Welcome to the Learn UXR newsletter! This is the first issue and we’re excited to be sharing the wonderful world of UX research with you. Today, we’ll be covering what UX Research is and why you should do it.
But first, who are we?
Dami Oludumila, popularly referred to as “Dumss”, alongside “Escobar” & “Firegirl.” I’m a trained Economist (and later on Designer) that has changed career path 5+ times in the past 7-ish years. I’ve been designing for 4-ish years now & I am currently a User Researcher & (unfortunately) ResearchOps person at PagerDuty.
Lade Tawak, day one fans know me as Deaduramilade. I have a Psychology background and went on to the UX field where I started out as a UX Researcher. I have since expanded my skillset to Experience & Service Design. I started out my career in tech as a Writer (8+ years now) and now I do UX stuff, I write, I speak, and I’m also a Career Coach.
Why the newsletter?
We get questions about UX, specifically research at least once a day. That’s why Lade created this (http://bit.ly/beginnerUXRguide) guide. Two heads are better than one like they say so we’ve decided to create this newsletter to answer all your UX and research questions, and help people who want a better understanding of UX and research as well as people who want to advance their knowledge.
We wouldn’t use the word passion (yuck, Lade especially hates the word), but we care about people and creating the right way.
The reason why Dumss wanted to have a newsletter was so she could sign out with “With Love & Yam” and that’s the truth. Shallow? Maybe but then again, who cares?
What is UX Research and why do it.
UX Research goes by many names. You’ve probably heard it as user testing (please don’t call it this again), design research, product research (also something completely different), user research, usability research and on and on and on.
Simply put, it’s the process of understanding users (aka people) and problems by using various observation and feedback collection methods to test hypotheses, assumptions, and solutions as well as answer questions and create usable and useful experiences.
Understanding users/people here is about developing an indepth understanding of people and this includes needs, behaviours, constraints, motivations, preferences, attitudes… Basically everything about people and why they behave the way they do. So that your one survey you share to your group chat and get 12 responses at the start of the project doesn’t really count.
A solid understanding of people is important for one sole reason: people use products. There’s a lot going on in the world & there are loads of things fighting for our attention every minute. A solid example is me forgetting to write this newsletter on time and binge watching the mentalist instead. There are so many products available and so many ways people can achieve their goals, so a solid understanding of who it is you’re trying to help & what they are trying to do gives you some leverage, and allows you to create the right thing that catches their attention. That’s just it. In the coming issues, we’ll be diving deeper into the concept of UX Research & we’ll be sharing things that can help you do better research and be better at doing research.
There’s a lot more to UX research than surveys and usability testing. There’s more to it that just asking questions. There’s technique to how you ask the questions, things you have to lay down before you start doing research, things like ethics and research ops to consider. There’s considerations to be made when doing research that involves people. But don’t worry, we’re here to help you unravel the wonderful world of UX research.
Before you go, read this article about why it’s better not to do research at all than to do it the wrong way (https://medium.com/microsoft-design/skip-user-research-unless-youre-doing-it-right-seriously-15494e5ee033) .
Thanks for reading, and if you found this useful, don’t forget to share!
‘Dumi & ‘Lade