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UXR Spotlight: Gregg Bernstein

UXR Spotlight: Gregg Bernstein

This spotlight was part of USERWEEKLY - a weekly email to understand what is happening in user research. It's the best way to keep up on trends, methodologies, insights across the industry, and meet new researchers. Each week, the newsletter captures the pulse of our community and answers a simple question: What mattered in User Research this week?

Tell us a little about yourself.
Hello! I’m Gregg Bernstein. I wrote the book Research Practice because I love user research (and user researchers!). I am now lead user researcher for Condé Nast. My path to ux research was nonlinear and unexpected, as I went from graphic designer to university design professor to graduate student to design researcher. I wouldn’t have it any other way. I live in Athens, Georgia—a vibrant university town—in the United States with my wife, kids, dogs, and chickens. Most mornings you can find me running through the woods.

From your experience, what is one of the biggest challenges user research(ers) face today?
One of the biggest challenges user researchers face today is also our biggest opportunity: what do we do that no one else can do? A designer can run a usability test. A PM can interview users. Anyone can ship a survey. These are user research tasks that other roles perform in addition to their responsibilities—tasks that are being tightly scoped to squeeze into limited blocks of time or skipped altogether. As dedicated user researchers, it’s on us to seek a higher vantage point to connect the organizational dots. That’s our superpower—and our challenge.

If you could have any budget and time to do research, what would you do differently?
If I could have any budget and time, I would familiarize myself with the upcoming product roadmap. Then I would spend one quarter going deep into defining who our customers are (in general and for each product group), why they choose us over or in addition to our competitors, and what opportunities we have to serve them while attracting new customers. This very boring and straightforward approach is rare for most organizations, and I would love nothing more than ample time and space to know as much as possible about users.

How can people learn more about you and your work?
Folks can learn more about me and my work at my website (Gregg.io), on Twitter (@greggcorp), or through my book, Research Practice (researchpractice.co). I’m also happy to connect with anyone curious about UX research on LinkedIn.

Thank you, Gregg!