MY RESEARCH PHILOSOPHY
Over the years, I've developed a number of "pillars" that guide the way I think about and execute research in my every day work...
PROVIDE HIGH-QUALITY, CREDIBLE RESEARCH
Research shouldn't be done on auto-pilot. Each study has unique and constantly changing goals, which means that the methods and approaches we use should be adapting as well. As an industry-embedded researcher, it can be easy to let external factors impact the way we run our research (time, budget, resources, etc.), but it's important to me that above all else, my research remains credible, trustworthy, and rooted in science.
ALWAYS DIG ONE STEP DEEPER
The process of analyzing complex data and turning it into easy to understand insights is probably my favorite part of being a researcher. I believe it's always important to look past the surface level findings and dig deeper to see if there's more to uncover. How else can we break down this data? Are there larger overarching themes here? Can we turn this into a model or framework? When time allows, we should always be asking these types of questions and pushing analysis further, otherwise we leave potentially groundbreaking insights behind.
UNDERSTAND THE PRODUCT
The importance of understanding the product being researched is, in my experience, often overlooked. In order to plan and execute research that is high value for development teams, it is absolutely necessary to understand the design intent, the nuances of how the product works, and its planned direction. It allows you to better assess when and where research is needed, make better sense of complex data, and ensure that your insights and recommendations are relevant and actionable. Not to mention, understanding the product is an easy way to build trust with development teams and speak their language!
FOLLOW THROUGH & HAVE AN IMPACT
We can run all the research we want - but if nobody is listening, we're not accomplishing much. As researchers, we're usually not the ones responsible for actually making changes, and since we often find ourselves as the "bearers of bad news," it can be difficult to get buy-in from those who are. I believe that building lasting relationships, understanding what resonates best with your stakeholders, and following through to ensure that your research is having an impact are all just as important parts of the process as running the research itself.
BUILD A HOLISTIC VIEW
UX Research is one way to understand users - but it only looks at them through a certain lens, and that brings limitations. We can understand the deep intricacies of how people think and feel as they use our products, but, for example, analytics data is better equipped to help us understand user behavior on a large scale. Utilizing every data source available and building the most holistic view possible is always top of mind for me.