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🗞️ CHI’24 Preprints are here!

Jan Ahrend
Jan Ahrend
5 min read
I've been thinking a lot about how I used to share User Research events in this newsletter. Remember those? Keeping that list fresh and filled with high quality events every week was challenging. I couldn't find a good calendar dedicated to user research events. And that's why I decided to create a community-led User Research calendar! We will launch it next week. But I need your help. If there are any User (Experience) Research events you like, please reply to this email! If you know someone organizing relevant events, please forward them this email! This way, we all get to keep in the loop on what's happening out there. Let's make this calendar happen together.

This week, I spoke with Mariann Lowery, a UXR superhero who's done it all, from ad research to leading teams at the foot of the Rocky Mountains. Plus, we've got the goods on everything from CHI'24 Preprints and why researchers should think like marketers, to the trends shaping the future of UXR from our partners at Maze. And don't forget, if you know about any UXR happenings, shoot me a message.

Jan 🙌
A little preview of what's coming next week 🎉

Spotlight > Articles > Video > Audio

😌 Humans of User Research with Mariann Lowery

Mariann Lowery
Mariann Lowery

Tell us a little about yourself, Mariann!
I'm a research leader and strategist, helping businesses make customer-centric and data-driven decisions. I started my research career in market and advertising research, then transitioned to product and UX research. I've worked across diverse sectors in the US and my home-country, Hungary, ranging from education and non-profit to healthcare, tech, agencies, small startups, and large multinational companies. From building research teams to scaling processes, I bring a mix of expertise and passion to make research an integral part of company operations. I'm endlessly curious, and delving into the core motivations and needs that drive people's choices of brands and products is what I find most enjoyable about research. In my free time, I love to travel and explore new places and cultures. I’m an outdoor enthusiast and feel lucky that I live at the foot of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado, USA. I hike a lot with my family and goofy whippet. And when I crave some downtime, a good book and a cup of new tea flavors are my go-to companions.

What’s one thing you wish you realized earlier in your research career?
Recognizing that not all stakeholders initially grasp the value of research, some may express reluctance due to perceived time and cost constraints. Through experience, I've learned that approaching them with curiosity and an open mind enhances understanding and appreciation for the research process. My advice to my younger self, and to those starting in research, is to adopt a holistic approach. Understand your stakeholders' needs, the problems they aim to solve, and their knowledge gaps. With this comprehensive understanding, you can strategically align your research, demonstrating how delving into the target audience's motivations, needs, workflows, behaviors, etc. can unlock valuable opportunities for the business.

How would you explain your work to a 6 year-old?
Imagine I'm like a detective, but instead of solving mysteries, I help companies understand what people like and don't like about their products. I work with teams to make sure their products and messaging are the best they can be, helping them find cool ideas and avoiding problems. I also teach and help other detectives learn how to do this, making sure everyone in the detective team is doing their best work. It's like I'm the leader of a detective squad, making sure we're always finding new clues to make products awesome!

What can people reach out to you about and how can they find you?
I love to talk about elevating the strategic impact of research and gaining stakeholder buy-in and support. I could talk for hours about developing a research roadmap. Another area of my passion lies in making research more accessible and inclusive, whether in research interviews or hiring processes. I love brainstorming ideas for optimal ways to share our work, incl. effective research repositories, and enhancing the narrative behind the data. Feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn, and I'm open to scheduling a virtual hangout to explore these topics further!

Thank you, Mariann!

Spotlight > Articles > Video > Audio

📚 Articles of the Week.

CHI’24 Preprint Collection HCI + AI
CHI’24 preprints showcase the pervasive integration of AI across computational HCI, reflecting an interdisciplinary trend that can enrich UX research methodologies. Daniel Buschek 02/27

Hear me out: researchers need to be marketers (and vice versa)
The two teams have more in common than you’d think, but learning from their differences can bring both of them better results and buy-in across the organization. Zack Hanz 02/27

Discover the trends shaping the future of user research (Sponsored)
With data from 1,200+ product professionals, Maze's report—The Future of User Research—explores how product teams conduct research to inform decision-making and build successful products. Discover the top trends defining the user research landscape. Get the report for free

Insights from the research community: plans for 2024 and strategies for implementation
Gain actionable insights from the UX Research community's 2024 resolutions, focusing on collaboration, self-management, and workload, to enhance your research practices. Anna Lee A 02/27

Best AI research tools: insights & recommendations
Discover essential AI tools for UX research in our blog post, highlighting key contenders and hurdles to streamline your decision-making process. Réka Pető 03/01

Opinion: What Generative-AI powered tools in the field of UX Research and Design need to get right to succeed
Generative AI, exemplified by ChatGPT's massive user base, is now a staple in tech, prompting UX researchers to assess its impact on user experiences. Aditya Menon 03/05

Spotlight > Articles > Video > Audio

🎥 Video of the Week.

Translating product goals into UX research objectives to fit your roadmap (Webinar)
Optimize user research in product cycles and overcome roadmap challenges with our webinar on seamless collaboration with UX research partners. YouTube 03/01

Spotlight > Articles > Video > Audio

🔉 Audio of the Week.

Quantifying Research Impact with Ruby Pryor of Rex
Learn from Ruby Pryor, founder of Rex, about a four-level impact assessment framework for UX research, focusing on prioritization, strategic decision-making, and enhancing research influence in this insightful podcast episode. Spotify Apple 03/04

Happy Researching,
🗞 Jan

PS: I am launching a podcast! The User Weekly podcast will be a companion to the newsletter, featuring discussions on my favorite articles from the newsletter in 15 minute episodes. Follow the podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts or Google Podcasts to get notified when the first episode airs!