Championing Contextual Research in Your Organization

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More and more design organizations actively embrace a range of user-centered methods, including ways of getting input from users: surveys, A-B testing, focus groups, usability testing. But for many …

More and more design organizations actively embrace a range of user-centered methods, including ways of getting input from users: surveys, A-B testing, focus groups, usability testing. But for many teams, when it comes to leaving the office environment and going out to meet and observe customers, there is significant resistance.

In this talk, Steve Portigal draws from his 17 years of selling contextual research into organizations, as well as primary research he's conducted with internal champions and change agents to break down the cultural, resource, and other factors that inform this resistance.

Steve will suggest ways to address these challenges and look at how you can maximize the result of every small victory, turning every fieldwork experience into an opportunity to do more!

More in: Business , Real Estate
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  • 1. Championing Contextual Research in Your OrganizationSteve Portigal@steveportigal1
  • 2. Introduction: Where this comes Click to edit Master title style from Consultant for 18 years • Hired by organizations that have at least some buy-in • Observe their best practices Interviewed corporate leaders Part 1: Getting to do research Part 2: Maximizing the impact • Because success sells Starts high level, but gets more specific2 - Championing Contextual Research @steveportigal www.portigal.com
  • 3. Part to edit Master title asking Click1: This is not about style for permission3 - Championing Contextual Research @steveportigal www.portigal.com
  • 4. Position yourself Click to edit Master title style Upon hire4 - Championing Contextual Research @steveportigal www.portigal.com
  • 5. Position yourself Click to edit Master title style Upon hire5 - Championing Contextual Research @steveportigal www.portigal.com
  • 6. Can to succeed, given your Clickyouedit Master title style positioning?6 - Championing Contextual Research @steveportigal www.portigal.com
  • 7. Can to succeed, given your Clickyouedit Master title style positioning?7 - Championing Contextual Research @steveportigal www.portigal.com
  • 8. Joseph edit Master title Hero’s Journey” Click to Campbell’s “Thestyle Image: Wikipedia8 - Championing Contextual Research @steveportigal www.portigal.com
  • 9. Kotter’s Change Model Click to edit Master title style Image: changecards.org9 - Championing Contextual Research @steveportigal www.portigal.com
  • 10. Prochaska Master title style Click to edit& Diclemente’s Stages of Change Image: @symplicit and @jodiemoule10 - Championing Contextual Research @steveportigal www.portigal.com
  • 11. Diagnose, then target response Click to edit Master title style Tactics: http://www.cellinteractive.com/ucla/physcian_ed/stages_change.html Image: @symplicit and @jodiemoule11 - Championing Contextual Research @steveportigal www.portigal.com
  • 12. Diagnose the organization to Click to edit Master title style check yourself Image: Jess McMullin, bplusd12 - Championing Contextual Research @steveportigal www.portigal.com
  • 13. Organizational culture Click to edit Master title style13 - Championing Contextual Research @steveportigal www.portigal.com
  • 14. Culture edit Master title style Click to defined How a group of people make sense of the world, through common • Experiences • Beliefs • Knowledge • Values • Attitudes • Behaviors • Meanings • Patterns • Symbols • • •14 - Championing Contextual Research @steveportigal www.portigal.com
  • 15. Company cultures Click to edit Master title style Belkin, 2012 Belkin, 1982 Belkin, 198315 - Championing Contextual Research @steveportigal www.portigal.com
  • 16. Change the culture Click to edit Master title style To start a culture change we need to do two simple things: 1. Do dramatic story-worthy things that represent the culture we want to create. Then let other people tell stories about it. 2. Find other people who do story-worthy things that represent the culture we want to create. Then tell stories about them. We can change our stories and be changed by them. A Good Way to Change a Corporate Culture, Peter Bregman, http://blogs.hbr.org/bregman/2009/06/the-best-way-to-change-a-corpo.html16 - Championing Contextual Research @steveportigal www.portigal.com
  • 17. Thought leadership Click to edit Master title style Through thought leadership, create influence outside the company to grow your credibility internally. Benchmark your efforts against those of your peers.17 - Championing Contextual Research @steveportigal www.portigal.com
  • 18. Develop alliances Click to edit Master title style Reach out – across organizational hierarchies – to others who also advocate for contextual research • Newly hired leaders bringing in certain best practices from previous jobs • Isolated designers/researchers elsewhere in the corporation who are looking for peers • Managers who know there must be a better way to reach users but don’t know where to start18 - Championing Contextual Research @steveportigal www.portigal.com
  • 19. Treat this like a design style Click to edit Master titleproblem19 - Championing Contextual Research @steveportigal www.portigal.com
  • 20. Make the case (for title style Click to edit Master outcomes, not process) Don’t lead with “We have to talk to customers!” First investigate to understand • What information does the team need to do their work? • Do they have that information? • What has been tried? What worked? What didn’t work? Why? Your recommended approach must be rooted in that context. Your emphasis is on solving the business problem.20 - Championing Contextual Research @steveportigal www.portigal.com
  • 21. Consider resources Click to edit Master title style 2-3 weeks 2-3 weeks 2-3 weeks Who do you What do you Do want to talk want to do Fieldwork something to? with them? with the data! Screening Methodology, Interviews, self- Analysis, criteria, recruiting field guide, reporting, synthesis, design stimuli debriefs Educate others what it takes to accomplish this. Resistance may be based on naïve assumptions (e.g., seeing “every” customer).21 - Championing Contextual Research @steveportigal www.portigal.com
  • 22. When time Master title style Click to editis a constraint 1 day?! 1 day?! 2 days?!! Who do you What do you Do want to talk want to do Fieldwork something to? with them? with the data! Who can you Wide-eyed Small sample, Debrief get? Co-workers, observation, massively intercepts on the winging it parallel data street or in the gathering mall, etc. Make your stakeholders aware of tradeoffs. Develop expertise in project planning and propose the right-size approach.22 - Championing Contextual Research @steveportigal www.portigal.com
  • 23. Treat this like a special style Click to edit Master title skill Beyond “talking to people” this thing you are advocating for is its own thing • Training for you can give credibility • You can train (or bring in training) to give method credibility and lead through empowering others When partnering with external research vendors, highlight their expertise (mobile, teen media consumption, medical, etc.)23 - Championing Contextual Research @steveportigal www.portigal.com
  • 24. Proactively Master title style Click to editfind opportunities to learn about users Don’t wait for requests • These may be tactical, not strategic Instead, look for design and business questions • Propose research that will serve multiple teams and future initiatives Siloed research that turns out to be redundant is the enemy of adopting these methods.24 - Championing Contextual Research @steveportigal www.portigal.com
  • 25. Part to edit Master title impact Click2: Maximizing your style25 - Championing Contextual Research @steveportigal www.portigal.com
  • 26. Engage the Master title style Click to edit organization in research process Pull your colleagues in throughout the process • Setting the research agenda • Detailed planning of a study • Joining you in the field • Reading transcripts • Analysis and synthesis • Topline reporting • Final reporting • Ideating on impact to design/business26 - Championing Contextual Research @steveportigal www.portigal.com
  • 27. Take them Master title Click to editin the field style27 - Championing Contextual Research @steveportigal www.portigal.com
  • 28. Make your process title style Click to edit Master visible When a client couldn’t get a meeting room for a massive fieldwork debrief, they took over a kitchen area. Many people walked by and peeked in, intrigued, to see what was happening. Image: Norman Rockwell’s “Tom Sawyer (Whitewashing the Fence) “28 - Championing Contextual Research @steveportigal www.portigal.com
  • 29. Make your process title style Click to edit Master visible29 - Championing Contextual Research @steveportigal www.portigal.com
  • 30. Make your output relevant Click to edit Master title style Will you have the most impact by (say) telling stories or by defining needs or by specifying requirements or by producing prototypes? • From Users need it to be easy to clean to Use elastomeric surfaces and ensure all part joins are flush • Another team added a high-fidelity prototype master who delivered research findings exactly as the developers needed them This is on you to figure out. Don’t wait for requests.30 - Championing Contextual Research @steveportigal www.portigal.com
  • 31. An example of delivering research findings Click to edit Master title style http://www.portigal.com/blog/reading-ahead-research-findings/31 - Championing Contextual Research @steveportigal www.portigal.com
  • 32. “Research” Master title style Click to edit playing nicely with “design” Understand Create32 - Championing Contextual Research @steveportigal www.portigal.com
  • 33. “Research” Master title style Click to edit playing nicely with “design” Create Understand Create Create Create33 - Championing Contextual Research @steveportigal www.portigal.com
  • 34. “Research” Master title style Click to edit playing nicely with “design” Understand Create Understand Create Understand Create Understand Create Also see: http://www.slideshare.net/andrewharder/critique-dont-complain-talk-by-andrew-harder34 - Championing Contextual Research @steveportigal www.portigal.com
  • 35. Make ideation part title style Click to edit Masterof research35 - Championing Contextual Research @steveportigal www.portigal.com
  • 36. Make outputs and outcomes Click to edit Master title style visible36 - Championing Contextual Research @steveportigal www.portigal.com
  • 37. Make outputs and outcomes Click to edit Master title style visible37 - Championing Contextual Research @steveportigal www.portigal.com
  • 38. Make outputs and outcomes Click to edit Master title style visible Another client of mine built a “museum” from our research in Japan that included miscellaneous consumer items and household equipment, pamphlets and advertisements, photographs, and printed pages from our research report. This display was in place for over a year and prompted conversations for years beyond that.38 - Championing Contextual Research @steveportigal www.portigal.com
  • 39. Get face time with teams that Click to edit Master title style will use your research Spend some time each week in their location, if it’s different than yours. Sit in on meetings, even if you aren’t “invited.” As topics come up, share the insights you already have. Be on the lookout for opportunities to gather additional insights.39 - Championing Contextual Research @steveportigal www.portigal.com
  • 40. Coming in October! Click to edit Master title style A book by Steve Portigal The Art and Craft of User Research Interviewing http://rosenfeldmedia.com/books/user-interviews/40 - Championing Contextual Research @steveportigal www.portigal.com
  • 41. Let’s to edit Master title style Click discuss41 - Championing Contextual Research @steveportigal www.portigal.com
  • 42. Click to edit Master title style Thank you!@steveportigal Portigal Consultingsteve@portigal.com www.portigal.com+1-415-894-200142 - Championing Contextual Research @steveportigal www.portigal.com