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People Nerds

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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How to Conduct Generative Research: A Complete Guide for UX Researchers

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.” 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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In the People Nerd Library

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

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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.

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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?

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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!

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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.

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Reading the Room

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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Nominate a people nerd

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