Ep13: Team Roles – User Research

The Burn Up - All Things Agile

In our continued exploration into Team Roles, in this episode we talk to Erica Kucharczyk about the role of User Research. This is a role that is frequently overlooked, but can pay off huge dividends in the long run if quality research is incorporated into your development cycle. We discuss how research helps teams validate their value proposition, the value of user research, the process of designing, running and analyzing tests, Qualitative vs Quantitative, how to get into user research and what good looks like. So, get out there and do some research!

We start by talking about how User Research validates value propositions; needs, gains and pains.

Next, we talk about how the User Research role differs from, and overlaps with, the Design and UX roles. We discuss why you should pay for User Research and what good looks like when user research is incorporated fully into the development cycle.

We briefly touch on some tools for remote testing and talk about different testing environments, such as a more formal lab setting vs. more natural settings.

We talk about the importance of researcher demeanor and attitude, especially the mindset of not leading the user and not helping the user too much.

We touch on low-fi testing methods for low budget situations or to simply get started doing user research with your team.

We revisit the Qualitative vs Quantitative discussion and talk about how they compliment each other and how different insights can be gained by both approaches.

We go through the process of designing tests, running the tests, analysing the results and playing back the findings.

We talk about recording users and privacy concerns, including GDPR. Erica talks about her interest in this area and the article she co-wrote on this subject (see link in the show notes below).

We discuss how people can get into research and what good looks like. Good researchers must be good communicators, they should like people, be persuasive, and be able to think on their feet.

Finally, we talk about how to get started with research on your project and to ensure you don’t forget about the User Research role when planning teams.

Erica Kucharczyk has been working as a researcher for about 12 years and started off in academia running research on projects in sleep technology and brain training games for older people with dementia. More recently she’s been working as a user experience researcher with Government clients and she’s interested in research ethics and research operations.

Show Notes

Erica Kucharczyk is a Brighton/London based User Researcher and can best be found here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/erica-kucharczyk/

Erica’s article on GDPR and data protection with regard to User Research can be found here:
https://medium.com/design-research-matters/general-data-protection-regulation-gdpr-and-user-research-e00a5b29338e

Erica recommends the following book:
Think Like a UX Researcher by David Travis
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Think-Like-Researcher-David-Travis/dp/1138365297/

Erica mentioned the following tools in this episode:
Appear.in – https://appear.in/
Morae – https://www.techsmith.com/morae.html
Loopback – https://lookback.io/
Windows Game Bar – https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/p/game-bar/9nzkpstsnw4p



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