Tips & Tricks for user research

What workarounds have you found for the blockers we all face in the research process?

Hi Rich
I’m a new user (this morning ! )
Just would like to know what types of blockers you are referring to?

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Welcome to the gang Greg!

For me the most common blockers are:

  • Cutting down discussion guides to the bare essentials;
  • Avoiding professional respondees (AKA People who make a living doing market research);
  • Eliciting the right kinds of answers in interviews;
  • Lobbying for codesign instead of traditional user research;
  • Balancing speed and efficacy in the synthesis stage.

Other ones I’ve heard about from our community include:

  • Accessing and leveraging past or in-flight research (there’s a lot of work being done around research repositories right now);
  • Accessing specific user groups that are not covered by traditional recruitment agencies;
  • Using research to drive momentum instead of just handing over a report;
  • Knowing the right way to get consent.

Keen to hear your own blockers (or any tips for these ones!).

Hey @Rich_Brophy – good question. Possibly not what you might be expecting, but I can tell you that we do read the feedback we get from customers through Thumbs up/Thumbs down on the website. Easy to assume that we would, but it’s a ridiculously easy hack for tapping into the voice of the customer each and every day in real time.

It definitely puts the focus on the customer because they can tell us – whenever they like – about what’s important to them. Often sparks ideas for further investigation and sometimes helps us to fix something we would otherwise miss through our own biases.

The challenge is there is soooo much feedback (about 400 comments a week at the moment and sometimes double that), with a lot of unintelligible gibberish, responses focusing on policy that we can rarely influence, and also the occasional absolutely brilliant insight that we can put to good use right away. Never enough hours in the day to make the most of the feedback but we do try.

This is great to hear @jennifer.weiley - having an “always on” stream for learning must bring a lot of value to your day-to-day thinking.

How do you manage the more strategic opportunities that are thrown up to you day-to-day?

Is there a workflow or forum where they’re registered or prioritised? Or is it more about having an understanding to apply to ongoing work?

I’m sure @Rich_Brophy that it will come as no surprise to hear that this is the hardest part!

  • How do we identify strategic opportunities?
  • How do we prioritise?

It’s a bit haphazard but we are committed to being more methodical about how we respond to the richness that a constant flow of customer feedback (research) delivers.

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