FX Design Group uses research to drive set design decisions

Following up a 2009 survey, FX Design Group is about to launch a new marketing campaign driven by research.

The campaign, titled “Research Driven Design,” helps FX take the “guesswork out of what works” in broadcast set design.

“It’s helpful for everyone in the process when we can say ‘Let’s see what the research tells us’ to solve a design hang-up,” said FX CEO and Creative Director Mack McLaughlin. “Research is a solid and proven basis on which to make decisions and it truly helps stations invest in what works.”

In 2009 FX was curious to learn if or how the newly introduced HD broadcast would have a measurable impact on local TV news viewers. To answer the question they commissioned the leading research-based strategic consulting firm Frank N. Magid Associates, to conduct a scientifically executed and statistically valid viewer research study titled “Viewer Preferences in HD”.

This was a landmark study in that it was the first time a set design company had reached out to their clients’ clients to learn about their preferences and what mattered most to this group.

FX will be releasing the results of their second industry study titled “2013 Viewer Research Study – Aesthetics Matter”.

Working again with Frank N. Magid Associates, FX has gone back and explored some of the same elements and design aspects covered in the 2009 survey. However in this year’s study, the team added video examples covering 3D digital sets, lighting and motion graphics design, to discover what matters most to viewers in these areas.

The 2013 study will be presented in mid-March by FX in a webinar format – the date is to be determined, but those interested may pre-register.


The results and insight have created a very unique and important tool which FX uses to help stations work through some of the design and layout decisions that every new set design or refresh presents.

FX Design Group contributed to this story.