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User Research Is Everyone's Job


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Are you a designer who can do research? Good research and the insights you uncover inspire fresh ways of thinking and get your creative juices flowing. Good research brings clarity to a woolly brief. Audience insight helps sharpen your focus on what’s really important. Experimentation through research and design brings a sense of playfulness and curiosity to your work. Good research helps you do good design.

Emma maintains that becoming a better researcher will help you become a better designer. In her talk, she’ll discuss practical ways of bringing research into every stage of a project lifecycle.

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User Research Is Everyone's Job

  1. 1. Research is everyone’s job Emma Boulton Industry Conf - April 2015
  2. 2. • LEGO PICTURE M.Salo
  4. 4. Lego is about telling stories Research is about piecing together insights in a coherent narrative
  5. 5. Research helps decision making seejayarr
  6. 6. What I’ll talk about • People • Environment • Landscape
  7. 7. People David Pickett
  8. 8. Research should tell a story
  9. 9. Research aids understanding Ken Varnum
  10. 10. Insights can be acted upon seejayarr
  11. 11. Research should be embedded “In my experience of working in the audiences team at the BBC, research was most effective when the role was embedded in the production team and insights were used as part of the editorial process.”
  12. 12. GDS “Our user researchers work with project teams throughout a service lifecycle. They’re not just testing usability, they’re researching with users and feeding insights back to the team all the time.” Leisa Reichelt
  13. 13. Who does research in your company? Source: Web industry survey - Feb 2014
  14. 14. Dedicated researchers are rare Giovanni Orlando Be nice to us
  15. 15. Research is everyone’s job “I would argue that research and experimentation is a way of working or an approach to how you design.”
  16. 16. The ‘U’ in UX = YOU “Research can be used during the whole design process and must be a vital part of a designer’s workflow on every project.”
  17. 17. Environment Harold Lloyd
  18. 18. The research grave yard mcfarlandmo
  19. 19. The danger of the big reveal “The Research Debrief, PowerPoint strategy or the 32 page report is not the research. It's an artefact of a conversation, of a collaboration. Discussing, sharing and jointly deciding on outcomes is the important bit.”
  20. 20. Remote research conversations @nathan_ford @nickboulton
  21. 21. The danger of silos “Forget big data – right now, our bigger problem is fragmented data that comes from siloed user research teams.” Louis Rosenfeld
  22. 22. Are research learning shared? Source: Web industry survey - Feb 2014
  23. 23. Understand the context “Understanding the business landscape and the context that you're working in - researching the research - is the key to making an impact with your research.”
  24. 24. CERN “CERN is a really great place to debate things. To explore, to discuss, to probe. It has a unique, stimulating culture where you can put up an idea and have it torn to shreds, or have it made better, or have it generate a thousand other ideas. It is a healthy, collegiate culture that is good for the research that takes place here. But sometimes it can be a really challenging place to take simple decisions.” Dan Noyes
  25. 25. Joakim Lind Landscape
  26. 26. Workflow
  27. 27. When does research happen? Source: Web industry survey - Feb 2014
  28. 28. When does research happen? Source: Web industry survey - Feb 2014
  29. 29. When does research happen? Source: Web industry survey - Feb 2014
  30. 30. Exploratory research • Research conducted for a problem that has not been clearly defined Barney Moss
  31. 31. • Innocent drinks - using observation • Over 2 years before launch
  32. 32. Strategic research • Research conducted for a problem that is known
  33. 33. • Responsive report
  34. 34. Tactical research • Support the implementation of the direction worked out during strategic research. Dane Erland
  35. 35. Semi structured interviews • User research staple method Considerations: • Recruitment • Rigour • Collaboration
  36. 36. Interviews @nickboulton @nathan_ford
  37. 37. Operational research • Ongoing collection of data musicmoon
  38. 38. Metrics @nathan_ford
  39. 39. Mailchimp “A way to pull together disparate data points, qualitative and quantitative data, and long histories of research into a central clearinghouse that can be shared, searched, and maintained by different teams.” Aarron Walter
  40. 40. What did I talk about? • People – The people making the decisions should do the research • Environment – Stop working in silos! – Be transparent and get stakeholder buy in • Landscape – Research can happen throughout a project
  41. 41. Research is everyone’s job.
  42. 42. What are you waiting for?
  43. 43. Thanks! @emmaboulton