Talk: User Research For Everyone

Many successful companies have invested in deliberate research efforts and achieved impactful, long-lasting results based on strong insights. Unfortunately, a lot of companies see research as overhead. Such companies assume that research is an expensive, luxury activity; they assume that research needs to take months to be useful; and they assume that no one but a few specialized people with PhDs can do user research.

These wrong assumptions scare the companies to skip research completely and jump into finding solutions through trial-and-error. Seeking solutions before defining the problem wastes precious product cycles, stresses out the team and makes the problem worse in each step. This situation is extra stressful and demotivating for designers and developers who want to solve significant problems and create lasting impact.

In reality, user research can be quick, affordable, correct and easy to apply. In this talk, I will discuss the essential structure for user research and show how it can be adapted to non-research roles. I will talk about a wide gamut of design research methods from simple heuristics to ethnographic studies, ways to use existing data in your service or product to gather insights from users and to carry out simple and effective on-site interviews that can be concluded in 5-7 days. I will share tips for collaborative analysis to turn interviews into actionable next steps for your team.

Participants will learn how to conduct selected qualitative and quantitative methods correctly and efficiently, and how to maximize the impact they have on their projects. Designers, programmers and product people that are new to design will get the most out of this talk; experienced practitioners will have a chance to improve their existing discovery approaches.