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🗞 Skilling and scaling equity user research

Jan Ahrend
Jan Ahrend
5 min read
🗞 Skilling and scaling equity user research

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 Tiffany Yang

Tiffany Yang
Tiffany Yang

Hi Tiffany, tell us a little about yourself!
Hi! I’m Tiffany Yang, UX researcher at Mercari, a marketplace platform for pre-owned items. My background pre-UX time is in social media marketing, where I used web analytics to quantitatively understand user behavior, optimizing for ad reach, web traffic, and online retail sales. On the side, I run a small YouTube vlog channel (@Tifffster) to help broaden perspectives for those who are considering breaking into UXR.

How do you translate your pre-UX experience into your current UXR role?
I love that, at Mercari, my past experiences and skill sets in my old world are valuable assets and strengths in my current role in UXR.

Back in the retail marketing world, I created strategies on how to spend $1M on a Black Friday advertising campaign - I had to be methodical and thoughtful (I mean, $1M is not little!) with how we were reaching our target audience, the type of content we include in our ads, and how that resonates differently across “personas”. Being able to understand the metrics and connecting the dots between product + marketing world in various funnels and user outreach turned out to be very valuable knowledge and skillsets in the eComm tech industry.

Understanding our users through not only data, sales, and numbers, but also taking a step further and talking to my users and understanding the “why” is an extremely valuable privilege to me, and I wouldn’t have realized this without my past experience in marketing.

What do you remember most about your first UXR job?
In my first UXR job, I remember the first few months were all about learning tech jargon; people threw in tech jargon here and there in conversations, and I remember always carrying a notepad, writing down every little term, and looking them up on my phone. It was like learning a new language, and it was challenging but so fun!

Within 10 months of starting my first UXR role, I was fortunate to take on a more senior role, where I had to lead research on high visibility products on my own. I remember before jumping into each meeting, I was so nervous (I was trembling!) about speaking up in large meetings due to imposter’s syndrome. I wish I had someone to tell me that the feelings are very normal, and that it is OK to not be producing values from week 1. That time was when I learned so much about prioritizing work, managing stakeholder relationships, and leading difficult conversations.

How can people learn more about you and your work?
My YouTube channel focuses on NOT educating others on UXR (There are amazing channels that already do that - I love @AonaTalks and @Kevin Liang), but rather broadening perspectives on what my day to day looks like as a UX Researcher.

I love video editing, and this channel was initially my attempt at visually showing my friends and families what I do (let’s admit it, describing what we do as UXRs to our friends and family is SO hard!) If you’re interested, feel free to subscribe to me on @Tifffster!

Thank you, Tiffany!

Spotlight > Articles > Video > Audio

🎉 Highlights.

Having trouble with stakeholders? Try treating them as users
It's easy to get frustrated with stakeholders who don't see or value your vision. But what if you've been approaching them in the wrong way all along?. Nikki Anderson-Stanier

Skilling and scaling equity research at Instagram
Dr. Stacey Houston II has leveraged his research on equity into inclusive product changes at Instagram. Here’s how he’s leading the charge. Ben Wiedmaier

A case for (premeditated) diversity in UXR
Ernesto makes the point that it's not about how important it is for minorities in UX to be seen and heard (although he is all for that). Rather, he wants to make a point about why its not only beneficial for teams to be diverse but crucial enough to be purposefully pursued, particularly when it comes to research. Ernesto Peña 06/19

🎯 Approaches.

3 creative skills every research team needs
Lateral Thinking, Artistic Creativity, Storytelling. 06/15

The evolution of user research and feedback in tech companies
How community became the center of UXR. Tova Safra 06/17

The last fifteen seconds of an interview are sometimes the most insightful
How to address ‘doorknob questions’ that might give you crucial users insights. Christopher K Wong 06/15

🚀 Getting started.

Emerging from academia: interviewing for UX research jobs
Documenting my recruiting experience for UX Research jobs during the final semester of my doctoral program. Out of the 19 companies I interviewed at, I received an offer from 5, was waitlisted at 1, and rejected from 13. In sum, this recruiting experience was not only a professional development journey, but also a personal learning journey for myself. Monica Chan 06/20

Conducting a UX research kick-off meeting
How to plan and conduct an effective UX research kick-off meeting—the first step in the research process. Preeti Srinivasan 06/20

Spotlight > Articles > Video > Audio

🎥 Video of the Week.

Make your UX research insights stick
Having spent half her life tutoring, teaching, training, and guest lecturing, for years Katarina Bagherian had subconsciously been applying education theory best practices to her research insights sharing sessions. Today, Katarina will “let you in” on this approach that has helped designers, PMs, marketers, researchers and many others to making their research insights stick and be applied to their products, resulting in better products for customers and happier teams. YouTube 06/17

Spotlight > Articles > Video > Audio

🔉 Audio of the Week.

Storytelling with Pete Yeomans
This episode looks at the role of our lived experiences in shaping our approach to storytelling. Pete shares how he became a researcher and storyteller, guided by his career as an educator and discovery that he is autistic. Spotify Apple 06/20

Happy researching,
🗞 Jan