Penelope Rance

My UX research & design ramblings

User Research London 2018

Although I started out as a UX Designer and that is my job title at the moment, I really think that research is a very important part of my job. Without research and testing how can there be a user experience? It is just what I or my stakeholder thinks is best.

Last year I was very interested in User Research London, although I did not get to attend, so when tickets came up for this years event I grabbed one. Sadly I did not manage to get a workshop ticket too, but with thirteen talks, not including lunchtime lightning talks, I still had a pretty full day and learnt a lot!

My conference badge with all the sponsors named.
My conference badge

The talks covered everything research from very practical talks about frameworks, how to use data to your advantage and making your research GDPR proof, through to the similarities of DJing to usability testing and how to find your mojo if you get stuck in a rut.

There were many common themes across the talks; the one which really stood out for me was around communication and what is the best way to communicate research findings to teams and stakeholders so it actually benefits your product.

These are some of my favourite talks although all were excellent:

Ben and Nic talking about how our research participants have needs too and how when we design our studies we can end up excluding people just because we want to use Skype or visit them at their homes.

Matthew’s lightning talk ‘Make with love’ touched on a bunch of stuff I have been thinking about lately, especially the ethics of design. I would have loved to hear the full length version of this talk.

Ana spoke on ‘when insights fade away’ and how people should not have to hold the information from your study in their minds. She made a set of cards for her team to help keep them focused on the insights they had learnt.

Laurissa spoke on how we should remember that the research we do is still for a user - our organisation. If it was a product would anyone be able or even want to use it?

Lastly Meena spoke on how to successfully position our research. She felt the key was to have good structure and be transparent so that everyone is aligned right at the start and understands exactly what this particular study is aiming to find out.

While it was a very full day with a lot to take in, there were so many things that I want to take back to my team. Research is still fairly new at Wiggle and it is great to have been inspired by so many great talks! My poor team will not know what has hit them when I get back in the office on Monday.

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