Roche Abbey

Monday – win-win research planning

Until recently I was working in an agency running user research projects on an ad-hoc basis. In my new role I’m embedded in a large project. Not only does this give me the advantage of working with other user researchers but also allows me to learn from and build on research done before. For some reason, when you’re in an agency, clients are reluctant to share details of what they’ve learned before and that means that researchers have to start from scratch each time and may not be adding as much value as they could.

This week I’ve been building a research plan based on results found by our social researchers. Your organisation might call them market researchers or customer insight – they do interviews, focus groups, shadowing (contextual inquiry in UX speak) and surveys.

The team I’m talking to have discovered pain points and areas that might be ripe with opportunities for new service designs. That’s gold dust for me as a UX researcher because I can now draw up clear research questions and hypotheses to test along the user journey. Which means as we move into user research to discover and understand interaction behaviour we’re ahead already. We have the wider context, we have the data and confidence to recommend where to focus on in the journey and when we’re done, we can share back our learnings in a way that supports and helps the social researchers too.

Win-win collaboration.

Thursday – Meeting and beer festival

Some days at work can feel like meeting overload. I’m sure you know the feeling. So when I leave work and have to head to yet another in the evening it can feel just a meeting too far. But fortunately this one was held in a pub and was about beer campaigning, so it was a no brainer.

I’m a long-term member of CAMRA and in April next year, the AGM and Members weekend comes to York. If you’re also a member, then register here. If you’re a York local then register first, then go back to register page and click the “Volunteer to help” link underneath the “Register” button and sign up to help on the weekend.

As it’s a national event, much is done by the HQ team, but local branch has a big role in organising social events, a bar at the AGM, and showcasing the wonderful pubs in the area. I’m part of that organising team and the meeting was my first chance to meet the national team and discuss what needs to be done in the next few months. For me, that’s going to include organising a social beer run and the 5th York beer census. More on these later.

As the national team caught trains back home, the York team retired to Yorktoberfest. This is an annual institution in York, the 10th running of a beer festival held across two pubs – The Slip Inn and The Swan – and one not to be missed!

Saturday – bailed 20 mile run

Some days I my legs just don’t want to play ball. Some days I realise I am a fair weather running. This was my long run of the weekend, a trail event around the wonderful atmospheric Roche Abbey (see image above) with added incentive of cake at the end, but it was not to be.

Rain, mud, getting lost in the woods, cows, more mud, and more rain. Decided to bail after the first lap.

Cake was damned good though 🙂

Sunday – how do you spell that?

I booked the table over the phone – “for 5 please, in the name of Buykx”.

If you’ve ever wondered how you say that, here’s your answer.

Table placement with reserved sign reading "12:00 x 5 Bikes"

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