How the Economist Group uses Lyssna to ensure designs resonate with emerging markets

We chat with Ron Diorio, VP Business Development & Innovation at The Economist.


Read more on how The Economist Group used Lyssna to ensure their designs resonated with new markets. As they matured in their use of the tool, they found that previous research facilitated quicker decisions and increased productivity on future projects.

The Economist Group (TEG) are a premier media company with a long history in publishing that stems from their flagship title, “The Economist”. Their business is diverse and growing, with offerings including newspapers, magazines, conferences, and digital services.


Launching new products into new markets provides a range of opportunities, but in order to uphold the quality expected by TEG, it was vital to ensure that their choices regarding design and direction resonated strongly right from the start.

When serving new audiences, the TEG design team had to ensure their websites and components were attractive, yet functional and on-brand. But how do you know your design is on track when you don’t know your market yet? Or the customer persona? After all, with no previous experience to draw on, they were blazing a new trail for the company in terms of design.

Design is very much driven by internal discussions, however these could often happen in isolation from end-users.

Ron Diorio

VP Business Development & Innovation, at The Economist

When conversations happen with designers and teams before research has been done they’re isolated from the end user, a situation which leaves them open to imprinting their own thoughts onto a project rather than what users may actually want. To overcome this, a data-driven approach to decision making is required.

TEG recognised the need to obtain design feedback and engage with users as early as possible to ensure they were on-track in their decision making and avoid costly mistakes in the long term.

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Like many companies faced with the same problems, TEG turned to user research to offer insight into the answers to their questions and validate their ideas.

"User research can often get pushback because there’s a perception that it costs too much or takes too much time."

Ron Diorio

VP Business Development & Innovation, at The Economist

Finding a low cost, low effort tool was the challenge set before TEG, and it was here that Lyssna became their go-to for getting actionable information. Our platform made it possible to set up a test and get data in minutes, meaning it was no longer necessary to rely on assumptions.

For TEG, the questions they needed to answer were easy to measure with a range of tests, giving them confidence to then move forward with a decision. The below test helped identify which aesthetic resonated more with their audience, ensuring their landing pages were clear and appealing.

The Economist Group Customer Story

By testing small design pieces before they went live, TEG took the worry out of the design process, meaning any contentious design choices were solved through user data rather than leaving it to opinion.


When TEG originally started using Lyssna, they saw it as a tool for their designers. However, the ease of use and cost-effective nature started to draw other parts of the business into conducting research, including the marketing and product teams.

Importantly, this encouraged TEG to start asking questions before being locked into decisions, setting a habit that enabled them to easily validate ideas. This is a practice they would continue to take forward in the future.

"Adopting Lyssna got us into the habit of asking our users questions before locking in decisions."

Ron Diorio

VP Business Development & Innovation, at The Economist

Having data at their fingertips gave teams greater confidence in their decisions, causing fewer arguments, and encouraging greater stakeholder buy-in. This saves time, money and, most importantly, lets teams get on with work they would rather be doing instead of sitting around in meetings.

As TEG has matured in their use of Lyssna, they’ve also found that previous research gets shared around on new projects and teams, meaning even quicker decisions can be made in the future, and further increasing productivity.

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