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User Weekly #27, December 28

Jan Ahrend
Jan Ahrend
5 min read
User Weekly #27, December 28

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/ Anna Lee Anda

Anna Lee Anda
Anna Lee Anda

Hi Anna, tell us a little about yourself.
I’m 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

Thank you, Anna!

Spotlight > Articles > Video > Audio

🧐 Thought pieces.

How to Track the Impact of Your UX Research
Impact is about more than ROI. Learn how to define impact, measure research outcomes, and keep a record of your success. By Lizzy Burnam (User Interviews 12/27)

Stop the UX Research Bottleneck
As organizations, we aim to create better experiences for tomorrow but, to do so, we must understand today’s reality. This is where UX research plays a key role, it uncovers pain points in people’s lives today so that we can build solutions that create business value tomorrow. By Luis Martinez (Medium 12/24)

Art and UX Research: How are these two disciplines connected?
How does Art relate to UX Research? What about UX Research falls into Art? By Anna Demina (Medium 12/27)

🛬 Methods & Approaches.

How putting minimal effort into tagging can extend the life of your UX research
Organizing your quotes through tags can help stakeholders see how users think. By Christopher Kai Wong (Data & Science 12/23)

Standardized usability questionnaires: post-task measures
The first part of this series focuses on post-test questionnaires and standards. By Dr Maria Panagiotidi (UX Psychology 12/23)

When “Better” UX Research questions are still bad
Debbie Levitt writes "My Slack community shared this article called, “12 Ways To Fix Your User Interview Questions.” My first reaction to the article was holy cats, I don’t think the “better” questions are good! My second reaction was to check the author on LinkedIn to see how long they’ve done UX research. Suspicion confirmed. My third reaction was to apologize to all of the people who read Medium articles and don’t know that some of them offer poor advice." By Debbie Levitt (RBeforeD 12/19)

Your year ahead User Research checklist
The end of the year can mean a lot of things. This guide will help you prepare for a year's worth of learning from your users, including questions to answer, steps to take, and tips to help you succeed. By Simone Thompkins (Centercode)

How to build better empathy maps
Guide to build better empathy maps for UX Research. By UI Blogger (UX Planet 12/27)

🔁 Refreshers.

13+ NPS Questions for Best Results
An overview of NPS and standards. By Urszula Kotowska (Survicate 12/22)

What is Research Design? (Plus 12 Key Elements for Survey Research)
12 Key Elements of Survey Research Design. By Jasko Mahmutovic (SurveyLegend 12/22)

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🎥 Videos of the Week.

Brave UX: 2021 End Of Year Special
A series of short and important messages from a range of previous Brave UX guests. By Brendan Jarvis (YouTube 12/27)

Spotlight > Articles > Video > Audio

🔉 Audio of the Week.

Being Black in UX Research
What’s it like to be black in UX right now? Are companies sticking by their plans for diversity and inclusion? How do researchers ensure their work is as inclusive as possible? This week on the podcast, Dr. Lisanne Norman joins Erin and JH to talk about all this and more. With Dr. Lisanne Norman (Spotify 12/20)

Using Fluid Personas in UX Research
Iulia Cornigeanu shows us her UX research process and teaches us techniques to improve our research skills. Top tip - there are no such thing is silly questions. With Iulia Cornigeanu (Spotify 12/23)

Happy New Year fellow Researchers!