Leveling up as a user researcher

This page displays take away information I have saved from articles read focused on research methods. I use this as a reference point for research in the research category.

Take Aways:

The research process

  1. Figuring out what to learn

  2. Deciding how to learn it

  3. Uncovering or observing evidence

  4. Making sense of what was learned (“synthesis” and “insights”)

  5. Deciding how to act on it

  6. Ensuring consistent action

I’ve broken the article into a level format for a bit less scrolling and more clarity around the level types of research.

[Thinking] Process mastery: ownership of the research process
[Execution] Technical competence: technique, method, and output
[Impact] Organizational influence: empowerment, alignment, and direction

I. Process mastery

Level 1
Who? - Target audience
What? - Method
When? - When do you want it?

Level 2
What? - What are you trying to figure out?
Why? - Why is this important for us to answer?
You recommend Who, What (method), and When

Level 3
Why? - What is our organizational and user impact?
You shape, reframe, or reject the entire process accordingly

II. Technical competence

Level 1
Interview note-taking
Interview debriefing
Data collection
User testing
Simple reporting

Level 2
Project planning
Project management
Structured design and research methods (e.g. mixed-method studies, progressive iterative research while embedded in a team)
Complex synthesis (e.g., personas, journey mapping, service blueprinting, jobs to be done)

Level 3
Centralizing customer feedback
Wide audience communication & presentation
Roadmap planning
Framing and storytelling
Workshop facilitation

III. Organizational influence

Level 1
Credible reporting
Fair, honest judgement of design and product
Interaction-level and usability authority

Level 2
Embed and partner with functional teams
Empower other project teams to do effective research
Reframe and focus research questions
Develop a respected point of view on product-level decisions

Level 3
Strategic partner to product and design functions
Reshape higher-order processes
Centralize and unlock existing knowledge
Direct organizational research focus