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🗞 Inner Intellectual Thinking in UX Research

Jan Ahrend
Jan Ahrend
5 min read

Great Question
Great Question

Hi there! 👋 Thanks for stopping by. 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 in UX Research. It is written by me, Jan Ahrend. Each week I capture the pulse of our community and answer a simple question: What mattered in User Research this week?

😌 Humans of User Research with Kevin Madegwa

Kevin Madegwa
Kevin Madegwa

Hey Kevin, tell us a little about yourself.
I am Kevin Madegwa, a senior design researcher at Equity Bank in Kenya. My background includes experience as a digital marketing lead for a Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) company and leading social media efforts for a government organization responsible for the conservation of plants and animals. My passion for user experience research was sparked by my appreciation for the impact of user-generated content and the importance of putting users at the forefront of all decision-making.

From your experience, what is one of the biggest challenges user research(ers) face today?
One of the primary difficulties currently faced by user researchers is the need to promote the implementation of UX research within their companies and organizations. This is particularly prevalent in organizations that lack a strong foundation in UX research, leading to a significant amount of time being spent advocating for the field rather than focusing on representing the needs and wants of users.

What does your perfect evening look like after a day full of user studies?
To take care of myself after a day of user studies, I incorporate physical activity into my routine. On certain days of the week, I go for a run, and on others, I play football with friends. This helps me avoid self-neglect, combat compassion fatigue, and keep my mind clear for data analysis. Additionally, I listen to reggae music while driving to the football field.

How can people find you?
You can connect with me on LinkedIn or on my website . I would love to have conversations with individuals who share similar interests in UX Research, particularly in the African context.

Thank you, Kevin!

Spotlight > Articles > Video > Audio

🎉 Highlights.

How I planted the seeds for a successful user research business
When the traditional employment path didn’t work for Nikki Anderson-Stanier, she found a different way forward instead. Nikki Anderson-Stanier 01/20

Value of inner intellectual thinking in UX Research
Discussion of the importance of inner intellectual thinking in UX research and how it is a deeper level of self-discovery that lies under the day-to-day memories. The author suggests that inner intellectual thinking, which is the root of our thinking, can bring values such as the ability to understand the true nature of others and the ability to understand and feel others regardless of their culture, beliefs and diversity, making us better UX researchers. Ravinder singh 01/23

UX Research prioritisation: Avoiding low impact projects
The article recommends a tactical approach to prioritize UX research requests and opportunities to ensure that focus is on the most impactful projects. It suggests a 5-step process which includes establishing a UX research roadmapping process, gathering research needs and opportunities, defining prioritization criteria to evaluate projects, outlining a UX research plan and determining your red flags. Ilse Blom 01/23

It's Tomorrow! Join User Interviews Live at YouX (Sponsored)
UX researchers have never been more in demand, or more stressed. Join User Interviews tomorrow from 12 - 5 p.m. ET for a free, half-day virtual conference dedicated to connection, healthy research teams, and ways to be effective without just working more. Register now

🤗 Stakeholders.

Unleashing the power of collaboration between product managers & user researchers
UX Researchers research and document the user experience of a product while Product Managers are responsible for the overall success of the product and its features. A strong collaboration leads to a better outcome for the product. Prayogi Adiraharjo 01/23

UX-Stakeholder engagement 101
Dialog, action, and compromise are all needed to build successful, mutually supportive relationships with your project’s stakeholders. Sarah Gibbons 01/22

⚙️ Research Operations.

The right way to get the most out of your insight team
Getting the "most" out of an insight team should prioritize the well-being and empowerment of the team members rather than focusing solely on quantity of output. This includes training, flexible work hours, and robust structures to support wellness and inclusion, which in turn will lead to improved quantity and quality of output. Unrealistic deadlines can lead to cutting corners and lowering the quality of insights. Gareth Bowden 01/20

4 Signs it's time to hire ReOps
It's time to hire a Research Ops professional when non-researchers are asking to do research themselves, non-researchers are conducting their own research on a regular basis, the number of projects requiring research frequently exceeds the capacity of your team and evaluative concept research is getting less attention. Lauren Gibson 01/20

What a UX Research Repository can do for you (Sponsored)
The term ‘User Research Repository’ or ‘UX Research Repository’ is associated with many definitions. We summarized the most prominent expectations we heard into 6 functions a repository can have. Read more

🛠 Methods.

Dig deeper on 1-1 interviews with insightful follow-up questions
Interviews are a great way to dig deeper into understanding users' perceptions, mental models, needs and pain points. However, it's easy to miss out on golden opportunities during generative research without pushing further. To avoid this, develop a sense of curiosity, use active listening, embrace silence, probe subjective or vague words and phrases and put these into practice to ensure you get the best insights. [Nikki Anderson-Stanier 21/01]

If you don’t know where to start research, start with PACT
PACT is a great framework for learning everything a designer needs to know, finding opportunities for research & helping your team identify contradictions in their own mental models. PACT stands for People, Activities, Context, Technology. Pavel Samsonov 01/23

Spotlight > Articles > Video > Audio

🎥 Video of the Week.

How to do UX Research in a challenging business environment
Nick Groeneveld, a senior UX designer and researcher, shares his experience of getting UX research through the door. Through years of practice in a corporate world, Nick figured out ways to sell the research initiative to the stakeholders, recruiting the right people for the initiative, and delivering the results. YouTube 01/20

Spotlight > Articles > Video > Audio

🔉 Audio of the Week.

The need for heuristics, part 2 (conclusion)
In this episode, Darren concludes the 2-part series by sharing several different heuristic models, examples of how they can be applied to a UXer's work, and refutes arguments against the value of heuristics by sharing a story of how they were used to solve a critical eCommerce-related UX problem for a major company WITHOUT conducting any research. Tune in for this enlightening segment. Spotify Apple 01/17

Happy Researching,
🗞 Jan