With all the partners finishing their UX Challenges, the most complex phase of the project has started. Partners now have to use all their negotiation and convincing skills to gather feedback from companies through the Follow up Survey (FuS). In order to have valid data about the effects of UX Challenges on the SMEs, the FuS has to be filled out not only by the companies that participated in the UX Challenge events (so-called Treatment Group), but also the ones that applied for it but were not selected (so-called Control Group).

There were 192 companies applying for the UX Challenge initiatives in 7 project countries in total. 60 out of them have been selected to take part in the UX Challenge events, whereas the remaining 132 have been considered as a Control Group. This particular cohort of companies is the most difficult one to deal with. SMEs that have not participated in the UX Challenge event have little or no incentive to take part in FuS as they were not subjects to the experience and any of the benefits that came from it. However, the project is offering companies, that applied for the UX Challenge but were not selected, to take part in the Design for Business Seminar that has been scheduled for 26 May 2021. This seminar is dedicated exclusively for this particular group of companies and is a rare opportunity to have well-recognized CEO of Danish Design Centre Christian Bason to share his insights and experiences about the design with such a limited number of companies in one session.

Now it is up to the partners to remind companies about their commitments to the project and uplift some of the SMEs with additional incentives to do so.