office, One Ash, Loughborough Road
Quorn, Loughborough, Leicestershire, LE12 8UE

We provide sustainable content strategy services on behalf of digital agencies and directly to business clients.

User research services

Pick from a range of user research activities for your website or digital service, inc. user needs workshops, user interviews, user needs surveys, user satisfaction surveys, web analytics review, expert UX reviews, usability testing, card sorting, and landscape analysis.

User research services

Pick from our full range of user research activities for your website or digital service.

User needs workshop

We design and facilitate workshops that bring together business stakeholders and user representatives.

The workshops include highly-collaborative user persona and scenario development activities to explore the context, motivations, behaviours and needs of the website or service's users. 

The activities are carefully designed to answer these questions:

  • what needs do users have that the potential website or digital service could serve?
  • where and how do they currently meet those needs?
  • what encourages them to engage with a particular website of digital service?
  • what do they do after their need has been met?
  • what motivating factors are the users operating under? 
  • how would users like the current service to better support them?

We digitise and share the Lean personas after the workshop and extract the initial set of user needs, ready to be quantitatively validated by larger numbers in a user needs survey.


We run 1-2-1 interviews with user representatives of a website or digital service to identify and validate the user needs. The interviews are carefully designed to learn more about the motivations, behaviour, and context of the users, and to follow up on previous research insights. 

The information gathered from the user interviews can then be quantitatively validated by larger numbers in a user needs survey.

User needs survey

We design and run online user surveys to quantitatively validate user needs identified in previous research activities.

Our survey response analysis reveals the actual levels of need for each - this is an invaluable insight to assist the prioritisation of user needs for a website or service.

We have a background in scientific research and carefully design the collection and analysis of data to ensure our insights are unbiased and accurate. We test data for statistical significance using rigorous statistical analysis techniques, confidently drawing accurate insights, conclusions and recommendations from the data.


We will quickly and clearly tell you what's good and not so good about your website or digital service against user experience (UX) best practice.

You get clear recommendations on what to do next, with priority problems and quick wins already called out for you.

Our reviews focus on:

  • the core user experience, such as way-finding, navigation and search
  • the structure, presentation and quality of the content design
  • site performance, inc speed
  • mobile device experience
  • accessibility

An expert review will help you to understand how close you are (or aren't) to meeting your users' needs and the effort required to bridge that "performance gap".

card sorting &  sitemap testing

We collaborate with users to design content structures and labelling systems (an Information Architecture) that makes it easy for users to find what they need.

We mainly do this through rounds of moderated (face-to-face) and remote card sorting where we ask users to group and label the content in a way that makes sense to them.

We use dedicated tools to run the sessions and to analyse the results for patterns we can develop into draft sitemaps and content structures.

We then test these with users to see if the grouping and labelling of content makes sense to them as they attempt to perform common tasks. If it doesn't we iterate it until it does.

Introducing a user-centred information architecture this way can make a huge difference to the user experience without costing lots of money.

Usability testing

Observing actual users attempting to perform tasks on a website or digital service is the most powerful way of understanding the user experience - the good and the bad.

We carefully design test scripts around identified user scenarios and tasks to reveal:

  • how do users find what they are looking for?
  • where do they get stuck or confused?
  • do they understand the content and does the content meet their needs?
  • what is their experience on mobile devices?

We arrange our sessions around the UK and always encourage service owners to come and observe first-hand.

All observations are captured in a usability issues log, and we call out priority issues and quick wins. We also recommend solutions to address those user experience issues.

Plus, we use the System Usability Scale (SUS) method during tests to generate a comparable, numerical score to benchmark the usability of the website or digital service. This can be tested again in the future to gauge improvement to the user experience.


We dig into the available stats of a current website or digital service to see how well it is currently performing.

We draw out insights and unexpected patterns about the user experience:

  • how are users finding, moving through, and leaving the site or service?
  • what's popular / not popular?
  • where are they getting stuck?
  • what actions are they taking?
  • what are they consuming, downloading, and sharing?

With this insight we can make recommendations on how to improve your site or service and for follow up research activities to get to the heart of potential issues.

Our analysis is also ready be used as a benchmark to measure future improvements to the user experience.

Plus, we check how your analytics tools have been configured to ensure they are tracking and reporting accurate statistics.

User satisfaction surveys

We build, run and analyse online surveys to quantitatively benchmark the current experience of a website or digital service. We measure: 

  • overall user satisfaction with the experience
  • ease of use
  • if they found / achieved what they needed 
  • attractiveness of the design / appearance
  • the usefulness of the search function
  • the quality of the content

These outputs become benchmarks for the improving the website or service.


We look at how comparable websites and digital services are attempting to solve similar user needs to draw out quick and valuable insights.

How are others handling the challenge of presenting large amounts of publications on their website? How are they grouping and labelling their content? What content do they include (or not include)? How are they using imagery? What is the mobile experience like?

We annotate a series of screenshots to call out the lessons that could be adopted or used to influence and inspire future design work.

Co-design SKETCHING sessions

We design and facilitate "design studios" to bring together service owners, business stakeholders, and users to brainstorm and sketch solutions for prioritised user stories.

Successive rounds of critique and refinement, hone the ideas until they are ready to develop into concept prototypes.


Full Discovery phase

Did you know we deliver all of these research activities (and more) in our managed, end-to-end Discovery phase service.



We like to share our experiences of running user research activities and Discovery phases:




Our services are very competitively priced and incredible value. We also fix a price so you don't get any nasty surprises.

We are a Crown Commercial Service supplier on the Digital Outcomes and Specialists framework so you can easily find and buy our services on the GOV.UK Digital Marketplace.