Bold Insight takes steps to help ensure successful global user research and data capture during times of restricted travel

March 10, 2020


Bold Insight has been keeping abreast of all COVID-19 impacts to research, and we are well prepared to deal with implications.

Managing Partner Gavin Lew has experienced widespread, project-impacting challenges like this in the past and commented, “we realize that uncertainty can lead to hesitation, but when normal business operations resume, project launch timelines are more likely to be tightened, rather than delayed —so let’s be smart and keep driving research for product success.”

Generally, Bold Insight will adhere to the latest US Travel Advisories related to the virus and restrict travel per those advisories. We are also adhering to social distancing requirements as directed nationally, which directly impacts in-person research at a minimum until April 30. We hope to return to in-person research by early May and are planning to do so with all projects that are currently delayed. However, this is an evolving situation, so the CDC guidance and developments in the US will be monitored regularly, and feasibility of project plans will be assessed on a case by case basis.

Though we are currently restricting travel and pausing in-person research until social distancing restrictions are lifted, we look forward to a return to business as usual with several common-sense adjustments to make that transition happen as quickly and effectively as possible:

  • Because of the widespread travel restrictions, we are emphasizing the availability of remote viewing (live streaming) to eliminate the need for all stakeholders to travel and observe research in person.
  • When practical, remote sessions are being recommended if research objectives can be achieved equally as well in this manner.
  • We are tentatively scoping central location (in-person) research 8 weeks into the future. We are advising our clients to anticipate the following, and adjusting scopes of engagement appropriately:
    • More difficult recruits (participants less willing to come to central location)
    • Higher no-show / cancellation rates (even those who initially agree more likely to back out)
    • Potentially elevated compensation to counter the above
    • Potentially increased over-recruits to counter the above
  • Once we are able to safely return to the office and in the facilities we secure for our research, we will continue to provide our employees and clients with ready access to necessities in times like these, such as hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, etc. for the foreseeable future.
  • Our researchers are also building in COVID-19 screening questions into pre-screeners and on-site protocols where appropriate and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

As the COVID-19 situation develops, we will likely need to take further action, but for now our response is designed to prioritize the health and safety of our team, and a rapid return to in-person research in support of our clients.

“As an organization, we pride ourselves on being creative and flexible,” added Managing Partner Korey Johnson. “We always have backups to our backup plans. This situation is no different. We have been closely monitoring the situation from the start and have been proactively preparing alternative solutions to overcome foreseeable challenges. Our clients trust us to anticipate and solve for risks associated with the research we conduct on their behalf, whether those risks are to the business or the researchers, stakeholders, and participants involved. In providing a clear path forward through uncertainty, we are reinforcing our commitment to be the most thoughtful, informed, and impactful partner we can be for our clients, our employees, and our world.”

We are also monitoring this situation on a global scale with our UX partners ‘on the ground’. We’ve developed a web page for our clients and industry colleagues that reflects our weekly sync data in 21 countries: Using this data will assist in project scoping in key markets around the world.

For more information about the pros and cons of remote testing, read the latest blog from Korey Johnson: Pros and cons of remote moderated testing: Considerations for ongoing research during COVID-19