Penelope Rance

My UX research & design ramblings

The Research Thing - Leading Research and Scaling Up

One of the good things about working back in London is just how easy it is to attend events. So I started my second week as a UX researcher by attending The Research Thing event 'Leading Research and Scaling Up'.

I have not been to one of these events before so I was not sure what to expect. This event consisted of two panel discussions which I found really interesting.

First up was the Leaders Panel consisting of Michelle Lotia from Trainline, Sharan Gandhi from Aviva and Anne Stevens from Just Eat.

They spoke about what it is like to join a company, often as a team of one to do research, although research might already be happening in the company.

They mostly saw their role as to educate the business about why research is important and what value it can bring to the business. But also that usability testing is not the only sort of research that should be done, although that is often the one that most people are aware of.

They do research to understand the unmet needs of the customer.

They also talked about how they prioritise work - by working out what the risk to the business is if this piece of work is not done; about how to scale - waiting until someone high-up sees the value of what you are doing; and international research - it’s complicated.

After a quick break we then had a panel of hands-on-researchers consisting of Caroline Owen from Trainline, Rocio Calvo from Aviva and Swetha Sethu-Jones from Just Eat.

These ladies spoke about what it is like to be part of a team that is growing, sometimes quite fast.

There was some interesting discussion around setting up research repositories and the tools you can use for this, but also how hard everyone is finding this.

And they spoke about how sharing knowledge and collaboration are important, along with ways to help colleagues understand that research is time consuming and so needs a purpose.

They also gave some good tips round tools, ways of engaging with the business and including team members in the research.

It was a really great evening and I have got loads of ideas that I will be taking back to work with me. My next 1:2:1 should be interesting.

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