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.
At People Nerds, we’ve spent a lot of time listening to uncertainties UXRs face—in regards to their career growth, people management tactics, and potential skill development. The list of “new things to learn” and “new tactics to adapt” seems to only grow longer as the field continues to change.
Luckily, researchers deal particularly well with uncertainties, with new learnings, and with adaptation.
Still, a little help never hurt. So we’ve compiled this bookmarkable guide to point you in the right direction when you’re stuck. No matter your research roadblock, we’ve got advice from top UXRs that should help you break through it.
Each topic below will outfit you with templates, webinars, interviews, and guides that’ll set you up for success whenever you feel stuck.
Get started with this walkthrough on UX specialization. It’ll keep “where you’re going” (and where the field’s going) top of mind when you choose your next job, project, or educational opportunity.
Once you know where you want to go, it’s time to isolate the skills you need to get there. This guide should inform both how you grow at your company, and inspire your company’s growth.
In a new role, or looking to take on new responsibilities? This guide outlines what you should do within your first day, week, and month to get started off on the right foot.
Additional resources: How to Optimize Your User Research Resume, A Brief Guide to Moving From Academic Research to User Experience Research, How to Ace the Dreaded Whiteboard Challenge, How to Transition from Full-time User Researcher to Freelancer
Successfully run workshops are the backbone of quality collaboration. They can motivate stakeholders, unearth new insights, build trust and reduce bias. These guides outline how to host a workshop with confidence—whether you’re in person, or working remotely.
Sometimes the best way to collaborate effectively, and efficiently, is to set guardrails. Use this customizable template to tell teammates how they can best work with you, and to set parameters for how to effectively answer research questions together.
Additional resources: The Power of Working Cross-Departmentally as a User Researcher, How to Debrief Your Team After a Research Session, 11 Ways to Keep Research Top-of-Mind For Your Team, User Research Retrospectives: Your Key to Running Smoother Studies
Read: How We Empathize in UX Matters (An interview with social UX researcher Alba Vilamil)
Alba gives us a primer on the limits of empathy in research, how to decolonize research ethics, the untapped power of sociological analysis, and the root of design’s diversity problem. It’s an essential read for modern research ethics.
Read: How to Redesign for Justice (An Interview with Creative Reaction Lab Founder Antionette Carroll)
Antionette Carroll walks us through what a more inclusive world of research and design can look like—including how we can prioritize healing, look to the next generation, and empower those who most need a voice.
Watch: Panel Webinar: UX Research that Serves Communities
We brought together researchers in civil and nonprofit UX to share how their research serves their target communities—and how yours can better serve your audience, too. Hear their best advice for doing more thoughtful, and less extractive, UX work. (Or read the recap here).
Additional resources: 4 Key Design Principles for Gender Identity Inclusion, How to Find the Bears in Your Forest (Interview with Autumn Sanders Foster), Good Design is Cross Cultural (Interview with Senongo Akpem), Design in Three Dimensions (Interview with Jutta Treviranus)
There are no edge cases, there are just users. Lauren Isaacson walks us through how to better understand our bias, and better set the groundwork for research that reaches, and accounts for, everyone.
This is a catch-all guide to building your research or design projects with care. It’s a great place to start if you’re looking to immerse and educate yourself on some of the great reads, listens, and events behind the call for more equitable UX.
From navigating new data legislation to adapting to new social norms—researching users abroad requires some adjustments. This basic primer should help you to adjust gracefully.
International research leads to some project management challenges. Juggling the logistics—from timezones, to partner management, to translation, to cultural expectations—can lead to workflow-breaking hiccups. This substantive guide breaks down how to avoid those.
Margaret Lee (UX Director) and Mike Buzzard (Design Manager) lead Google’s UX Community + Culture team, the first of its kind to invest in the health and success of the User Experience discipline across the company. Watch our conversation with them about building cohesive, productive, and connected UX teams remotely (or read the summary).
Read: The UX Research Adolescence (An interview with Monal Chokshi)
Monal Chokshi walks us through how she built UX research culture at Lyft—from hiring, to scaling, to better socializing the role of UX company wide.
Additional Resources: The UX Evolution (An Interview with Jen Romano-Bergstrom)
Cordelia Hyland talks about the triumphs and perils of research democratization. She walks us through the inner workings of her team’s democratization program at Thumbtack, and breaks down the way they’ve ensured research quality while enhancing research scope.
Our panel shares their experiments with democratization at orgs like Facebook, Zapier, Slack, and Thumbtack—and offers a path forward for scaling safely and productively. Hear them discuss the future of UX in this webinar, or read the recap here.
Additional resources: Scale Insights with Rolling Research
Watch: Agile for Researchers
Agile qual expert Carrie Yury and Sonos’ Director of User Research Kristen Lewis share how “agile” and “qualitative” can work in tandem to deliver context efficiently. Hear their top tips for adding speed to your qualitative practice and collaborating within an agile environment.
Can you analyze your research efficiently, without cutting (crucial) corners? Here are some effective tactics for qual analysis on ideal and less-than-ideal timelines.
Additional resources: We’re Conducting Research at the Speed of Agile. Here’s a Case for Slowing Down, Meeting the Rising Demand for User Research (Advice from Google, AirBnB, LinkedIn and More), Want More “Agile” Qualitative Research? Take it Remote, 9 User Research Hacks for your Next Resource-Limited Project
We asked leading researchers at Target, Google, and Even how they go from “distilling great insights” to “getting something done about them.” They told us about the low-effort/high-yield ways they’ve socialized research insights at their companies.
From “meeting your colleagues where they are” to designing “wow-factor” deliverables, these tips for sharing research are thoughtful best practices we could all stand to remember if we want our research to be remembered.
If you’re short on time, design resources or inspiration, this customizable deck should help. Use it to take your deliverables—for quant or qual research—to the next level.
This is everything we know on effective remote research, distilled into one lengthy-but-handy guide. Skim it for the answer to a specific remote research question, or digest the whole thing for a deep dive on the state of modern qual research.
Your full UX practice—your research methods, your day-to-day collaborative work, your share outs—are now remote. How do you adjust? We asked a handful of the best remote researchers in the biz that question and their advice did not disappoint.
At dscout, we’ve seen orgs have success with numerous remote opportunities—some that many researchers miss. We shared client-tested strategies for conducting and scaling remote studies—without sacrificing the depth of insights you’d expect from fielding in-person.
If we want our best-fit participants, we need to put as much thought and effort into our screeners as we do the rest of our study design. Emily Kuhn has worked on thousands of participant screeners, and outlines the mistakes she’s seen crop up time and time again.
At the core of good recruiting is a firm understanding of your target users and your project’s goals. Here’s some advice for recruiting participants who provide you with rich responses and fuel a more insightful research study.
Additional Resources: Work More Effectively with These 9 “Difficult Participant” Personality Types
In a time of business uncertainty and changing customer priorities, it’s more important than ever for researchers and designers to have a “seat at the table.” Hear Carolyn Hou, Founder of Arlo Labs, and McLean Donnely, Principle at the Makery, discuss critical business frameworks for UX practitioners (or read the recap here).
Top researchers from Google, Lyft, Uber, and LinkedIn give us their take on where UR is moving and the challenges we’re set to face as the field grows. Understanding that future is essential for UXRs looking to take on the mantle of becoming strategic advisors.
Research projects are complex, so some headaches are inevitable. But many can be relieved with a well-structured, well-written, research plan. Here’s a go-to reference for crafting one effectively.
We built a step-by-step UX research brief template that should get your study off to the right start. Use it to bring your stakeholders onboard, keep your next project on track, or get your team involved in the planning process.
Read + Download:
Read + Download:
- Use This 10-Principle Framework to Assess Your Research Interviews (Template Included)
- 17 Tips the Pros Use to Master One-on-One Interviews
- 5 Stages of Successful Customer Journey Maps
- The 6 Research Process Pillars of a More Dynamic Customer Journey Map
- User “Choose Your Own Adventure” Stories: A Creative Research Deliverable You’ll Actually Have Time to Execute
Machine learning for user research
- Mixed Methods Research: The “Everything You Should Know” Guide
- A Simplified, Mixed Methods Roadmap: How to Marry Quant + Qual for More Insightful Results
- Hybrid Research: The “Just Right” Mix of Generative and Evaluative Insights
- Workshop: Survey Design Basics for Qual-First UXRs
- The Simple Way to Design a Standout UX Research Survey
- Writing Next-Level Surveys: How to Get “Story Data” from Static Questions
- How to Write (Better) Survey Questions: Systems for Collecting Clean and Meaningful Data
- 11 Usability Testing Metrics that Will Enrich Your Reporting
- Train Your Team to Usability Test in Just an Afternoon
“Quick insight” methods
- How (and Why) to Conduct a Heuristic Evaluation
- How to Conduct a Competitive Audit: A Helpful, Quick-Turnaround Research Activity
- Prove the Value of Your UX Research Insights with a Benchmarking Study
- A/B Testing for User Researchers: A Low-Lift Way to Answer Quick Product Questions