Uxinsight festival 2022

These are the very rough notes notes I took during the UXinsight Festival 2022. I might clean them up at some point.

General

Talks

Intro

Being in possible futures?

by Sarah Pink

  • Didn’t use slides, doesn’t like them on a big screen when she’s not there in person, will show video and images of projects
  • Trailer “Digital Energy Futures”
    • Automatically charging devices
    • Giving up control to system that optimizes energy use
    • Is it realistic / desirable?
    • Project generates new insights about trends by investigating people’s lives and futures
    • “Automation takes choice away”
    • Optimizing every-day lives
    • Technology should be aligned with human futures
    • “Technology should expand what you can do, not restrict it”
  • Project:
    • Good example of research she does
    • She’s a design anthropologist: tries to get into people’s lives with them, spends time in every-day worlds
    • Uses film in most of her work as a way of exploring lives, participatory observation
  • Broken starting point to use your own perspective
    • Example: bought a house, wanted it to be different
    • Third room in the attic
    • Could sense / feel what that future would be like
    • The way we experience futures isn’t always we can talk about, sometimes it’s very sensual
    • We need research methods to help people think of these futures, that’s why film can be interesting
    • It’s difficult to speak about but easier to do in performative ways
    • Her books
      • “Doing Visual Ethnography”
      • “Doing Sensory Ethnography”
      • “Everyday Automation” (edited)
        • Looking at automation through every-day lives
        • People do things differently from what industry can imagine
          • Examples:
            • Myth: set and forget, We assume people want to set up automated system and forgot “set and forget” system, but research shows that people want to have an active relationship with a system
            • Myth: people want automation: Most people don’t want full automation, even though industry thinks we do (people will use separate technologies)
            • Myth: charging electric vehicles at work, research shows people want to do it at home at night
  • Sometimes we want to experience what possible futures might feel like
    • that’s where we can find out what values, priorities might be, what kind of ethics, how will all of this guide them?
    • it’s difficult to ask it, she’s developed methods to do this research:
      • experiment with people going into possible futures, studying self-driving cars: ask people to drive simulated / Wizard of Oz / automated car, person doesn’t know it’s not a self-driving car, people experienced life as they never did
      • other study: cocreate possible future air technologies, research shows that air heating and cooling would also person purification. Question: invent the tech, but also role-play being the technology, this helped researchers understand values
    • city of Melbourne: where are the sensors in the park (sensor for air quality etc., how much rubish in the bin, how many people sit on the bench): what if you were a sensor, what would you measure, who would you share the data with?
  • Future-focused methods, what other methods does Sarah use? Can I see it in her research?
  • “Smart Homes for Seniors”
    • Based on visual ethnography
    • Selected a group of seniors to participate in documentary
    • As researchers they learned how seniors used smart home technology
  • Question from Odette Jansen
  • Question from Danielle Duijst: Thanks for your interesting talk Sarah. I’m just curious how do you come up with these creative research methods? Any specific approach you take for that
    • Ethnographic documentary film methods
    • She trained as an anthropological film maker
    • Sensor method: brainstorm “how do we find the best way to engage people?”
      • They tested the method themselves
      • Damn that’s interesting, research method design
      • We don’t use the same method again

Thoughts afterwards

  • What’s the value of saying “future”? Wouldn’t “solution space” be enough? Or is that too focused on working towards evaluative research, and is the focus here more exploratory

Leverage Secondary Research in your Practice

By Xenia Avezov

  • Why and how, not just to enrich career but to get a fuller data set
  • Chronically underused in UXR/tech
  • Better understand context
  • Build on flawed and limited sample sets
  • Product orgs want customer feedback: “would users ‘like’ this?” (that’s not what I do, define target audience > behavior/attitudinal data)
  • Stakeholders love a good quote (NPS scores :eyeroll:)
  • We’re overly indexing primary research
  • We think that if we learn from users, but that’s not it
  • We rarely get to do the research we want to do, there are constraints:
    • Academics start by understanding the state of the art by doing secondary research
    • We have a negative bias about secondary research, we want to make the stuff ourselves
    • What’s wrong with our echo?
    • Effort justification theory: if we apply more effort it must be more worthwhile
      • Cognitive dissonance
      • Xenia thinks that’s how we value primary research
  • Generic types of research
    • Impractical without secondary research
      • Exploratory: what problems should we solve?
      • Foundational: how do people experience a problem?
    • Impractical without primary research
    • Generative: what solution can solve this problem?
    • Evaluative: does the solution work?
    • Or look at it as a spectrum: learn heavily on primary / secondary research
  • Overreliance on primary research
    • Indexes practice towards what and how = solution space
  • Simon Sinek “Start With Why”
    • The golden triangle: leaders, products, and organisations start with the why
    • Fully understanding why / purpose makes them more effective
  • Secondary research uncovers context users live in
    • Leans heavily on the why
    • Not just once
    • Researchers can’t afford to answer the questions why once
    • Knowing why makes us more motivated and focused
  • Research not grounded in systemic, holistic environment is incomplete
  • Systemic thinking 101, Two main paradigms in science:
    • Analysis: reductionism
      • Penguin as the sum of its parts
    • Systems thinking / synthesis / holism
      • How are things interconnected, dependent on one another
  • Systems thinking case study
    • Working at HealthTech company, focusing on diabetic patients
    • Company decided to pivot to solving more problems for patients
    • Process to identify conditions to research
    • Tried to understand: how do diabetic patients experience health care, what kind of gaps can we fill?
    • Where to start with secondary research?
      • Applying system analysis helped:
        • Start by identifying the systems people belong to (found two: biological, intersectional factors that affect health; healthcare system)
        • Took each systems and identified elements in each system, how do systems connect with each other
        • Helped them scope what to ask patients in primary research
  • How does secondary research change ability to be strategic?
  • How we can be more strategic
    • As researchers we can help organization solve the right problem at the right time for the right people
  • Question: top 3 best practices for secondary research
    • Outline: identify system so I can ask many questions in the outline as possible, what direction and shape do I want to scope this in, then narrow it down
    • Letting go: you’re trying to carve balance between what you found out and where stakeholders are at. Only your deepest nerdy friends are gonna know what you know.
  • Question: what sources do you use to gain that data?
    • Nerding out: brainstorm for sources
    • It depends on your domain: in this domain, where would I have information?
    • Statistical info available, associations, previous research, etc.
    • Look at the footnotes
    • Librarians are really good at this
      • Her favorite librarian would help her brainstorm
  • Question: did your research strategy change?
    • Her career strategy is “don’t ask, just do whatever you want”
    • “I don’t expect a patient to understand how their biological context affected their choices”
    • I want to help understand what a patient says, and give it respect and context and texture
    • Sample sizes: tech does research too quickly, not academic
    • I’m scared of not getting the right sample size, or research halting progress
  • Question: how do you scope secondary research?
    • Have fun, get creative
    • Discuss it with people
  • Question ???
    • Educate people as a researcher
    • Centralize internal insights

The Power of Saying No

By Ilse Blom

  • The ROI of UXR is becoming more clear, but the questions are outweighing the velocity of research
  • Saying no can help: it’s difficult because we’re human and we’re researchers
  • If we deliver insights, others need to act
  • UXR mission > vission > goal
    • Why do we exist?
    • Where are we heading as a team?
    • How to progress in that direction?
    • Mission can last forever, vision is 2-3 years
  • Team workshop:
    • What were we most proud of in the last year?
    • Wouldn’t it be fantastic if…
  • Mission: “We as UXR team help product teams understand and empathize with the needs and experience of their users so they can develop…”

Share The Power: Using Rapid Research to empower your teammates to gather and share customer insights

How to Make UX Research Accessible for Neurodivergent UX Professionals

How to (Remotely) Immerse your Teams in Research

Agency maturity in Africa: Working for Wikimedia

Creating Value: What, Who, & How?

Jacob Harbord

  • Lack of explicit thinking about process of value creation leads to reduced satisfaction about value of research projects
  • How to measure value of research
    • Making better decisions
    • We need to be agnostic about how we make those decisions
    • Method doens’t matter: as long as the decisions are better
  • Has framework alternative to Double Diamond:
    • Don’t organize decisions in linear, time-based way
    • Matrix: specific/general - tactical/strategic
  • Decisions: use limited information to move projects forward
  • Types of deciders:
    • Busy deciders: high-level recommendations with just enough details to build credibility
    • Involved practitioner: powerful insights and contextual understanding
    • Enthusiastic learner: need consumer understanding, would benefit from training
    • Sceptical avoider: research shouldn’t influence their own work too much
  • Tailor work to stakeholder perspective, and expand scope of research functions
  • Value:
    • Insight (primary research)
    • Hindsight (data mining; for Busy Deciders and Sceptical Avoiders)
    • Foresight (always strategic; trends and futures)
    • Orientation (immersion; to build user centricity)
    • Operations (democratisation)
  • What’s next:
    • Evaluate your research functions (how does your research contribute to what stakeholders need?)
    • Develop a diverse range of methods

The Customer Insights Core: first steps of strategic research at Glovo by UXR & Data

  • Step 0: agency model (UXR and PA separate)
  • Step 1: embedded model (embedded on a product team level)

How to Tackle Research Complexity: Approaching Nuanced and Complex Findings in a TL;DR World

By Wendi Chong

  • How can we have more impact?
  • How can we be more strategic in our work?
  • If we’re producing research insights that are easy to digest we might not be doing the most impactful work

Too Good to be True: Benefits and Pitfalls of Using Stories to Communicate User Research

Lunch talk – Hitting the User Research Maturity Wall: how to avoid research stagnation

By Tom Hayes

  • If we’re the most senior person in the organization for UX, how do we lean on others around us

Start a career in games user research

Team’s 1st UX researcher? – How to go from the Blind Date to a Healthy Relationship

Break talk – Our Quest for Digital Value

Conducting Research on UX Researchers: Research Bookmark contributes to Scaling Global UX Research practice

Further exploration

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