(Newsletter #17)

I’ve taught a few workshops on problem-space research, listening sessions, and developing & applying empathy lately. These workshops always have room for Q&A and discussion, and the brilliance and depth of the topics always impresses me. I thought I’d pass some of them along. Read More

(Newsletter #16)

I got involved in a Twitter discussion about how a writer defined “active listening” in a UX Booth article:

Tweet by Steve Portigal August 2016 calling Indi's attention to an article in UX Booth saying I define active listening as eavesdropping.

Tweet by Indi Young in August 2016 agreeing with Steve Portigal that active listening is not eavesdropping.
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(Newsletter #15)

We saw your cautions about demographics in personas versus deeper motivations that transcend the easily visible segment — and how Jobs to be Done similarly helps us focus on underlying motivations.” Weston Thompson

How do mental model diagrams compare to Jobs to be Done, or to Outcomes? Read More

(Newsletter #14)

On my latest client project, we experienced the typical madness around recruiting. The people we thought we set out to find didn’t define themselves the way we did, resulting in a mid-course correction. And then even with the new definition of whom we were seeking, the recruiting firm couldn’t find enough people. We had to step in and recruit for ourselves. Read More

In the design and creation of products, services, or software, most organizations follow a cyclical approach. The idea is that past work informs future work. The cycle goes by many names Read More

(Newsletter #13)

When I help clients learn to conduct listening sessions, commonly people want an example of what it means to go deep. I will do a demo and several exercises. Sometimes this doesn’t quite illustrate what I mean, so I also do one-on-one coaching. Read More

In the spring of 2015, 210 women in Silicon Valley in senior technology positions participated in a survey. The results of the survey was published as Elephant in the Valley, with hope to raise awareness about issues facing women in the workplace. One of the survey results stated 60% of women in tech have experienced sexual harassment. Read More

Most orgs imagine they understand the problem, but don’t take time to research it. They are content to use what they imagine as the basis for developing their solution. The problem space is where they’ll get their strongest insights and innovations, but you wouldn’t suspect this based on the amount of effort put toward exploring their solution and the people using it. Read More

What Is a Research Scope?

Scoping is figuring out what, exactly, to explore for a study. It’s a Goldilocks problem: you don’t want the scope too broad, or you will not see patterns appear in the data, but you don’t want it too narrow, or the participants will tell you everything they have to say about it in five minutes. You want to get the scope just right–somewhere in between these two extremes. Read More

Warning Signs When to Do This Research

You don’t have to do research. If you’re an artist or a chef or a writer, you produce what is inside you to inspire or delight your audience. People buy your product for these feelings.* But if you’re an organization with products and services designed to support people, such as an insurance company, a library, or a data management company, it’s a big risk to operate like an artist. Assumptions will lead you astray, and your competition will be the people who are delighted. Developing ideas based on superficial, quickly-generated understanding of how people are thinking is not wise. But neither is doing so much research that you delay production of your ideas. So, when should you do this kind of deep research?
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