Planning impactful user research at UX in the City: Manchester

We should be talking more about how people can ‘level up’ their research

Last week I attended UX in the City: Manchester. It was a wonderful event – well organised with excellent speakers sharing great content.

Planning impactful user research

I’ve spent quite a lot of time during the last 10 years telling people that user research is great, and they should probably do some. That was important at the time. But now I see lots of organisations and teams that are doing some good user research.

When I was talking to Sophie Dennis about doing a tutorial, it felt like we should be talking more about how people can ‘level up’ their research. How they can do better research that has more impact.

A good place to start with having more impact is planning. Deciding what research to do and how to do it. So, that’s what I covered in my tutorial session on Planning Impactful User Research.

Thanks to everyone who came to the session for your thoughtful engagement with the exercises. I hope you found them useful.

Attendees getting involved in the table exercises during John’s session

The art of conversation

In recent years, screens have been the main focus for many designers and researchers. But voice and other less visible ways to interact have become increasingly important. So I really enjoyed the hands-on session on The art of conversation by Emily Heath, Luisa Sousa and Charlotte Davies from BBC UX&D.

Their well-constructed scenarios and storyboarding exercises helped us all explore the potential and the limitations of voice interactions in different contexts.

Slides and notes

Here’s a pdf of my session slides and notes:

Planning impactful user research

Please use them as a guide to creating a research plan with your team.

I tend not to stick closely to the script in tutorials like this – especially in the discussions after the exercises. If you attended the tutorial and I said something useful that’s not explained in the notes, let me know here and I’ll add it.