This spotlight was part of USERWEEKLY - a weekly email to understand what is happening in user research. It's the best way to keep up on trends, methodologies, insights across the industry, and meet new researchers. Each week, the newsletter captures the pulse of our community and answers a simple question: What mattered in User Research this week?
Hi Anna, tell us a little about yourself.
I’m Anna Lee Anda, a UX Research Manager at Zendesk Singapore. I’ve been working as a UX Researcher for over a decade, mostly in technology and financial organisations. I’m passionate about educating designers and product development teams about the benefits of research and how to go about doing good research. Some of my specialities include international research, experimental research methods, growing research as a function and research processes for scaling research.
What’s one thing you wish you realized earlier in your research career?
As a UX Researcher, having deep research skills are important, but complimentary skills are just as critical. The more senior you are, the further away you might be from doing research projects. That’s when those other skills become more important and you potentially need to hone in on leadership skills. Continuously look at your skill gaps, particularly in the next level up. It’s find it helpful to look at job ads, specifically for the next level up to get clarity on what skills you might need. Once you review those, make a plan on how you can gain those new skills. It can be learning on the job for example on a project, or from more formalized learning like courses, workshops, or coaching. In your role you should be learning something new on a daily basis, as soon as your learning stagnates something needs to change.
If you could only use one method for the rest of your career, what would it be?
Definitely contextual enquiries. I love watching people doing what they do. You can learn so much about a person and the people they interact with based on their surroundings. Their environment, workarounds and set up reveals a lot about them and their organization. Sometimes when you talk about something in the abstract it’s hard to grasp. When it's shown with other things it adds detail and you can understand the situation so much better.
How can people find you?
I write a newsletter at http://askwhy.substack.com.
Thank you, Anna!
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