Here at UX24/7, we carry out a large amount of international UX research. Over time, as we work in more countries, we continue to learn more about the differences in culture and coordinating UX projects in new territories.
This has inspired our latest blog series in which our team share their experiences of carrying out user research in various countries around the world.
Running UX research in Stockholm is pretty straight forward. Travel is easy with the transfer from the airport just 20 minutes to the city centre and 540SEK return rail fair (about £50/$55).
Stockholm itself is quite small and there are only two research facilities with viewing, and both are easy to get to. I am using Swedish Moderators facility which is a 20 minutes walk from the station, although I have booked a hotel halfway, so a ten minute walk either way for me. There are coffee shops at regular intervals and no sign of Starbucks, it’s a local chain called Espresso House and the coffee and service is good.
I haven’t brought any local currency with me and haven’t needed any as everywhere I have been has taken a credit or debit card. I like to make a note of cities where this is possible as it saves me having drawers full of odd currency at home and Stockholm certainly qualifies. I haven’t needed to take one, but even the taxi’s take credit card and of course Uber is here.
Prepare to spend a lot. A latte, toasted filled roll and a muffin can set you back £11, a coffee and a chocolate croissant is north of £7. It isn’t unusual to pay £15 to £20 for lunch and of course catering in the research facility is similarly expensive. We pay more for recruitment, more for the facility and more for the simultaneous translator than in other markets.
The research I am involved with has been organised for late afternoon and evening and that is a feature of running sessions in Stockholm. Getting professional people out during the day is tough, tougher than other markets and so we are running from 4pm to 10pm which makes for a long day. I like to go for a walk during the day to avoid working 18 hour shifts and Stockholm is perfect for that as it is nice and compact and I was able to walk through the old town and see a number of monuments without rushing.
The technical set up is pretty straight forward in Sweden and similar to other countries. For iphone and Android there is a need to download the language packs and switch the phones to Swedish and you also need to remember to switch the keyboard and the browser settings. It can be a little convoluted as there are multiple small changes required to get to an entirely local set up but with practice it can be done in about 5 to 10 minutes with checks.
The laptop set up is also easy, switching language and keyboard, but it is worth travelling with a Swedish blue tooth keyboard. Even if the computer has switched over the UK keyboard has a different layout and doesn’t include a number of important keys available on the Swedish. Although English is widely spoken the sessions will run smoother if you have the correct local keyboard.
Culturally, the Swedish participants I have seen this time have been very interested in any environmental features and benefits. These are important to them and they feel they will be more local to a company that exhibits these values. This can include recycling, energy efficiency and manufacture from reclaimed materials.
If you plan to come to Stockholm in the winter pack a hat and gloves as it is cold. Wear winter boots as the pavements can be wet and or icy/snowy and bring a winter coat. You won’t look out of place as the customers I spent two days with all had similar attire.
Leave a comment below sharing your experiences, we would love to hear them.