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Case Studies

The work we do puts focus on knowing your audience, showing what works, designing meaningful experiences and embedding behavioural science. This is showcased in our case studies below.

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Understanding the barriers to seeking out debt advice

In 2022, the Money & Pensions Service (MaPS) found that as many as 9.3 million adults across the UK were showing strong indications of needing debt advice. This is an increase of 800,000 compared to 2021, and doesn’t take account of more recent energy bill rises. Amongst other things, this group will be facing serious consequences for not being able to pay a priority bill - such as their rent or energy bill.

Understanding which elements of a phone package customers value most

Mobile phone operators have a wide variety of services and products that they can offer to their customers. They can provide more data; better coverage; shorter contract terms; and even free gifts, like a 6 month subscription to Netflix. But each of these elements comes at a cost, so it is useful to know exactly what value customers place on the different component parts of a contract. This might not be a problem, if customers were able to articulate clearly their preferences. But it turns out that we find it very difficult to do so accurately: it is challenging, for example, for any of us to come up with a figure when asked how much you might be willing to pay for a shorter contract.

Researching people's experience of harmful video content

In recent years, concerns have grown about people - especially young people - encountering harmful content while using online video sharing platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, TikTok, Instagram and Twitch. The Department for Culture, Media and Sport wanted to get a better understanding of the potential harms encountered by young people through the development of more rigorous methods for understanding their experiences. We took on this challenge as part of a wider programme of work with Oliver Wyman, the global management consulting firm.

How digital design changes customer decisions

Online shopping offers customers a smooth, simple way of making a purchase. But Citizens Advice, the charity that offers confidential financial advice to millions of people every year, is concerned that some firms are designing online platforms in ways that act against the interests of customers. Citizens Advice therefore commissioned CogCo, working with Paul Adams, to devise an experiment that tested what the effect of different aspects of digital design had upon the choices and comprehension of customers. They were especially interested in the effect of different digital designs upon consumers’ decisions to choose to pay using ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ products. These products enable customers to delay payments into the future and now account for 6% of all online purchases in the UK.

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