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🗞️ Doing More with Less: 5 Things Your UX Research Practice Can Do in 2024

Jan Ahrend
Jan Ahrend
5 min read
Last week, I launched UserCalendar, the new go-to place for discovering your next user research event. 🥳 A heartfelt thank you to each of you who shared your thoughts and kind words on my LinkedIn post. Your enthusiasm and feedback have truly been the highlight of my week. 🙏 For those who love a good stat, here’s a sneak peek into our first week: UserCalendar attracted 2.3k unique visitors exploring the 31 events a total of 1,192 times. Out of 30 events submitted by 25 organizers, 26 were approved. 4 events weren’t accepted because they weren’t primarily for user researchers (see inclusion criteria). 476 new researchers joined the newsletter (Hey, you!).

Here are 3 ways you can benefit from UserCalendar to keep up with the latest in user research events: (1) Stay subscribed and keep reading this newsletter, where I add upcoming events every week. (2) Integrate UserCalendar directly into your personal or work calendar with a simple click on our “Subscribe to calendar” button at (3) Visit whenever you like to tailor your search for events that match your interests and needs.

But let’s not forget, this newsletter isn't just about dates and events. It's about people, too. Like Marilia Sciulli's from Meta who I chatted with this week - about her pivot from marketing to user research, and about what keeps her going. Read on to hear her story and the usual curated list of my favorite articles and more.

Jan 🙌

Spotlight > Articles > Video > Audio > Events

😌 Humans of User Research with Marilia Sciulli

Marilia Sciulli
Marilia Sciulli

Hi Marillia, tell us a little about yourself!
Hi! Nice to meet you all! I'm Marilia, a researcher at Meta, where I develop ads and e-commerce products that help businesses connect with people on Meta's apps. I haven’t always been in research. I started my early career in marketing, launching products and marketing campaigns for the EMEA market. But I soon realized that I kept asking myself “Why would people need this product in the first place? How would they use it? What else is important to them?” rather than “how can I convince people to buy this product?”. Driven by the curiosity of understanding humans and developing something meaningful for them, I decided to transition to research, where I had the opportunity to work across different disciplines (product innovation and UX, branding, marcomm development and measurement) and industries (FMCG, consumer healthcare, tech…).
Outside of work, I keep myself active playing volleyball, doing yoga and meditation. I also like anything related to art, architecture and history so you can find me visiting exhibitions, attending creative workshops or enjoying watching documentaries.

What energizes you about your career?
In my career, I draw energy from three key sources: creativity, collaboration, and continuous learning. 1) Creative problem solving. Uncovering user needs and problems, followed by brainstorming innovative solutions with my team, is what I find most fulfilling. But this creative problem solving extends to the research process itself - for example, coming up with cost-effective and time-efficient methodologies, or finding effective ways to keep stakeholders engaged to disseminate insights across the organization. 2) Collaboration. I love team sports, and working in research feels like a game. We work within cross-functional teams, where each member plays a distinct role, while collectively striving towards the same objective - building meaningful experiences for people. Hence, establishing close partnerships and finding allies who can help navigate the business context and influence decisions become increasingly crucial in today's UX landscape. 3) Learning. The Research field is in constant evolution, and this fuels my curiosity and growth. It’s not just about acquiring new technical skills; it’s also about mastering softer skills like negotiation, navigating ambiguity and influencing people - which prove invaluable beyond the professional sphere!

What's one thing that can instantly make your day better?
5 minutes of adorable puppy videos! It's my fail-proof remedy for a not-so-great day. Pawsitively guaranteed! 🐾✨

How can people find you?
I am happy to connect with people on Linkedin, to chat about professional development, how to transition to research or any other research-related topic.

Thank you, Marilia!

Spotlight > Articles > Video > Audio > Events

📚 Articles of the Week.

Lessons from setting up a user research operations function
Learn from GDS and NHS Test and Trace ReOps teams to optimize your own User Research Operations with insights from the ResearchOps Community. Chris Hyland 03/19

12 Tips for more effective collaborations as UX researchers
Get expert insights on effective collaboration in UX research from UXinsight Festival 2024 speakers, guiding strategies from stakeholder engagement to inclusive practices for successful teamwork. Karin den Bouwmeester 03/26

Explore the world of research with The Optimal Path Podcast (Sponsored)
Learn how the best organizations leverage user research to inform stronger product decision-making. UX leaders at Figma, Zapier, and more talk to Maze about the approaches used to unlock continuous insights—and the optimal path for product success. Listen now

Doing more with less: 5 Things your successful UX Research practice will do in 2024
Despite challenges, UX research within organizations thrives with executive buy-in and a focus on user-centered influence, emphasizing the importance of research for tailored product development. Joseph Friedman 03/20

Qualitative analysis in UX research (with the help of LLMs)
Understanding user attitudes, emotions, and behaviors through qualitative data, particularly unstructured open-ended answers, is essential in UX research for deriving meaningful insights and informing design changes effectively. Marc Busch 02/16

Intro to the Van Westendorp Pricing Exercise
Van Westendorp Price Sensitivity Meter (VW PSM) provides a quick method to assess pricing perceptions, though it's not a direct measure of willingness to pay (WTP), but rather complements methods like conjoint analysis for more nuanced insights. Chris Chapman 03/21

Taking flight: Our UX research transformation
ResMed's finalist recognition at the 2020 Design and Innovation Awards underscores their commitment to transformative research culture. Dawn Ta 03/24

Spotlight > Articles > Video > Audio > Events

🎥 Video of the Week.

UX research for voice user interfaces
Marta Perez Garcia, a UX Researcher from Amazon, shares her experience on researching Voice User Interfaces. YouTube 03/22

Spotlight > Articles > Video > Audio > Events

🔉 Audio of the Week.

"Gregg Bernstein returns"
Gregg Bernstein underscores the value of diverse research methods and leadership styles, advocating for a positive outlook on the field and its importance within companies. Spotify Apple 03/18

Spotlight > Articles > Video > Audio > Events

🗓 Events of the Week.

From Data to Difference: Purpose-Driven User Research Interactive Panel ($35)
April 2nd @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm EDT
Networking opportunity and insights for researchers interested in aligning their skills with social impact, featuring panelists from diverse sectors sharing their experiences and providing practical tips for career navigation in the social sector. Learn more

Research for Product Managers: Validating solutions (Free)
April 3rd @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm CET
Dr. Bryan Rill, a lecturer at UC San Diego and founder of Rill Insights, guides product managers through techniques to select optimal solutions, spot usability issues, and construct business cases in the third module of Airtime Academy's four-part series on fundamental research skills. Learn more

Trauma Informed Design Research (3 part training)
April 4th @ 3:00 am – 5:45 am EDT
Jax Wechsler offers a comprehensive three-part training series on Trauma Informed Design Research, covering principles, methods, and self-care techniques for professionals engaging with trauma-affected individuals, based on her extensive experience and certification in Trauma Informed Care. Learn more

Happy Researching,
🗞 Jan