We’re midway into cohort #2 for Workday and SFSU’s DxD Intensives and the ideation is in full swing! SFSU student teams are diving into the research segment of their Intensives’ project with the help of guest speaker Andréa Villa, Principal UX Researcher at Workday.
Andréa’s prime directive was to guide students through the protocols and best practices of user research. She highlighted key concepts including: the “Power of Why”; the importance of planning one’s research and being conversant with participants; how to make sense of ‘storytelling’; how to use the data gathered; and, most importantly, how understanding people creates better experiences… and better data.
As she framed it, “Too often, the simple act of listening deeply to people is forgotten in product design and development. Our rush to produce something tangible without listening to our users is a great way to ensure only our own worldview — and its unintentional bias — is built into whatever we make. Good researchers know that clarity, an open mind, and some good open-ended questions can make the difference between failure and a great experience.”
Lively Q&A after Andréa’s presentation surfaced how to deal with personal bias when researching, as well as the difference between ‘validating’ and ‘evaluating’ which brought up the cardinal rule of UX research: 'I am not my user’. Students left inspired and ready to dig into this next phase of their project. Said one student in particular, “I appreciated getting some nitty gritty details about effective user research. Specifically just getting actual details about dynamics during an interview, balancing the script with being human, and how to synthesize findings. This is in sharp contrast with the majority of UX information found via the internet which is more buzzwordy and hollow.”
Equipped with the tools to optimize their user research, the students have already started framing their interview questions and recruiting participants. From there, they’ll conduct user interviews, synthesize their findings, identify themes from their analysis, then, and here’s the really exciting part: develop an app concept for their solutions to the future of hybrid work!
There’s so much more on the horizon and we can’t wait to see where the student teams will arrive with concepts, so stay tuned!!