People Nerds

Conversations with people who share our passion 
for understanding what makes people tick

PN Unmoderated User Testing Vol2 HERO
How to Optimize Unmoderated User Tests

You can’t be everywhere at once. That’s why unmoderated user testing might be just the thing to scale your research.

Asking Six Million Users and Grading on a Curve

[OPINION]: Research must scale. That requires new methods and tools, an exponential increase of input data, and a greater responsibility to use that data well.

PN Remote Collaboration Tactics HERO
5 Key Tactics for Productive Remote Research Collaboration

The transition to work from home creates challenges—as well as opportunities. Here are five ways to help your team keep up the work remotely.

PN Upskill With People Nerds HERO
Upskill with People Nerds: A Resource for Any Research Roadblock

Whatever you’re struggling with in your research practice—be it interpersonal, organizational, logistical, or methodological—we have a guide, workshop, or template for you.

PN Unmoderated User Testing HERO
Your Research Project Roadmap: Essential Steps for Ensuring for a Thorough Study

Your projects are like journeys. And like any good journey, planning is essential.

PN WRKSHOP Survey Design Recap HERO
5 Tips to Increase the Impact of Your UX Surveys from Lauren Isaacson

UXRs are responding to a rapidly changing experience world, and with it comes mixing methodologies to explain the most of the picture. Go from stale to stellar with these tips.

Alternatives HERO
3 Focus Group Alternatives To Garner Rich, Qual Insights

Are focus groups really the gold standard to gather qual insights? Here are three alternatives for your next project.

PN Choose Right Deliverable HERO
12 Research Deliverables and When to Choose Them

The right research deliverables let your team act on research insights. Here’s how to get the most out of them.

IDEAS Benchmarking Usability HERO
Prove the Value of Your UX Research Insights with a Benchmarking Study

Benchmarking studies let you know how (and if) your insights are improving user experience. Here’s how to conduct one. 

PN WRKSHP Democratization HERO
9 Pillars of a Successful Research Democratization

Increasingly, non-researchers are looking for insights and talking to customers. We can’t always control it, but we can help shape responsible democratization practices that move our companies forward.

PN Assess Own Research Interviews HERO
Use This 10-Principle Framework to Assess Your Research Interviews (Template Included)

Assessing where you are as an interviewer is key to improving and gaining better insights. Here’s how to do it.

PN Post Project Retros HERO
User Research Retrospectives: Your Key to Running Smoother Studies

Want to gain better and more direct feedback on your work? A user research project retrospective can do just that.

The Ultimate Guide to Mixed Methods User Research

Adding methods to your study also adds richness to your findings, expediency to your workflow, and opportunities to collaborate.

IDEAS How To Utilize HERO
A/B Testing for User Researchers: A Low-Lift Way to Answer Quick Product Questions

Add A/B testing to your “save time, solve the problem” arsenal. Here’s what you need to know to conduct your first test.

PN Card Sorting HERO
How to Conduct An Effective Card Sort: A Comprehensive Guide

If you want to understand how your users process and categorize information, card sorting is the method to use. Here’s a primer on how to get started.

How to Conduct a Competitive Audit HERO
How to Conduct a Competitive Audit: A Helpful, Quick-Turnaround Research Activity

Competitive audits aren’t just for market research. They’re an easy “between sprint” way to provide insights to your stakeholders.

PN Choose A Methodology HERO
Not Sure Which User Research Methodology To Use? Start Here.

The amount of user research methods can feel overwhelming. Luckily, there are four steps you can take to choose the right one.

PN Practice VS HERO
UX Research: A Practice or a Science?

The way we conduct user research changes based on how scientific, how rigorous, and how precious we think it is.

PN Debriefing HERO
How to Debrief Your Team After a Research Session

Want a good way to avoid overwhelming synthesis sessions? Learn the art of the debrief.

PN Full Time to Freelance HERO
How to Transition from Full-time User Researcher to Freelancer

Considering making the leap to freelancing? Use this step-by-step guide to ensure a smoother transition. 

PN Back Up Qual Research HERO
Use These "Quick Quant" Research Methods to Back Up Your Qual Findings

You can’t actually “quantify qual.” But pulling in quant data to support you qual findings may make your results more impactful.

4 Thoughtful Principles for Service-Minded UXR

It’s time to radically restructure how we serve those in need. Here’s how UX can step up to the plate.

9 Golden Rules for Cultivating Community on UX Teams

The team at Google’s UX Community & Culture share their best advice for encouraging thriving, user-focused teams.

PN Doing User HERO
How to Do Compassionate Research — Even When It’s Tough

When the going gets tough, it’s important to remember that sometimes the kindest work is the work you don’t do at all.

PN A Model For HERO
How to Level Up Your User Research Career

Whether you’re an aspiring researcher looking to cut your teeth, or you’re a seasoned UXR looking for a new challenge, taking these steps to advance your career can get you there.

PN Guide Heuristic Evaluations HERO
How (and Why) to Conduct a Heuristic Evaluation

Heuristic evaluations give you insight into the overall experience of your product, and where it falls short. Here’s how you can get started conducting one today.

PN 3 Ways Negotiate User Research HERO
3 Stakeholder Negotiation Tactics for UX Researchers

Negotiating with your stakeholders doesn’t have to be painful. Here are 3 tactics to help bring them to the table.

PN Business Essentials HERO
4 Essential Business Strategies Every UX Practitioner Should Know

The lines between business strategy and UX strategy are blurring. It’s up to UXRs and designers to understand both worlds.

The COVID Diaries Part III: The Products of COVID

New routines have led to new user experiences and a greater willingness than ever to experiment. Here’s how COVID is changing our supply chains, weakening the “digital divide” and endearing us to new products, services, and routines.

PN UXR Top of Mind HERO
11 Ways to Keep Research Top-of-Mind For Your Team

You can’t always be around to bug people about incorporating user research into projects. Here are a few ways to keep research on your team’s mind.

Writing Next-Level Surveys: How to Get "Story Data" from Static Questions

Surveys sometimes get a bad rap (and for good reason). Here are a few ways you can level up your survey game.

IDEAS Optimizing User HERO
How to Optimize Your User Research Resume

Looking to make the next big career move? Start by dusting off your resume and optimizing it for success.

PN Write User Research Summaries HERO
How to Write Actionable User Research Summaries (With Checklist + Examples)

Want a great way to provide colleagues and stakeholders a quick, actionable snapshot of your research insights? Here’s how to create summaries that do just that.

PN Writing User HERO
How to Write Compelling User Research Insights in 6 Steps

We’re often reminded of the importance of “sharing insights.” But advice for how define an insight, and how we should be writing them, is vague at best.

PN Hybrid Research Methods HERO
Hybrid Research: The "Just Right" Mix of Generative and Evaluative Insights

As user researchers, we rarely get the gift of time. That’s why you need to mix generative and evaluative insights together. Enter: hybrid research.

COVID-19 Diaries Part II: How We Cope

As Americans settled in uncomfortably to a “quarantine normal,” we took a deeper look at their tactics for coping with the transition.

PN Running Remote Workshops HERO
How to Run an Engaging Remote Workshop: Tips for Stress-Free Collaboration

Trouble communicating, distractions, and dropped calls. Here’s how you can make your next workshop as painless as possible.

PN Remote Research HERO
A Comprehensive Guide to Remote User Research: How to Unearth Essential Insights

This guide is a true start-to-finish look at effective, efficient, and powerful remote user research. By the time you finish it, you’ll feel confident tackling almost any research question or methodology remotely.

IDEAS Difficult Participants HERO
Work More Effectively with These 9 “Difficult Participant” Personality Types

Even if you’ve done everything right in recruiting, you might still end up with a participant you find difficult to work with. These tactics should enable you to keep things running smoother.

PN Mental Models How To Use HERO
A Researcher's Guide to Mental Models (And How to Use Them Wisely)

Mental models can help you understand your users on an even deeper level. Here’s how you can get started using them.

The COVID-19 Diaries: A Portrait of American Life Through Pandemic

March 15th-22nd was the week we left our known world of work and routine behind. These 45 powerful micro-stories showcase what the “new” world looks like across the country.

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10 Cognitive Biases Anyone Doing UX Research Should Know

Understanding and mitigating biases in user research is crucial. Here’s how you can get started.

PN International Research HERO
A Complete Guide to Remote International Research Logistics

When it comes to effective international research, the devil is in the details. Use these essential detail-management tips to create the environment for an effective study.

PN 10 Ideas HERO 1
10 Exciting (and Underutilized) Strategies for Remote, Unmoderated Research

Break out of your methodological rut! Here are a few novel tactics for getting rich insights from remote research.

Rolling Research: Your Key to Creating a Culture that Incorporates User Insights

We talked with researchers at Github and Facebook on a practice core to scaling insights at their orgs. Here are their best practices for iterative research.

PN Writing Better HERO
How to Write (Better) Survey Questions: Systems for Collecting Clean and Meaningful Data

Write survey questions that get the insights you need with this simple framework.

PN Recruiting HERO
Use These "Pre-Recruiting" Rituals to Pick the Right Participants Every Time

Get the right research participants by understanding your project’s goals and target users

PN Black History Month HERO
What We Celebrate (and Need to Talk About) When We Celebrate Black History Month

We asked dozens of participants what Black History Month meant to them, and what we can do better to commemorate the contributions of Black Americans.

How to Set Up a User Research Framework (And Why Your Team Needs One)

Orient your team to “how UXR works” with this handy, concrete, stakeholder-ready, user research framework.

Ur Resource Roundup Hero
The Best UX Resources For Researchers and Designers (Updated for 2020)

The most useful resources for UR and UX pros…bookmark now, thank us later.

Quant User HERO
Stop Lights and Rainbow Charts: Two Engaging Templates for Qual Research Reports

Use these two straightforward report frameworks to present findings in an engaging (and colorful!) way

PN 9 User Research Hacks HERO
9 User Research Hacks for your Next Resource-Limited Project

Sometimes, you have to do the best with what you have. Use these user research hacks if you ever find yourself with a limited budget, time, or people.

The Simple Way to Design a Standout UX Research Survey

Surveys are one of the most reliable tools in a researcher’s toolbox. Here’s how to design one to help validate your qualitative insights.

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11 Usability Testing Metrics that Will Enrich Your Reporting

Use these 11 metrics the next time you need to support your qualitative insights with quantitative data.

PN Real World HERO
A Practical Synthesis Strategy for Busy UXRs

“Best-practice” synthesis takes time that we don’t always have at our disposal. Here’s a realistic approach for getting findings you feel good about in front of your stakeholders.

Blog Art Epic Recap HERO
A FOMO-Fighting Recap of our Favorite 2019 UXR Events

A quick “get-up-to-date” summary of what UXRs discussed last year (and a few handy links so you can stream anything you might’ve missed).

PN Designing Better HERO
A 5 Step Framework for Building Better Personas

User personas get a bad rap—and sometimes for good reason. Here’s a great system for making ones you’ll love.

PN Academia to User Research HERO
A Brief Guide to Moving From Academic Research to User Experience Research

The transition to UXR from the world of academia can be rough. Here’s how to make it smoother.

PN Internalizing User HERO
Researching Users in Another Country? Here's How to Prepare

From navigating new data legislation to adapting to new social norms—researching users abroad requires some adjustments.

Moves to Modern Research: A New Maturity Model for User-Centric Organizations

After years of conversations with leading researchers, we’ve nailed down tangible stages orgs take as they adopt, expand, and grow user-centric practices.

How to Win Friends and Influence Stakeholders with Qual Research

We gathered four leading UXRs to discuss how they’ve won hearts, minds, and budgets for qual research in quant-minded orgs.

PN Creating A HERO
Make Anyone Into a Fantastic Workshop Moderator (With this Simple Playbook)

Want to build a more collaborative research culture? Run more workshops. Want to make running workshops easier? Build a playbook.

PN A Syllabus HERO
Inclusive and Accessible UX: A Starter Syllabus

Looking to make “accessible” and “inclusive” more than buzzwords at your organization? Here are some guides, reads, and listens you’ll want to know about. 

IDEAS Mapping The Creation HERO
5 Stages of Successful Customer Journey Maps

A customer journey map gives you insight into how your users interact with your product. Here are five best practices to help you make one.

PN Salon Recap HERO
Meeting the Rising Demand for User Research (Advice from Google, AirBnB, LinkedIn and More)

We spoke to five leading UXRs about how they’re responding to the growing need, and shrinking delivery windows, for UX insights.

PN Gen Z Recap HERO
Use These 6 Principles to Design for Your Future Users

Gen-Z is different. Here are six design implications for your design and research process.

PN Convincing Stakeholders HERO
3 Steps for Getting Stakeholders Excited About New Research Approaches

Don’t let your company’s expectations turn you into a research robot. Here are tactics for breaking out of a methodological rut.

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5 Research Strategies for Getting Insights from Healthcare Consumers

If you’re looking to understand human behavior in the healthcare space, these are ways to see patients, consumers and users in a new light.

PN Finding Friends HERO
The Power of Working Cross-Departmentally as a User Researcher

Want to widen your UXR impact? Make friends with folks in new departments. (And we don’t just mean product and design).

PN Qualitative Analysis HERO
Foolproof Qualitative Analysis Tactics—For Whether You Have a Month or an Afternoon

Use these tactics to analyze for findings that “fit”—even when your timeline doesn’t suit the study.

PN App Alongs HERO
Websites, Apps, Omnichannel: Researching the Full Digital Experience (+ Sample Study Designs)

Users switch between desktop and mobile seamlessly—so why do we study them in a silo? Here are a few qual research tactics that’ll help you uncover the complete digital picture.

PN The Evolving HERO
We’re Conducting Research at the Speed of Agile. Here’s a Case for Slowing Down.

[OPINION] You’re not “falling behind”—you’re doing too much. It’s time we set the expectations straight.

PN Making Your HERO
User “Choose Your Own Adventure” Stories: A Creative Research Deliverable You’ll Actually Have Time to Execute

Journey maps are often linear. Your customer’s experiences almost never are. Here’s a new spin on an old research tactic that’ll engage and energize your stakeholders.

PN Gen Research HERO
Generative Research: Everything You Need to Know to Run a Successful Study

Exploratory, discovery, problem-space, foundational…generative research goes by many names. But its objective is always the same: know your users better, so you can to design for them well. Here’s a comprehensive framework to get you started.

PN Creating Remote Ready HERO
Here’s How to Make your Study Design Remote-Mobile Ready

Remote-mobile research can get you some powerful data—but to gather it effectively, you’ll need to shift your study design. Here’s how to set yourself up for success.

How to Conduct a Diary Study: A Start-to-Finish Guide

If you want see your participants up close and in-context—diary studies should be a part of your methodological toolkit. Here’s how to run one with fewer hiccups and more impact.

PN Facilitating Workshops HERO 1
User Research Workshops: Why, When, and How You Should Ideate as a Team

Motivating your stakeholders. Unearthing new insights. Building trust. Reducing bias. There are countless reasons to host workshops as a UXR. Here’s how to execute one with confidence.

PN UXR Insights Recap HERO
The 6 Research Process Pillars of a More Dynamic Customer Journey Map

Too many customer journey maps focus entirely on what your users are doing. Let’s take a moment to talk about why they’re doing it and how you can pave the way to make their path-to-decision smoother.

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The Jobs to be Done Interviewing Style: Who are our Users Trying to Become?

How this popular framework can guide your user interviews.

Uxpa Recap Hero
6 Common Research Implementation Roadblocks—And How to Move Past Them

We asked leading researchers at Target, Google, and Even how they go from “distilling great insights” to “getting something done about them.” Here are their top tips.

Pn Going Beyond Hero
Project Management for User Researchers: How to Ensure a Smooth & Focused Project

The role of a user researcher goes beyond just running research. With effective project management skills, researchers can ensure that stakeholders regularly include research in their work.

Pn Do More Hero
You Should be Doing More Generative Research. Here’s a Guide to Get Started.

Here’s why generative research matters, when you should be doing it, and an action plan for starting at your company.

Pn Mbf Hero
More, Broader, Faster: A Brief Intro to Effective Remote Research

Here’s a succinct, back-to-basics primer on how to maximize the impact and efficiency of your next remote study

Pn 7 Ways To Ensure Hero
7 Ways to Ensure Your Research Insights are Heard and Acted Upon

If your insights are shared in a report, but no one is there to read it, does it even make a sound? Use these tactics to guarantee your findings are met with “wows” and action instead of “huhs?” and “mehs.” 

Evaluated Screeners Hero
5 Major Lessons from 1000+ Participant Screeners

A member of dscout’s Customer Success team shares pro tips on how to make screeners work for you and your research.

Presenting Research Hero
How to Present Your Research So That Stakeholders Take Notice and Take Action

Use these 10 tips to keep your research reports actionable, informative, and fun.

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People Nerds San Francisco Recap: Top Insights from 27 Speakers

On May 1st we got 250+ user researchers together for a day of insight-sharing, question-raising, and curiosity-building. Here’s what we learned.

Pnsf Product Announce Blog
Even Further In-Context: Better Recruiting and Collaboration Through dscout

What’s new to the dscout platform for remote qual—source qualified participants easier, share across your team and create video playlists in the platform

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Stuck? Here are 9 Ways to Analyze User Research for Meaningful Takeaways

Here are a few tricks for energizing your research synthesis—even if you’re not excited about your qualitative data.

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9 Research and Productivity Hacks for UX/UR Teams of One

On a small research team with big ideas? Learn how to prioritize the big-picture goals while juggling the day-to-day challenges—all in a day’s work.

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17 Tips the Pros Use to Master One-on-One Interviews

Make the most of your research session with these tactics meant to improve prep, flow, and evaluation.

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How to Ace the Dreaded Whiteboard Challenge

Do you have a process in place if you’re asked to do a whiteboard challenge as part of your next interview? Learn how an experienced UX researcher thinks about and does it.

Pw Agile Hero
Want More “Agile” Qualitative Research? Take it Remote.

Working with the agile methodology or at a company where stakeholders use sprints? Learn how to make your research faster with pro tips from Carrie Yury and Kirsten Lewis. Plus, a look at remote agile research in the dscout platform.

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7 Ways to Bring Creativity to Your Research For Better Results

Creative research design is a win for researchers, participants, and business outcomes. Here are a few inventive techniques for getting the most impact out of your next project.

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Make Your Research Eye-Opening

Insights from women in research on how to build momentum in your ogranization with qualitative research, and strategies for engaging key stakeholders with what you’ve found

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How to code and tag qualitative data to unlock research insights

People Nerds share their best tips for coding and tagging qualitative research effectively.

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Enterprise UX revs its engines

LinkedIn’s Enterprise UX team on how research is changing the Enterprise landscape.

In the People Nerd Library

The books our People Nerds can’t put down… and some more that they’ve written. 

User research trends we're watching in 2018

2017 was all about breaking down silos and walking in someone else’s shoes. So, what can it tell us about what to expect in the coming year? Here, four trends we’ll be watching unfold in user research in 2018.

Advocating with impact

For the second discussion in our series about “Research Roadblocks,” dscout sat down with a group of People Nerds to ask: What can researchers do to ensure our insights actually have influence?

Games with Researchers

With the 2017 Corporate Researchers Conference happening right in our neck of the woods, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to gather as many people-curious researchers as possible in one room for a night of drinks, games, conversation, and of course, People Nerd portraits!

Fighting for Research Integrity

Recently, we convened a group of People Nerds to explore the concept of research success, the roadblocks that prevent us from getting there, and what’s really at stake when challenges arise.

Reading the Room

Tips to better understand group dynamics, pick-up on non-verbal cues, and keep people engaged in your next big meeting.

The hats of the researcher

A researcher’s job doesn’t end when the data has been collected. We asked people nerds about the other hats they wear most often and why they do it.

What's your motto?

We asked the professionally curious researchers, strategists, designers and storytellers for their number one research rule and why. Here’s what drives the people nerd tribe.

Breaking bubbles in 2017

After the US election in 2016, it became clear that we are living in our own bubbles. So, we asked our people nerds how they plan on breaking their metaphorical bubbles.

People Nerds inspirations for 2017

Storytelling is such a big part of the life of people nerds—both finding and sharing the stories of others. We wondered then, what stories and storytellers do they recommend we add to our reading lists this year?


Nominate a people nerd

Know someone you’d love to read about in a People Nerd profile? Tell us why