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User Weekly #18, October 19

Jan Ahrend
Jan Ahrend
5 min read
User Weekly #18, October 19

USERWEEKLY is your weekly email to understand what is happening in user research. It's the best way to keep up on trends, methodologies and insights across the industry. It is written by me, Jan Ahrend. Each week I go through content from mainstream media to small blogs to capture the pulse of our community and answer a simple question: What mattered in User Research this week?

😌 Humans of User Research w/ Babz Jewell

Babz Jewell

Tell us a little about yourself.
Hiya, I’m Babz! Working as a Principal UXR based in Atlanta, GA, I have studied and worked around the world across many disciplines. I’ve taught English in Germany, studied in Austria, and worked as a Lead UXR in Ireland. I’ve been in my current role since March of 2021 back in my homebase of Atlanta. Fun fact: I was so painfully awkward as a kid that I used to write myself discussion guides on a sticky note to carry around in my pocket when hanging out with friends at recess. Studying people since I was tiny has prepared me well for a role in UXR and service design! Outside of work you can find me at my CrossFit gym, playing banjo, paddleboarding or hiking in state parks, riding bikes, or hanging out with friends and binging the best movies while eating dumplings.

What was the highlight of your (work) week?
I love this question! I think that I can get caught up in larger picture discussions and lose sight of incremental progress. This week our Lead UX Designer and I enjoyed a victory of establishing a product-wide cadence for our new UX delivery model at our tech company disguised as a trucking company (Variant). She and I have spent the last few months designing and refining a new model for initiating UX projects and delivering value to our customers and stakeholders through design. With a tiny team of 3, it will be a major victory to be able to get ahead of all product initiatives using our double-diamond-based framework. I’m very proud of our incredibly lean UX team.

Have you ever had "imposter syndrome"? How did you deal with it?
I have imposter syndrome during most moments of my career, even ones where I’m enjoying success. Some strategies that I’ve implemented over the years to support myself have been the following: 1) Giving back to the community in tangible ways that allow me to flex my expertise in a service to peers and junior UXRs. An example is helping folks write resumes, cover letters, and helping professionals make their dream career transitions. 2) Hiring a personal career coach to meet with fortnightly. She helps me through the self doubt and hard times, gives advice and listens with compassion. Finally, I make sure that I have many well-attended interests outside of my career like the sports I enjoy with friends.

What would you like to talk about with other researchers and how can they find you?
I love learning from other researchers, seasoned and new to the field! Happy to talk craft. And am especially interested in hearing from folks who work in fields that collaborate with their customers to deliver life-changing experiences for working professionals, as I aim to do with truck drivers every day. You may reach out to me on LinkedIn or via my website:

Thank you, Babz!

Spotlight > Articles > Video > Audio

🧐 Thought pieces.

UX Research in 2022: Trends and predictions from our team
The trends and questions in the research field right now. Consider how your team is preparing to address these topics and how you might build them into your research plans. (AnswerLab 10/15)

Research automation — The effect on recruitment, fieldwork & reporting
How automation is being integrated into the research industry, with numerous algorithms streamlining a variety of important aspects in the recruitment, fieldwork and reporting processes. (FlexMR 10/15)

Prioritize quantitative data with the pareto principle
Prioritize the 20% of your website or app responsible for 80% of a critical metric to generate substantial improvements for less effort. (nngroup 10/17)

A framework for decision driven research
A UXR tested and approved framework for doing more focused and impactful user research to enable better, more efficient decision-making. (User Interviews 10/18)

💯 Quant Methods.

Prune, tune, postpone, explain – to improve your questionnaire
What can you do when your draft questionnaire gets too long? ‘Prune, tune, postpone, explain’ are four strategies to cut it down. (Effortmark 10/13)

Slice and dice your data: crosstabs 101
Analyzing your data is an extensive process, learning how to use crosstabs effectively can save you time while also giving you a clearer view of your insights. (dscout 10/18)

4 reasons why business leaders should pay more attention to heatmaps
Exploration of how heatmaps provide invaluable data that help understand how users behave and navigate. (loop11 10/14)

How collecting metadata can yield better research insights
How tagging your data results in an organized and insightful dataset. (UX Collective 10/15)

🛠 Approaches.

Field guide for the time-poor: How to conduct lean and unbiased research
How to research quickly on a budget—without sacrificing substance. (Dovetail 10/16)

How to handle category outliers in your Information Architecture
Users’ mental models of concept categories are far less strict than we might expect. Consider keeping small numbers of outlier pages within their larger parent category, rather than creating unnecessary subcategories. (nngroup 10/17)

A guide to ethical considerations in research
Ethical considerations in research are a set of principles that guide research designs and practices. Review of the codes of conduct when collecting user data. (scribbr 10/18)

📚 Case studies.

Democratizing research at Miro
The value and process followed at Miro to enable multiple product teams to conduct and consume user research findings. (Medium 10/14)

Mixed methods research shaping the product roadmap at Afterpay
The research methods shaping Afterpay’s product roadmap. (Qualtrics 10/13)

The complete list of UX Research conferences and events in 2021 and 2022 (User Interviews 10/14)

Spotlight > Articles > Video > Audio

🎥 Video of the Week.

How to grow as a UX Researcher: Junior vs. senior UXR
How to grow from an entry level UXR to a more senior UXR and what are some differences in their approaches?. (YouTube 10/14)

What bootcamps don't teach you about UX Research
Bootcamp education tends to focus on methods, tools, and how to execute research. However, those are not all that's needed to be a good researcher working in the real world. This talk should help students and career switchers understand the other important skills required for a UX researcher, and how to highlight those skills on a portfolio. (Youtube 10/14)

Spotlight > Articles > Video > Audio

🔉 Audio of the Week.

Accessible UXR: Recruiting and researching participants with disabilities
Samuel Proulx, Accessibility Evangelist at Fable, joined Awkward Silences to talk about accessibility and why it (really, really) matters. (Spotify 10/12)