New research - call for help!

I’m planning some research around the biggest challenges that businesses are facing with digital and the web, and am looking for some people who’d be happy to speak to me about this.

You might be in a more day-to-day digitally-focused role, or a more strategic one where there’s less direct contact but digital is important to your roadmap. You may have in-house teams, or outsource. Your business may be a small start-up, a massive international company, or you may work agency-side. I’d like to reach a diverse range of people in every sense, from situation, to geography, technologies, and the people who work there.

It’s a wide net to cast, I know. At this point I’m interested about hearing about all kinds of challenges, and once I’ve got the broad view, I’m planning on going deeper into a couple of areas.

I’m interested not only in things that you don’t feel you’re doing well enough right now. I also want to hear about areas that you generally have found difficult or complex in the past (even though you’re maybe doing ok with them now), and your considerations or fears around the future.

Based on conversations to date and purely to spark some thoughts, here are some starting points for areas that I’ve had mentioned so far. You may be similar, or you may have very different experiences - don’t stop with these! If you have stories to tell, I’d like to hear about them.

  • How to keep in-house knowledge up to date, both within teams and as individuals (even being scared to admit what you don’t know).
  • Knowing when and how to start working with new technologies.
  • Relationships between ‘technical’ and ‘non-technical’ teams or individuals.
  • Relationships between ‘digital’/‘IT’, or development and infrastructure.
  • The relationship between online and offline experiences.
  • Feeling trapped by legacy systems and processes.
  • Making the wider business care about topics like performance or accessibility.
  • Ethical challenges.

What I’ll be doing with the results

As yet, I’m not entirely sure! To be honest, it depends a little bit on whether anyone would like to speak to me, and how interesting the findings are. If possible, I’d like to publish the findings openly in some form, but they could also be accompanied by a conference talk, some workshops to help people, or other things. If you have any thoughts on this, please feel free to share them with me.

How you can get involved

Unfortunately as this research isn’t being funded, I’m also going to have to wing it with how much I take on based on the number of people who’re happy to talk, and where they are. This is the current plan:

The most simple way to hear stories is through interviews over video/voice call. Alternatively if you’re hard to pin down but still want to contribute (or if I get hundreds of respondents!), I can email you some questions.

Where possible, I’d love to spend a day at your office and get exposure to your situation first-hand. As a thank you for your openness, and to better understand how you work I’m happy to jump in and work on any projects where my skills match during that day. I can agree to confidentiality agreements where needed, but would at least want to be able to speak about the challenge within the context of your type of industry/business type/size etc.

Finally, if you’re happy for the results to be compiled into my research (again, anonymously up to a point if you’d like), I’m going to be offering a limited amount of discounted reviews and audits, covering website reviews, digital capability reviews, and process reviews. You can find more information about them here: Reviews and Audits These would be done exactly as they would normally, but with your permission that the high-level findings can be fed into the overall research.

Next steps

If you’d like to be a part of this, or if you have any questions or comments you can get in touch using hello [at] I’ll see what the response is like over the next week or so, and will get back to you with some actions after that.

Thanks in advance!

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Posted by Sally Lait

Sally is the lead consultant and founder of Records Sound the Same, helping people with digital transformation. She's also a speaker, coder, gamer, author, and jasmine tea fiend.