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Slides from a talk presented by Jen Briselli and Kim Dowd at User Experience Professionals Association (UXPA) Boston 2016
Research and design go together like peanut butter and jelly… or peanut butter and chocolate… or peanut butter and marshmallow fluff… come to think of it, peanut butter and research go with almost anything! Design can look very different from project to project, but research is always a core ingredient when creating great user experiences.
Sometimes it can be tricky to achieve the perfect blend of research and design. This is especially true when each is happening in completely separate, siloed teams, or even trickier, when they are being performed by the same person.
In our organization, we have a lot of experience finding that key balance between the benefits of separate teams and the advantages of close collaboration. We work to find the sweet spot in the middle of the research-design venn diagram, and we’d like to share our insights with you.
We’ll help you maximize the power of both design and research roles whether they’re sitting just across the office, in separate buildings, or inside the same brain. This talk will cover helpful tips and common pitfalls to avoid that we have found from experience to be keys achieving a goldilocks “just right” blend of research & design.
We will provide concrete examples to help you facilitate better research if you’re a designer, facilitate better design if you’re a researcher, and facilitate better collaboration for both roles. Some of the techniques we’ll highlight for researchers include understanding your designers’ process, learning & sharing their vocabulary, and understanding how to create applicable output that will improve designers’ work. Transitioning to a designer’s role, we’ll discuss how to avoid the “handoff & disappear” problem in conventional waterfall process, by being involved in defining goals early on and collaborating on recommendations throughout. We’ll touch on the various ways a designer can find opportunities for research beyond the typical usability study.
Ultimately these insights can help ensure both perspectives are represented in your client deliverables and the user experiences you create.