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Research Methods and Techniques

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Building effective partnerships with PMs requires stepping outside of any frustration, ego, or resentment at being ignored, and building empathy. How to do that? Here is what we’re going to find out.

How To Research So PMs Will Listen
  • PMs are the most critical audiences for research, they are also often the hardest to convince, and the source of many of researchers’ frustrations and heartaches.
  • Building effective partnerships with PMs requires stepping outside of any frustration, ego, or resentment at being ignored, and building empathy.
  • The author shares:
    • Some practices of working with PMs
    • Questions to ask PMs and stakeholders
  • The baseline expectation setting:
    • Level set
    • Set guardrails based on your role
    • Ask for candid feedback and engagement
    • No surprises
  • When researchers and PMs are in conflict or in separate silos, neither role gets the value of the other, but strong researcher-pm partnerships can be game-changing for extending the strategic impact and influence of both design and research.
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How to research so PMs will listen

Feeling like a fraud? Everyone can experience impostor syndrome when trying something new and user researchers aren’t an exception. However, there are ways to ease this feeling and embrace the fear of failure. It’s time we started dealing with impostor syndrome. Let’s find out the ways to do that.

Dealing with Impostor Syndrome as a User Researcher
  • Nikki Anderson-Stanier, Founder at User Research Academy, shares her perspective on:
    • Their definition of imposter syndrome
    • Author’s experience of managing impostor syndrome throughout her career
    • Ways impostor syndrome manifests in user research
  • There are some ways to ease the feeling of being an impostor and embrace the fear of failure:
    • Try a different method or push yourself to present research in a new way.
    • Learn how to take feedback in stride.
    • Own and celebrate your achievements.
    • See yourself as a work-in-progress.
    • If you don’t know, ask for help.
    • Remember you are the expert on this subject.
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Dealing-with-impostor-syndrome-as-a-user-researcher

Despite the evangelizing efforts of industry thought leaders, the qualitative research methodologies of academia is not the ethnography that is practiced in the private sector. So how do we apply ethnographic research in the private sector as an approach and not method? — Great question. Read to find out.

Deep Analysis in UX Research: Ethnography as an Approach Not Method
  • The author considers ethnography in the private sector to be a goal-oriented approach that can be applied to many different kinds of qualitative research.
  • Ethnographic research is about understanding the nexus of knowledge, belief/perception, culture, and power; specifically what facets of these elements come to bare on one’s interaction with said product or service to form their lived experience.
  • The ethnographic approach of deep analysis lets you assess hypotheticals through contextualizing conditions of possible use within relevant underlying value systems, knowledge, perception that truly frame and form a user’s behavior.
  • The authors demonstrates application of ethnographic approach and deep analysis in the example: New Game Console Controller Form Factor.
  • The author’s analysis uncovered the following:
    • Inherited mental models introduced friction.
    • There are already a host of innovative designer controllers available to use even for the game console in question.
    • Game studios have ownership of game control settings.
    • Among the user populations evaluated, one segment in particular had an above average engagement with exclusively “new” video games.
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Deep Analysis in UX Research: Ethnography as an Approach Not Method

Want to be at the forefront of UX Research? Here are 10 quickly-developing sectors that will need the expertise of user experience researchers in the nearest future.

UXR Futures: Up and Coming Industries Where User Researchers are Needed
  • Technology is one of the things that accelerate that process of humankind improvement.
  • The author presents 10 quickly-developing sectors that will need the expertise of user experience researchers:
    1. Cryptocurrency and decentralized finance
    2. Transportation
    3. Space
    4. Green tech
    5. Cybersecurity
    6. AI and robotics
    7. Biomedicine and healthcare
    8. Global trade
    9. Entertainment
    10. Web 3
  • It is paramount to have UX researchers across all tech sectors, as they are capable of leading organizations with a user-centered mindset.
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UXR Futures: Up and coming industries where user researchers are needed

Has UX research ever been the priority for your stakeholders? If not, here are some ways to convey its significance.

Influencing UX Stakeholder Values: 6 Ways to Convey the Significance of User Research
  • When stakeholders have insights around user needs, goals and behaviors, the team can make evidence-based decisions.
  • One of the most common pain points are having to communicate and prove the value of UX and user research to leadership.
  • One author shares some ideas to overcome this:
    1. Understand the “why” behind the push-back
    2. Speak your stakeholders’ language
    3. Don’t fight the battle alone
    4. Find and use tools made by the government, for the government
    5. Identify quick wins to show the value of UX faster
    6. Get better value for stakeholders out of the user research
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How can we make research insights reach everyone who would actually benefit from them?

4 Ways to expand the impact of UX research across an organization

UX research is successful when results are promptly made available and actionable within the organization. Some common obstacles include tight deadlines and information fatigue. Here are four measures that might help to use UX research insights more effectively:

  1. Reflecting on which team will benefit most from the insights
  2. Delivering them in digestible formats
  3. Actively involving customer-facing departments
  4. Organizing customer feedback

Read the full article to learn about how to use these tips in your next research project.

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