How is lockdown changing user behaviour? — A research initiative

Ana Pavuna
August 24, 2020

Right now there is unprecedented use of the word unprecedented. However, what we’re hearing and seeing first-hand today, indicates a far more rapid evolution of new behaviours than we’ve ever witnessed before.

Let’s start a collaborative research initiative!

Right now there is unprecedented use of the word unprecedented. However, what we’re hearing and seeing first-hand today, indicates a far more rapid evolution of new behaviours than we’ve ever witnessed before.

We want to talk to audiences, businesses and industry professionals in order to capture what user activities have been observed. This will enable us to clearly see what is actually unfolding.

We would like this to be as collaborative as possible, so for anyone who participates we will share all of our findings with you after analysis.

Audience survey

If you are an end consumer (and who isn’t, right now!) we’d love to hear how lockdown has affected your lifestyle and routine, please click here or above.

Industry professional survey

If you’re an industry professional in one of the following areas and would like to participate, subscribe to the findings or partner with us, please click here or above.

  • Learning and development
  • Events and trade shows
  • Healthcare
  • Cultural institutions
  • Fitness and wellbeing
  • Entertainment and sport

We’re digital product specialists looking to design the future now

Ostmodern has observed and designed video products for over 15 years and in this time we’ve watched many user behaviours emerge and evolve. Our research team uses both quantitative data to understand ‘what’ people are doing, alongside one-to-one methods like interviewing and user testing to gather qualitative insights about ‘why’ people are behaving a certain way.

The current lockdown presents a unique opportunity to understand what the future might look like for our industry. As such, there is huge value in benchmarking what’s going on now and comparing this against our previous experience and insights. This will enable us to predict the behaviours that are here to stay and design better experiences in the future.

Ultimately, we want to take these new insights and develop any strong concepts which start to emerge, by building prototypes and carrying out user testing. To amplify the value and reach of this, we’d like to do it in partnership with those in our industry who want to embrace change.

Partner with us on an R&D project
We’re open to conducting R&D projects to explore these new challenges. If you have something you’d like to explore please contact us at

The research initiative and process

After conducting this type of research in many countries with many types of consumer, we can say with some certainty that behaviour is driven by a balance of technology ‘push’, user behaviour ‘pull’ and the myriad commercial factors involved in creating a sustainable business model. This means that user habits change slowly (but consistently) as technology advances and businesses evolve in a way that consumers will accept.

Over the past few weeks, we’ve been busy gathering data on global trends and as a result we’ve identified the following as areas of particular interest to us:

  • Learning and development
  • Events and trade shows
  • Cultural institutions
  • Healthcare
  • Entertainment & sport
  • Fitness & wellbeing

At the moment (thanks COVID-19!), a lot of organisations are sharing data on customer attitudes and industry changes. However, looking at the numbers and trying to ascertain what they mean can only give us a very broad insight. We are limited to using our experience of past behaviours to hypothesise what it all might mean.

Photo by My Life Journal on Unsplash

Uncovering the stories behind the numbers

In order to gain a proper insight into these areas, we need to understand what the human factors are behind the numbers. To do this we are going to need to talk to people — a wide range of people.

By observing how change takes place within day-to-day lives and personal interactions, we’ll quickly start to understand what is likely to remain as a lasting legacy of this lockdown versus what was only the result of temporarily enforced change.

Therefore the kind of changes we’re looking for are:

  • New behaviours, things we’ve never seen before
  • Changes of existing behaviours
  • Behaviours we’ve seen before but may be happening amongst in new groups or different contexts
  • Inefficiencies that lockdown has shone a light on
  • Knock on effects of enforced changes in behaviour

But more importantly, this will enable us to start designing and testing solutions that will meet the needs of users after this unique event.

For anyone who is interested in discussing a more specific challenge or opportunity, would be happy to discuss a more in-depth collaboration or partnership. Please drop us a line at

Learning and development

Education has been turned on its head with home schooling and the use of communication software to teach classes.

  • If you’re a teacher, organisation, what have you learned?
  • Student, how do you feel about the technology used to teach now?

Events and trade shows

Events from music festivals to trade shows have been postponed or cancelled.

  • Are you an event organiser? Tell us what you learned?
  • Have you been affected by this as a consumer? Tell us how this affected your lifestyle.

Cultural institutions

Museums and exhibitions have no physical audience.

  • Curators, what positive creative strategies have you introduced?
  • Visitors, how have you been keeping up with culture?


Arguably the biggest area of change and one we have a duty to pour our learnings into.

  • Healthcare professionals, how has or could your experience be improved with technology?
  • Patients, how have you been experiencing the changes?


  • Do you make or distribute entertainment content? What has changed for you?
  • As a consumer has the way you consume entertainment changed?

Thank you, the Ostmodern team