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🗞 Unlearning my way to a Head of Research role

Jan Ahrend
Jan Ahrend
4 min read

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 Fisola Famuyiwa

Fisola Famuyiwa
Fisola Famuyiwa

Hi Fisola, tell us a little about yourself!
Hello! My name is Fisola and I am an Experience Researcher at Adobe. I really appreciate intuitive design and I enjoy user research. I just graduated from University of Michigan’s UX/HCI master’s program and it’s been about 5 months since I have been an “official UX Researcher”. My first real industry experience in UX was while I was in grad school, where I spent some time as a Product Designer for a local B2B company called Nutshell. I must admit that at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic I was forced to really think about what I wanted to do. Before attending grad school, I had completed a bachelor's degree in Neurobiology with the intention of pursuing medicine; however I soon realized that I loved evaluating and researching cool technology that I used everyday.

What energizes you about your career?
Interviewing people and reflecting on interviews with people.

  1. I love meeting new people and hearing their stories - their joys, their struggles and how they try to overcome them, and most importantly, their favorite digital products (and least).
  2. My second favorite part of working is hopping onto a Team's video call with a nicely, organized miro board with a fellow researcher or designer. I just really enjoy collaboration and organization (especially with colorful sticky notes!).

What is your ideal user testing environment – real or fictional?
Fictional- I wish I could have users wear a VR headset during user interviews. I would have them view their exact work or creative space as they reflect on their experiences with digital applications on their preferred device. Maybe it would help increase the reliability of their responses and help researchers understand where users focus their eyes and hands in a given situation.

How can people find you?
You can find me on Linkedin or check out my website!

Thank you, Fisola!

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📚 Articles of the Week.

Unlearning my way to a Head of Research role
Transitioning into my role at Chayn, I've reshaped my research approach: moving from profit-centric to movement-focused, replacing 'hot takes' with deliberate sensing, adopting an impact-driven mindset, and shifting from surface to deep engagement with topics. Jenny H Winfield 01/09

It is time for UX Research to go strategic or go home
Design researchers are rediscovering their ethnographic roots, shifting from traditional "UX" boundaries to tackle broader systemic issues, and strategically integrating with product management, market research, and strategy functions for enhanced impact. Salvatore Larosa 01/13

A bright future for UX Research
UX researchers, according to Judd Antin, have thrived within a broken system but can unlock their true potential by shifting from the service model to fostering continuous engagement in the product process, signaling a transformative evolution in leveraging researchers and insights for future success. Judd Antin 01/08

Immersion and influence—the work of the modern UX researcher
Enhance UX impact by adopting a dual role: deeply understand the product and users, and pivot towards influencing stakeholders, challenging the "user researcher’s fallacy" to emphasize collaborative learning within your team. Nick Stiles 01/13

How to think about UX research failures
Boost UX research success: clarify study objectives, improve analysis, and consider generalizability using checklists and feedback to ensure credibility and learn from past failures. Lawton Pybus 01/07

Experimenting with GenAI in design research
Cameron Hanson, Strategy Director at Smart Design, shared what she learned by conducting three experiments using GenAI for synthetic users, research synthesis, and in-person ideation. Cameron Hanson 01/13

Top survey trends for 2024
What’s asked—and answered—on our platform highlights important trends for the upcoming year. Gilda Raczkowski 01/13

Competitive usability evaluations
Data on what works well or poorly on other sites saves you from implementing useless features and guides UX investments to features that your users need. Tim Neusesser 01/05

Can longer task times for users be a good thing?
Optimize user experience by redefining task duration: categorize user activities to determine when shorter or longer times are optimal. Carl J. Pearson 01/04

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🎥 Video of the Week.

The UX Research reckoning is here | Judd Antin (Airbnb, Meta)
Explore Judd Antin's insights on the evolving field of user research, highlighting pitfalls, effective integration into product development, debunking "user-centered performance," addressing PM tropes, suggesting ideal researcher ratios, and providing alternatives to NPS. YouTube 01/05

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🔉 Audio of the Week.

Contextual surveys, AI and the human touch in UX research with Ryan Glasgow
Ryan Glasgow discusses gaps in research tools, critiques traditional surveys, advocates for in-context survey research, emphasizes human value in UX research alongside AI, offers AI in customer research tips, and shares a founder's perspective on the impact of in-context research. Spotify Apple 01/09

Happy Researching,