Loose Threads

How to shine when it feels like you’re drowning in great research findings

At the start of a project we often run a phase of discovery research where we aim to learn as much as we possibly can to understand the users. And then as we move on our research narrows and we focus more on testing usability of prototypes through to fully developed services. As design and development ramps up for these, researchers need to rapidly turnaround findings and recommendations to avoid

Week notes w/c 6 January 2020

Back to work week, and every one seems happy to be back. It was interesting to see how so many are apologetic for taking a break and not doing much other than eat lots, drink lots and watch television. But as humans we really need to take a break and let our minds and bodies rest more often. You can see the energy returned when we do. For me, I

Week notes w/c 30 December 2020

Last week of the week, time for closing some doors and looking for some new ones to open. Some of those are already booked into the calendar and need a good run up, others are yet to be discovered. Parkrun massive New year’s day is special in parkrun because the normal start time of 9am is lifted and events can choose when they start in the morning. From the runner’s

Week notes w/c 2 December 2019

Recruitment A week of meetings this week, including team leaders of some staff we’ll be researching with in the future. Recruitment can be so time-consuming that it takes away from other work you really should be doing. Fortunately these staff have been involved in research programs before and are happy to put themselves forward for some more. However previous experience with research can be a bit of a double edged

Week notes w/c 25 November 2019

Wednesday – OneTeamGov York The second OneTeamGov breakfast at York city council brought a smaller group but easier to talk. We discussed organisational cultures, particularly those unfamiliar with UX and UCD approaches, and ways to set up research repositories for sharing research learnings and skills. Looking forward to the next one in the new year. Thursday – CAMRA Members Weekend meeting Organisation is progressing well, and registrations are filling up.

Week notes w/c 18 November 2019

Monday – Content design I was recommended this book by a content designer who told me “Sarah Richards, she literately wrote the book on content design”. And I’d recommend it on. It’s a small book, easy to read in a couple of sittings. And it lays out the ground work for content design. Focus on your message, write clearly, cut the fluff. But. And there is a but. I found

Week notes w/c 11 November 2019

Tuesday – a hug and a memory A colleague hugged me today just out of the blue. I think it came as much of a surprise to him as to me. A genuine expression of thanks and relief that reminds you how we’re all human and living in our own little pool of worries.  I’d done some research sessions a few weeks ago, standing in for a colleague and then

Week notes w/c 4 November 2019

Monday – research plans The start of the week was about getting feedback from my team and getting them on board with the research plan. Latter part of the week was about refining it for buy in from stakeholders. Two very different audiences but equally important so you can deliver your best as a user researcher.  As an agency researcher, the research plan serves as a statement of work that

Week notes w/c 28 October 2019

Research geeking The main theme of this week has been meeting other researchers from different disciplines to talk about what they’re exploring, learning and contributing the to the wider project that I’m also working in.  It was the first time I had come across systems mapping, a way to map out the interconnectedness of factors within the social, economic and political ecosystems around a topic of interest. It’s a big

Week notes w/c 21 October 2019

Mostly a week of rest and recovery but with a few notable moments. Monday – a long recovery walk up a hill Last day in Lisbon and time for a recovery walk up a very long hill rewarded with the most amazing visual backdrop for a picnic lunch.  A trip to Lisbon isn’t complete without mentioning the ticket machines. I’ve been fascinated by these beasts since my MSc when I