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🗞 Aspects of UXR that are compatible with AI

Jan Ahrend
Jan Ahrend
5 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 Erika Lopez Franco

Erika Lopez Franco
Erika Lopez Franco

Tell us a little about yourself, Erika.
Hola! 🌞 I just had my one year anniversary working as UXR for the recently launched YouTube Shopping (as a member of Google's extended workforce).  I was born and raised in Mexico and in 2012, I moved to the UK for graduate school and have been here since. I transitioned to UXR during the pandemic bringing with me 10 years of experience conducting human-centered and participatory research with communities, UN agencies, and NGOs in Latin America, Africa and Europe. I enjoy living in London because I can access the best of food, dance, art, music and culture from all over the world. Saying London is diverse is an understatement, except for its weather 🌧️… So, I also enjoy traveling frequently (mainly) to warmer destinations.

What energizes you about your career?
I thought about writing about the rising challenges for UXR. But, on second thought, I found it uplifting to reflect on what I’ve found particularly exciting in our field. The first thing that comes to mind is that we are right at the brink of the AI revolution that is likely to change forever the processes and tools central to our craft. But what I personally find energizing is learning about UXR-led initiatives that exist to ensure that digital tech innovation is shaped by the needs and context of underrepresented groups. Two examples that come to mind are YouTube’s Culture Lab which centers underrepresented creators’ experiences in product development,  and the work done by YT Horizontal Insights UXR team to ensure accessibility is a key metric to our user journeys. Luckily, it seems every week I learn about other initiatives in YouTube and beyond… I find this very exciting and motivating!

Superhero question
If I were a superhero, my name with me Languagist.. I’d like to have the superpower of speaking all languages. One of the things I enjoy most not only at work but in life is having deep conversations about what shapes our likes, fears, wishes and ultimately our behaviors. Unfortunately, it is never the same experience mediated by translation; so, I’d love to be able to speak to people in any language to truly build empathy and a deeper connection.

If you could design a product for any historical figure, who would you choose and why?
The first thing that came to my mind was the Suffragette Movement. Assuming they’d already have access to smartphones… I would create for them a highly safe, encrypted, communication and logistics app accessible only with fingerprint recognition and through specific WiFi networks… think Signal meets Notion. So, their plans could be brainstormed, communicated, planned and organized without the need to expose themselvesmoving from one secret location to another.

What would you like to talk about with other researchers and how can they find you?
All things around the inclusion of diverse underrepresented groups in product development and increasing the presence of women in tech, particularly in leadership positions. If you are part of an exciting initiative or know about a community that is using UXR to address some of these issues . Please get in touch via LinkedIn! Especially keen to connect with Latinx UXRs as I haven’t met many yet 🙂

Thank you, Erika!

Spotlight > Articles > Video > Audio

📚 Articles of the Week.

What aspects of UXR are best compatible with using AI?
AI in UX research shines when it assists in data processing, like analyzing recordings for insights and patterns. However, it's not ready to replace human observation of body language and emotions. Use AI as an augmentation tool for specific tasks, not a complete replacement for human expertise. Marek Strba 08/29

3 Dogfooding best practices for overcoming employee beta challenges
Boosting employee participation in dogfooding programs can be achieved through creative incentives like lunches, swag, or small get-togethers, while enhancing the quality of feedback involves injecting fun and relatable activities into the testing process, ultimately fostering a "Customer Zero" culture where employee feedback is valued as much as customer feedback. Chris Rader 08/29

Improve UX research presentations with 3 minor writing tweaks
Enhance your UX research presentations by incorporating precise and engaging language in your slide titles to capture your audience's attention and convey key takeaways effectively, avoiding the common mistake of overwhelming slides with exhaustive text, and using visual hierarchy, particularly in user quotes, to emphasize essential points, ultimately ensuring your presentations are engaging and persuasive. Christopher K Wong 08/30

Online user reviews: a treasure trove of UX research?
Online user reviews offer a rich source of UX data, but their retrospective nature introduces biases like selection bias, reporting bias, and recall bias, making it crucial for UX researchers to identify and correct these biases to extract meaningful insights effectively. Wonil Hwang 08/30

How to improve your moderation skills as a UX researcher
Enhance your moderation skills in UX research by self-reflection through session recordings, seeking input from colleagues, practicing with mock participants, learning from other moderators, exploring online resources, and embracing the experiences shared by fellow researchers. Atul Verma 08/25

A tale of becoming… becoming a user researcher
Lesley Crane shares her inspiring journey to becoming a user researcher, highlighting how life's twists led her to this fulfilling career. She emphasizes the value of diverse skills and the meaningful impact user researchers can have, asserting that AI can't replace the human essence in this field. Lesley Crane 08/28

Building a repository in SharePoint
Lisa van Ekeren shares her practical insights on building and maintaining a SharePoint repository for research documents, emphasizing the importance of tagging, filters, and ongoing promotion to maximize its usefulness within a company. Lisa van Ekeren 08/30

Spotlight > Articles > Video > Audio

🎥 Video of the Week.

Demystifying UX Research AMA Michele Ronsen
An insightful AMA session with Michele Ronsen, a seasoned UX Researcher, as she simplifies the complexities of User Experience Research, offering practical insights and candid responses. YouTube 08/26

Spotlight > Articles > Video > Audio

🔉 Audio of the Week.

"Never undersell yourself" with Tess Robinson
UX Researcher Tess Robinson shares her unconventional path into the field, highlighting how embracing your unique personality can set you apart and enhance your research skills from the start of your career Spotify 08/29

Happy Researching,
🗞 Jan