Design for a customer you understand

Ethnographic design research with the customer and client in mind.

The customer you thought you knew. [Video 2.00] Filmed by Ryan Fielding


Research to inspire and inform design.

I’m Nick Bowmast, an internationally respected design researcher based in Aotearoa New Zealand, operating for global clients and NZ clients who want to understand local and global customers.

I plan and conduct highly customised in-market studies, diving into your customers’ context using a creative, qualitative approach to get to ‘the why’ behind how people behave and think about your product.

Carefully considered ethnographic field studies help you understand motivations, emotions, value and belief systems which identify what really matters to your customers. This level of understanding inspires teams and provides confidence in strategic decision making.

This specialised approach answers these questions:



Experience matters.

My skill base is built on thousands of hours of ethnographic fieldwork through more than a decade running a dedicated design research practice. Extensive experience and a growing back-catalogue of dozens of projects results in a deep toolbox, evolved approach and broad network of partners.

I engage at an executive level across; product, marketing, brand and innovation to inform strategic direction, from which market to launch in, to how a product feels in a customer’s hand.

Insight from my work has provided valuable opportunities across markets and industries, commercial and social enterprises, physical and digital products, services and built environments, corporate culture and employee experience.

Selected clients:


Always read the manual…

Responding to an increasingly customer-centred world of product development, Nick authored USERPALOOZA – A Field Researcher’s Guide. The book sets readers up for success in the field by sharing tools, techniques and extensive case studies in an accessible, practical format.

Take a quick flick:

This yellow square is now found on the curriculum of design and business schools and recommended as a must read by leaders in the field of research and strategy.

A blush-making review from the head of Google Ventures:

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