Stories make the world go round. As people who do user research, we love stories. At its simplest, our job is to gather stories and to retell them. War Stories are stories about contextual user research (research out in the field) and the inevitable mishaps that ensue. These stories are in turn bizarre, comic, tragic and generally astonishing. Steve’s collection of stories fills a longstanding need for the design and research community; to share what can go wrong, because that’s the reality. For a practice that is not always well-understood or trusted, there’s pressure for us to only speak to the successes, but examining the human messiness of this work can help develop our skills and our community. In this presentation, drawn from years of gathering war stories and his book “Doorbells, Danger, and Dead Batteries”, Steve will share some of the best stories, examine the patterns revealed by the stories, and articulate the different lessons revealed by this large collection of stories.