What we do
We believe that empathy with your customers can be transformed into a tangible business asset - one that will help you make better decisions in a context of constant change. The Difference Engine uses immersive, observational and iterative research techniques to help our clients test their assumptions about the world they operate in, the people they want to influence, and the obstacles to and opportunities for growth ahead of them.
WHY WE DO IT
The more we work with quantitative data sets, the more we see the truth of the old saying, "GARBAGE IN, GARBAGE OUT."
As cultures, economies and technologies change, our ideas about demographic groups, and our ability to predict what they will want and how they will behave, are being challenged in profound ways.
We can no longer extrapolate from simplistic data; the way we've traditionally thought about people, organizations and systems won't help us adapt to what they need now.
In other words, what used to work isn't working anymore.
We have the tools to improve these mental models and ultimately to identify new data points with better predictive value.
These tools are rooted in understanding and insight developed through authentic relationships, observation and dialogue.
We have to get our boots on - actually meet people where they live, work, relax and play so we can understand what they think, feel, say and do.
how we do it
Immersive & observational research
In-depth & stakeholder interviews
Customer Journey mapping
User story development & prioritization
Analysis of existing data from surveys, secondary research and analytics
Create & refine value propositions
Discover new users & user needs
Identify opportunities for new products & services
Pressure test & prioritize ideas & initiatives
Develop hypothesis testing & user testing plans
Train teams in conducting & managing user research
We'd love to work with you to design and facilitate a workshop that meets your team's needs.
To get started, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org - clicking on the link opens an email, with the subject header already started.
Want to develop a better understanding of your customers, prospects, and current context? Looking for new opportunities for growth? Interested in developing in-house capabilities for ongoing user research?
Send research RFPs or other details about your project to email@example.com.
Writing & Talking
Talk from Strata 2014 in NYC. A bit more about the talk: We feel safer in big numbers, and we believe that numbers don't lie. But numbers don't actually speak for themselves -- people speak for them. The interpretive layer matters -- research is not design, but design is nothing without research.
A talk prepared for Bend WebCAM, a creativity and marketing conference in Bend, Oregon. Presented on October 13, 2014. View the presentation.
Farrah was a keynote speaker at Rails Conference 2014, the Flagship event of the Ruby on Rails team members and community. It’s the largest official gathering of the year, attended by top Rails talent, companies and project representatives from all over the world. View the presentation.
Farrah was a keynote speaker at Rails Conference 2014, the Flagship event of the Ruby on Rails team members and community. It’s the largest official gathering of the year, attended by top Rails talent, companies and project representatives from all over the world. View the presentation. What Happens to Everyone, When Everyone Learns to Code.
Farrah describes how she came to code and what Rails has done to help empower her to build her business in an interview at the 2014 Rails Conference.
Farrah talk from Lean Day London, hosted by Made by Many & Neo, March 25-26, 2014, on how Lean approaches to qualitative research make it more useful and scalable. View the presentation.