Penelope Rance

My UX research & design ramblings

LTUX London - UXR: Practical Tips For Success

I have not managed to attend any events for ages, so I made a point of attending the latest LTUX London event, seeing as I helped organise it and it was focused on UX Research!

We had two pairs of brilliant speakers giving really great practical advice on how to do better research.

First up were Rae and Huzna from Frog talking about the wellbeing framework they have put together.

If you have done any research you should be aware that the participants wellbeing is very important, however Rae and Huzna reminded us that we need to remember our own wellbeing as well as anyone who is 'in the room', be that stakeholders, notetakers, interpreters or chaperones.

Firstly they explained how the framework covers before, during and after research.

As we plan our research we should be thinking about how we can keep our participants safe, but also how we can use our planning to make sure we are also looking after ourselves and our stakeholders.

During research we should be telling our participant they can take a break whenever they need to, but we are also allowed to take a break if we need one too.

And then after the research make sure you know where to point participants if they need support, make sure you have a proper debrief with the team and use your support networks if needed. Watch out for delayed reaction from yourself or your stakeholders.

The one thing that really stood out for me, was the reminder that you are not responsible for the situation the participant might be in, you are only there to find out about it.

Next up was Sarah and Justine from our host Accurx talking about how to bring stakeholders along with you in research.

I loved that they split this talk into two – bringing senior stakeholders along and then people in the product team. Quite rightly they had different approaches for both.

Firstly, it depends on your organisational structure. With senior people you might need to do an education piece, what research is, and what it is not first.

You will then want to work with them to find out what they already know and what you need to find out.

Invite them to sessions but do not be surprised if they cannot make all or any of them. Then create a debrief which works for them. Keep it short – they will not have time to read long documents or watch long videos. Keep it to the point.

However, when working with your team, you want to include them as much as possible. Get their input on questions and assumptions. Get them to attend sessions and make sure they have active roles doing things like note taking. Justine showed us a miro board she had set up to get people interacting which I loved. Just make it clear what you need and why.

Put in an immediate debrief after the research before sharing your report later. This means there are unlikely to be any surprises for the team.

And once again, think about your audience for your presentation – do you really need a powerpoint presentation or will a Jira ticket be enough?

Both these talks were full of practical insight on how to make our research practice better and I really appreciated them all sharing their knowledge.

It was a great event, so thanks to Accurx for hosting and for Askable for sponsoring our food and drink. I love helping to organise events like this that really help people to do their job better.

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