Workshop: User Research For Everyone - Day 1/2

Day 1/2


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 workshop, I will discuss the essential structure for user research and show how anyone can conduct research. I will talk about steps to formulate a research question, picking the right method, getting to the right users including remote ones, and analyzing insights collectively, all in 5-10 days.

Outline:

Day 1
  • Why research matters
  • Excuses for not doing research
  • Four steps of any good research project, at any size, at any budget
  • Formulating a good research question
  • Picking the method and participants
  • Interviews: The core of user research
Day 2
  • Human dynamics and bias in user research
  • Interactive research techniques (Diary studies, card sorting, inventories, contextual inquiry, game-based methods, participatory research)
  • Collaborative analysis
  • Why you should never write a report
  • Making research a habit (incl. tips about agile)
  • Wrap up

Participants will learn how to conduct interview-based research techniques with very small budgets. Programmers, product managers and analysts who want to get good feedback from their users will get the most out of this talk; experienced practitioners will have a chance to improve their existing discovery approaches.