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🗞 How Dogfooding improves company culture

Jan Ahrend
Jan Ahrend
5 min read
🗞 How Dogfooding improves company culture

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 Cara Maritz

Cara Maritz
Cara Maritz

Hey Cara, tell us a little about yourself.
Like many others, my journey to UXR was not linear by any measure. For a long time I wanted to pursue an academic research career, and before that I worked as a freelance graphic designer. I found that UXR combined my love for disciplines like ethics, anthropology, cognitive psychology and design. I applied for an UXR role at Atlassian, and I’m coming up to celebrating three years in October.

What was the highlight of your (work) week?
For context, I love teaching. It’s something I wanted to get back into, so every Wednesday (for the past 5 weeks) I’ve been tutoring an introduction to qualitative research methods class with a cohort of second and third year students. Not only is it rewarding to share what applied qualitative research looks like in practice, but the group of students I connect with are also allowing me to develop my understanding on how to best communicate research phases, goals, aims etc. Obviously everyone in my class are at different stages of understanding what qualitative research entails, but the beginners mindset has unlocked a fresh perspective on how to best communicate what I do in my day-to-day as an applied/industry researcher.

If you could only use one method for the rest of your career, what would it be?
This is so hard to answer! I’m a mixed-methods-pragamtist at heart, but I really believe in the power of experience sampling methodology. The insights you can get from joining people in their particular contexts (whether it be in person or remote) is so illuminating. I also think ESM empowers people to treat research like an exchange of knowledge rather than a transaction. Building a strong rapport for the community of people I do research with and advocate for is really important to my practice.

What would you like to talk about with other researchers and how can they find you?
I’m always interested in connecting with fellow UXRs about all of their wins and challenges of doing applied research. I’d also love to speak to more developer experience researchers, platform researchers, early career researchers and of course people undertaking career transitions into UXR. So if you’d like to chat, you can grab some time in my calendar,

Thank you, Cara!

Spotlight > Articles > Video > Audio

🎉 Highlights.

Evaluating the impact of user research
Qualitative ways to understand if the research being done is having an impact on the user experience you are delivering. Stephanie Marsh 09/09

The context cues framework in field studies
Distributed cognition theory explains how thinking involves not only one’s mind but also other people and external artifacts. A framework rooted in this theory can guide consistent and in-depth observations of users’ physical and social settings, processes, habits, and workflows. Mayya Azarova 09/11

How to embrace uncertainty in your design process
Gain alignment, reduce risk and create better user outcomes. Eric Chung 09/12

Sept 28: Empower your teams through collaboration (Sponsored)
Researchers & product teams have a common goal - to understand the audience - but different approaches can create challenges. Hear from Morgan Mullen (User Interviews) and Matthieu Dixte (Maze) on effective collaboration strategies to address this. Register now

🔀 Research approaches.

Competitive research is a powerful tool if you understand the risks
Understanding design failures are just as important as what to design. Christopher K Wong 09/07

Lessons in research operations
Andrea Lewis' experience of the rise of ReOps as a discipline in UXR. Andrea Lewis 09/09

🦮 Dogfooding.

Dogfooding 101: a quick guide to internal beta testing
This brief overview defines the key concepts of dogfooding: what it is, the benefits it brings to an organization, when it occurs in product development, who provides feedback, and where dogfooding lives in an organization. Chris Rader

How Dogfooding improves company culture with involvement and collaboration
Dogfooding can improve company culture by letting employees collaborate with their colleagues to influence the development of the products that are the very heart of the company. Giving employees early access to products goes beyond just bug hunting. Chris Rader

💿 Analysis.

Resilient customer archetypes
How Research Teams Can Build an Enduring and Evolving Understanding of Users. Atlassian teams rely on a range of customer archetypes to empathize with customers, understand their problems, and design solutions that meet user needs. But what happens to these artifacts over time?. Gillian Bowan 09/11

What is the best way to measure and analyze your data? A quick and easy guide
Understanding the range of analysis options for certain types of data can unlock your research's potential—and you don't even need a data science degree, either. Molly Malsam

Affinity Mapping in UX Research (Sponsored)
Learn what Affinity Mapping in UX Research is all about. Get helpful tips on how to come from qualitative user research data to actionable insights with Affinity Mapping in a virtual setting. Read more

🎙 Reporting.

The role of diverse data reporting strategies
With more analysis and reporting methods comes a choice paralysis when it comes to deciding which one to use at which occasion for how many stakeholders. Advic on how do insight experts tackle this issue and deliver impactful reporting to their stakeholders. Emily James

Antipersonas: what, how, who, and why?
Antipersonas help anticipate how products can be misused in ways that can harm users and the business. Sara Ramaswamy

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?

Spotlight > Articles > Video > Audio

🎥 Video of the Week.

Passing the research baton: how to keep projects human-centered when teams change
Learning from research is at the heart of designing and delivering more human-centered public services. With that in mind, more and more government services have established ongoing user research programs. But handoffs are inevitable in long-lived government technology projects. What happens three or five years in, when key people or organizations need to transition off?. YouTube 09/10

Spotlight > Articles > Video > Audio

🔉 Audio of the Week.

Making rapid research a reality
Devin Harold (Director of UX Research, Capital One) about UX research processes, specifically rapid research. Devin is an experienced UX leader who has leaned into the rapid research process to scale user insights and drive some big initiatives. Spotify Apple 09/13

Happy Researching,
🗞 Jan