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Ten Gun Design Uses dscout Live for Seamless Mobile Ethnography Study

Don Hall discusses how always-on user insights fuel brand stories.

Don Hall has seen a lot of the brand strategy world—from marketing and advertising to positioning and strategy. Now as the Strategy Lead for Ten Gun Design, Don is collaborating with creative leaders to bring this approach to life for identity, story and experience design.

Recently, Ten Gun took on a project that required mobile ethnographic research. That led him to discover dscout—and the wealth of qual user insights it can generate.

Unearthing mobile insights

Before a global pandemic tore through everyone’s personal and work life, Don was working on a project focused on how digital-first workers make sense of their worlds. Tackling the project required in-context, as-they-happen mobile moments.

In terms of scope, then, the team knew they needed to get more intimate with their users in order to unearth those insights. Luckily, dscout’s remote video platform is tailored to do just that.

“A lot of it comes down to the power of video,” Don says. “The power of looking and hearing consumers talk.”

Specifically, Don found that dscout—and remote qual broadly—gave them a look into their users they wouldn’t have otherwise gotten. Something more intimate and revealing than a survey.

“It is so eye-opening to hear and see real people in their homes, their cars, wherever they do mobile work, talk about their pain points and what motivates them,” he says. “How they're responding to different product or communications experiences. It's really undeniable, once you're exposed to it.”

With the surrounding context of the way their users, Don and his team had better data. And with better data, came better ideas for product storytelling.

That makes a tool like dscout indispensable to his work.

“Always on” research

Another boon with dscout is the fact that Don and his team at Ten Gun Design can conduct research more often, while sharpening the way they solve problems. This allows research to be done at scale while incorporating their users during the entire process.

“I think what's exciting about having a really nimble consumer insights platform with this ‘always on’ potential, is that you can literally infuse the voice of the consumer, really efficiently, at every stage of development,” he says.

“To inform a brief, you could go do a quick ethnography study where you're just kind of getting rich texture around the consumer's life and the role that the brand or category plays in that life,” Don describes. “Creative teams can build on those insights with different concepts and approaches that address consumer pain points and we can go back to consumers to learn what resonates and what doesn’t and refine our thinking.”

Creating fans (one video at a time)

For Don, the ability to collaborate quickly while democratizing research is the sweet spot—and dscout is the tool that helped get his team there.

And when users have a voice, decisions about the positioning, market to explore, and value propositions become more aligned, increasing impact.

“If you think about foundational insights, generative insights, and then more evaluative work, we see the opportunity, with dscout, to be able to engage with consumers at each of those stages on projects where in the past, because of budget and timing constraints, we might have the opportunity to do it once at most,” he says. “That's really exciting.”

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