User Research

Conduct interviews, watch users' navigation and behavior, and analyze existing analytics for conversion data you can use to make UX decisions. These are just a few user-research techniques discussed in a variety of engaging seminars that apply to all of us who work in the web.

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Whitney Quesenbery

Getting from Barrier-free to Delightful

Why can’t we make it easier to be accessible?

Why can’t we aim for great user experiences that are also accessible? Creating accessible technology has to go beyond minimal compliance with standards that meets the law but may not be usable.

We need a bigger goal: creating delight for everyone. We’ll start by exploring what makes a delightful experience and how a good balance small pleasures and anticipated needs supports accessible UX in both big and small ways. Like any UX, this concern for users has to be part of every design decision.

Headshot of Cyd Harrell
Cyd Harrell

Metaphors in Qualitative Research & Analysis: The Force is Strong

You’ll learn…

  • Use games and tricks to identify the important metaphors within a qualitative dataset, particularly ones that surface hypotheses you can test
  • Invite stakeholders who may be focused on quantitative research to see the power of the qualitative side of things
  • Turn information into useful data by using spreadsheet programs to tackle big qualitative datasets
  • Gain deep insights when you categorize and cluster information more rigorously
Headshot of Cindy Alvarez
Cindy Alvarez

Infectious Research

As a researcher, you spend your days understanding the customer—who are they? What problems are they solving? How do they behave today? How are they making decisions?  How do you get that knowledge from your head into everyone else's heads? 

You can't be in every meeting, you can't rely on everyone to read research reports, and—to make things even more challenging—you're often the bearer of bad news. Nope, the customer doesn't need this; sorry, the customer acts in totally unexpected ways.

In this talk, I'll share my tactics for spreading customer insights through an organization (even when they're not popular). You'll walk away with templates and some ideas to put into practice ASAP!

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Abby Covert

Making Sense of Research Findings

You’ll learn…

  • Learn what you can do before, during, and after research activities to make gathering insights more efficient later on
  • Gain confidence in breaking down large sets of research data into manageable areas to focus on
  • Improve the way you communicate research insights to clients and colleagues
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Leah Buley

The Right Research Method for Any Problem (and Budget)

The mighty user research toolkit is packed with techniques. It can do everything from blue sky innovation research, to need-finding and requirements gathering, to product validation and testing. But many teams don't exploit the full toolkit, sticking instead to one side or the other of the quant versus qual divide, or returning again and again to that tired old workhorse—usability testing. In this session, Leah Buley will share a primer on the range of research methods available, and guide you in determining which is the best technique for what you’re trying to learn now (and for your budget).

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Marty Cagan

Good to Great

From Rosenfeld Media's Product Management + User Experience Virtual Conference.

Lots of product teams have progressed substantially over the past several years from very weak/novice to generally capable/competent. The dialog has moved from “why can’t we have a product designer or user researcher on our team?” to “why is it that our product manager and product designer are not always working together effectively?” and “why is it that the user research is being largely ignored when they have such seemingly valuable findings?”

This is actually progress, and we can see the improvements in the results, but in the commercial product world, it’s not sufficient to just have mediocre products, at least not for long. Our products have to provide substantial value over and above the alternatives. In this presentation, Inspired author Marty Cagan will focus on raising the game of product managers, product designers and user researchers. He will highlight several of the top issues/problems for these roles, and discuss how you can address each.

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Braden Kowitz

Designing for Startups

Most startup designers focus on delighting customers with how their products look and feel. But if a product isn’t solving a problem or meeting a need, customers won’t care how pretty it is. So, how can design be used to help shape the core of products? And how can designers convince their teams to let them go beyond visual design?

Braden Kowitz will share his insights into what startups really need from designers, as well as his team’s “Design Sprint” process for rapid prototyping. You’ll learn how user research lets you move faster and take more risks. How to work at the right level of fidelity. And how ugly things can lead to great design.

Headshot of Leah Buley
Leah Buley

Hunches, Instincts, and Trusting Your Gut

You’ll learn…

  • Assess the effectiveness of layout, typography, messaging, and more by looking at the hierarchy of information
  • Achieve maximum simplicity and conceptual coherence by looking at elements that feel out of place and asking yourself why
  • Examine the success of calls to action and ask, “What can I, the UX designer, do next?”
Headshot of Christine Perfetti
Christine Perfetti

Essential UX Techniques for Creating Delightful Products

You’ll learn…

  • Data-gathering techniques, including usability tests and field studies, to collect insights to inform your products
  • Quick research experiments, including 5 second tests and comprehension tests, that will help you vet product concepts and designs
  • Best practices for involving all stakeholders early in the design process
  • Tips for facilitating teamwork and collaboration on your product team
Headshot of Cyd Harrell
Cyd Harrell

Using Metaphors to Create Better Personas

You’ll learn…

  • Metaphors and playful linguistic techniques you can use to better interpret data faster
  • What differentiates trivial information from substantive persona research data
  • How to write personas with brevity so they become memorable to your team
  • Versatile techniques that can replace weeks of tedious data analysis and cataloging
Headshot of Steve Mulder
Steve Mulder

The User is Always Right:
Making Personas Work for Your Website

You’ll learn…

  • Identify users by exploring each step in the persona creation process
  • Use personas to direct overall business strategy, prioritize features, and make detailed decisions about information architecture, content, and design
  • Apply qualitative techniques for creating personas and conduct user interviews
  • Create robust personas with new quantitative research methods such as surveys and log file analysis
  • Identify methods to segment audience into unique personas
Headshot of Kate Gomoll
Kate Gomoll

Field Studies: The Ultimate Tool in Your Usability Toolbox

You’ll learn…

  • Plan, set up, and run a field study, from getting buy-in to communicating results
  • Determine user groups to observe through collection of demographic information, customer lists, data from outside market research firms, surveys, and screeners
  • Efficiently observe and interview users to gather the most pertinent data
  • Collect and analyze solid user data to determine “what is” and “what could be”
  • Use process storyboards, user data posters, artifacts, photos, and workflow diagrams to create compelling, useful deliverables from the mountains of user data collected from field studies
  • Sell the field research process within your organization and convince key stakeholders of the importance of user research