Transcript: Ask the UXperts: Learning from the comic, tragic & astonishing moments in user research — with Steve Portigal

Transcript: Ask the UXperts: Learning from the comic, tragic & astonishing moments in user research — with Steve Portigal

Steve Portigal
Summary:

Yesterday we hosted Steve Portigal in our Slack channel for the last Ask the UXperts session for 2016.

It was an informative and entertaining session. Here is the full transcript.

In a cracking finale to an amazing year of Ask the UXperts sessions, yesterday we hosted the amazing Steve Portigal in our Slack channel.

Steve has recently written a new book titled Doorbells, Danger, and Dead Batteries. 

It’s an amazing collection of ‘war stories’ – things that have gone wrong in the field while carrying out user research – along with valuable lessons learned.

If you’d like to grab a copy you can do that here. Use the code UXMASTERY20 to claim a 20% discount.

Steve chatted about the book, shared some amazing stories and lessons, and made us laugh.

The session was particularly memorable for me, because I moderated it live from the highways of New Zealand’s North Island.

We’re going to take a break from these sessions for the holidays, but we’ll be back in full force with a pretty exciting line up of characters in the new year, so keep your eyes out for the announcements (and make sure you join our mailing list).

 

If you didn’t make the session because you didn’t know about it, make sure you join our community to get updates of upcoming sessions.

If you’re interested in seeing what we discussed, or you want to revisit your own questions, here is a full transcript of the chat.

Transcript

hawk
2016-12-14 21:01
So welcome everyone! For those of you that haven’t been to one of these sessions before, this is how we roll:

ceara
2016-12-14 21:01
@sbarnat thanks!

hawk
2016-12-14 21:01
I’ll introduce Steve, Steve will give an introduction to the topic, and then we’ll throw it open to your questions.

hawk
2016-12-14 21:01
If things get busy, I’ll queue questions in a back channel so that we don’t miss anyone.

hawk
2016-12-14 21:01
And I’ll post a full transcript of the session up on http://uxmastery.com tomorrow.

hawk
2016-12-14 21:01
So on that note, a huge thanks to @steveportigal for your time today – it’s much appreciated. We’re honoured to have you here.

jelto
2016-12-14 21:01
sounds great !

hawk
2016-12-14 21:01
Steve has just written a brand new book titled Doorbells, Danger and Dead Batteries.

hawk
2016-12-14 21:02
You can find out more about it and get your own copy here. Get 20% off with the code UXMASTERY20.

hawk
2016-12-14 21:02
And a bit more about Steve:

Steve Portigal helps companies to think and act strategically when innovating with user insights.
He is principal of Portigal Consulting, and the author of two books: The classic Interviewing Users: How To Uncover Compelling Insights and new, Doorbells, Danger, and Dead Batteries: User Research War Stories.

He’s also the host of the Dollars to Donuts podcast, where he interviews people who lead user research in their organizations (including Citrix, Airbnb, eBay and Pinterest).

hawk
2016-12-14 21:03
So @steveportigal – I’ll hand over to you for some more info on today’s topic

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:04
Actually, I’m not at Cape Flanderval today I’m outside of San Francisco.

kimbieler
2016-12-14 21:04
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steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:04
Thanks for having me.

danny.w
2016-12-14 21:04
Hi Steve!

mabes
2016-12-14 21:04
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dcollins5280
2016-12-14 21:04
Great to have you Steve! Thanks for joining us :slightly_smiling_face:

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:04
I’m really excited that the book is out – JUST out a few days ago – and this is the first time I’ve had a chance to really talk with people about this topic – stoked to do so in an interactive setting. At least to talk about it with people since the book came out I mean to say.

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:05
I’ll talk about the book and I guess what I see as a bit of a mission behind the book for a bit, if I may.

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:05
(YOU HAVE NO CHOICE!!!)

hawk
2016-12-14 21:05
Sounds good to me!

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:06
I started collecting war stories formally about 4 years ago, I started gathering them informally before that. War Stories, just to define some terms are stories about the things that happen that we don’t discuss unless we’re at a bar or someplace “safe”

halvam
2016-12-14 21:06
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steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:06
User research has plenty of war stories. The first time I started sharing these stories I was struck – oh wow, this is a thing we all have in common and why don’t we share it?

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:07
I just had the instinct that this was worth doing and with Interviewing Users my last book I kind of left a hook in the book – I made the point that this is a way we can start learning the reality of this work, and I put a URL in the book that linked to a bunch of stories.

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:07
And I started populating this part of the blog with stories. And as people wrote more stuff for me, my jaw just kept dropping further and further.

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:07
Okay that’s an unrealistic visual image.

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:08
I felt like this archive was growing and growing not only in size but also in meaning, ya know, when you feel like oh wow there’s something here.

chrisavore
2016-12-14 21:08
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steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:08
So writing this book was a chance to look at all these stories – stories of things going wrong, of sad things, of scary things, of funny things, of loss of control, just stories about so much – a chance to look at them fresh and say, well WHAT does it reveal?

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:08
It’s good to work with an editor and a publisher who will push you to do more than say just compile them.

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:09
Anyway the process of examining the stories more deeply and considering what the “truths” (not to be too pretentious about it) are that are revealed, what does it mean when we have stories that are about people doing the “right” thing and it STILL goes wrong, how to learn from that, how to articulate that – that’s been my exploration for the past year in preparing this book.

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:10
So the book is divided up into chapters OH WOW STEVE HOW INNOVATIVE thank you thank you

mallorychacon
2016-12-14 21:10
@steveportigal Very exciting to have you! I’m working just outside of San Francisco today too. Looking forward to hear about your new book!

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:10
the chapters describe a different area of challenge we have in fieldwork, from emotions, to seeing “dirty stuff”, to participants, to judgement, to danger,

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:10
and each chapter has an essay from me about the topic, a handful of stories that relate to the topic, and then a set of takeaways about how to improve our own practice.

jemrosario
2016-12-14 21:11
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steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:11
Anyway, that’s kind of the elevator pitch – why the book exists, why I’m into the stories, why I think they are worth sharing – I can say more about all of this, but I’d rather slow down my intro here and see what we want to talk about, what you want to ask, what you want to share, etc.

hawk
2016-12-14 21:12
I’m dying to hear what your favourite story is…

markrs
2016-12-14 21:12
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hawk
2016-12-14 21:12
And if anyone else has questions (either about the book or learning from mishaps) please jump in

alex.lee
2016-12-14 21:12
I’d like to know what you think is unique about user research that maybe different from standard ethnographic research?

hawk
2016-12-14 21:12
i love the idea of learning from other people’s mishaps (rather than making them myself) :wink:

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:13
@hawk I told the folks at Rosenfeld Media when they asked a similar question that I love all my children equally :slightly_smiling_face:

fernandez_ux
2016-12-14 21:13
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steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:13
There are some epic stories like Apala’s story about encountering a family fracas – being in the middle of it – in India – http://www.portigal.com/apalas-war-story-whose-side-is-the-researcher-on/

mallorychacon
2016-12-14 21:13
I’m curious if you found many interesting findings and insights in sessions that went drastically wrong by looking at the extremes of why something went wrong? Do you ever just throw sessions away or do you always try to find something in them?

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:14
but I like looking at the smaller stories – that just take a small moment and consider it.

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:14
like Susan Simon Daniels http://rosenfeldmedia.com/announcements/user-research-war-story-sigh-just-sigh/ – encountering a small moment of sadness and taking time with it

chrisoliver
2016-12-14 21:15
@steveportigal I’m curious to hear about dangerous situations and what could have been done to prevent them.

hawk
2016-12-14 21:15
Queuing questions now. I’ll mark them as acknowledged as we go (like this)

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:15
@alex.lee. Oh you aren’t going to ask me to define “ethnography” or define “user research” are you? That seems such a fraught topic. And something that people luuuuuuv to debate. I think I made the point in Interviewing Users that if you call something ethnography, someone else will tel you that you are wrong.

chrisgeison
2016-12-14 21:16
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steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:16
Do you have a definition or contrast that you use? I promise not to tell you that you’re wrong :slightly_smiling_face: :slightly_smiling_face:

alex.lee
2016-12-14 21:16
I’m a complete novice to user research as I come from academia so I am genuinely interested in hearing your perspective

alex.lee
2016-12-14 21:17
I also interviewed people extensively during my doctorate and I’m wondering if my approach should be different if I’m dealing with interviews with some product in mind

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:18
@alex.lee I think there are ethnographic practices from academia that are about the context in which it’s done – part of a theoretical graduate education, no methods training, lots of theory reading, a long time in a country far away and no client. User Research uses many methods and takes us into the field to address a specific business concern?

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:18
@mallorychacon I think an underlying theme in the book is around that exact thing. I found myself offering the same advice (in different words) for various chapters.

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:18
ONE: know when to give up, at least be prepared to give up

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:18
TWO: just keep going

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:18
And I think about it like this

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:18
for ONE, if things really suck, if it’s unsafe, if you are emotionally or physically at risk, then take care of yourself – self-care being a theme here

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:19
for TWO: everything else being equal, if you think you can’t get anywhere with this research session, what do you have to gain by giving up?

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:19
You can keep trying things, and see if you can do it.

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:19
I have a story in Interviewing Users (recapped in the interview I linked to a moment ago) about a family that did NOT want us there, and we kept going and kept going and had a dramatically effective interview.

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:20
I have a story in this book – and by story I mean a Steve anecdote, not a full war story from another research – about a guy who NEVER had any insight and I just kept trying and kept trying.

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:20
So, I feel like having both those positions. KEEP GOING. WALK AWAY. And thinking about how and when and why – there’s no rule but to be prepared for both.

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:21
@chrisoliver Danger is such a subjective thing and I think how we learn to parse that danger – again not a perfect thing – is something to hone.

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:22
Some people are more sensitive to certain situations than others. Jon McNeil has a story about being in a sports car at night while a perhaps speed-taking participant drives them aggressively towards a strip club and he describes his poor client in the back seat, looking back and seeing him holding on and yet his client acknowledges “well, this is fieldwork”

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:23
Jen Van Riet has a story about a session where a guy pulls out a gun, not in a weapony way, but he was carrying it and so it came up

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:23
So you can READ those stories (or my precis here) and think, well, is that dangerous or not, how did THEY feel, how do I feel afterwards

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:23
and how would I feel at the time.

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:23
and I think it gives fuel to examine those issues and I think continuing to examine them is all we can do.

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:24
She had the best title: Jennie’s Got A Gun

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:24
Unless that’s too obscure for young’uns

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:24

creativelaurels
2016-12-14 21:25
@steveportigal re: sigh. Were you surprised by the interviews “Rick’s” willingness to share his personal story with you in that setting? Does this sort of vulnerability come up often in that setting?

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:26
@creativelaurels this story is by Susan Simon Daniels.

mallorychacon
2016-12-14 21:26
@steveportigal @alex.lee I found your discussion on ethnographic practices vs user research interesting. I studied Anthropology with a focus on ethnographic research and I draw the following lines 1) Ethnographic practices and research, in their origin are practiced over a long enough period of time to incorporate yourself into the practices and day-to-day lives of the people or species you are studying. This is important to draw those insights related to practices that may only be exposed to you over a period of time and to build honest trust. 2) Ethnographic practices in User Research are often looked at as Field Studies, meaning, you still go into your user’s home and environment, but you establish trust quickly and still gain rich insights about their environment while you may not get them about the day-to-day behaviors that they may perform

aquaruchi
2016-12-14 21:26
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h_bookforest
2016-12-14 21:26
Having not yet read the book (but purchased), I am unclear on the proportion of – interviews going as expected and not too dangerously vs. war stories episodes – over a period of time or a project?

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:26
Sorry, probably didn’t hit that point most clearly – The stories in this book come from 60+ user researchers over the world.

creativelaurels
2016-12-14 21:26
My mistake.

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:26
no @creativelaurels not to worry – natural assumption without the book in your hand.

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:27
And anyway, I’ll share my PoV – I think people sharing personal stuff is very common. In the chapter about emotion I make the point that I hope to see someone cry every study – not because I want to HARM people but I do feel a little frisson when the topic we are exploring – and it can be just about anything – provokes a strong emotional reaction – when people feel comfortable and close and can talk about the big stuff.

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:28
Even talking about wine label design caused a woman to cry because it made her think of the baby she was trying to have.

mallorychacon
2016-12-14 21:28
@steveportigal Thank you for sharing about when to abandon – it’s definitely unique session to session.

fernandez_ux
2016-12-14 21:28
Nice to connect outside of the Twitter realm @steveportigal! I’m wondering if you can speak a little about the researchers’ reflection period after a “war story” , and what sort of ideas/learnings/wishes people may have had afterwards.

maadonna
2016-12-14 21:28
Wow. That’s why I don’t like doing research – I never want to be sitting with strnagers while they are crying. You are amazing

creativelaurels
2016-12-14 21:28
Thanks for sharing your pov, it’s an aspect of research I’m fascinated by.

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:29
@h_bookforest for sure, war stories are the exception, but over a career they accrue. If everything is a war story, you’re probably doing something wrong :slightly_smiling_face:

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:30
but there are elements of war stories all the time. Last week I was working with a team of newbie researchers and when they did their very first day of sessions (we conducted them in a lab), they had rehearsed the hell out of bringing people in and setting them up and greeting them, and set up the room with the right chairs etc. The first person

alex.lee
2016-12-14 21:30
@mallorychacon: your response got me wondering if it’s possible to draw longitudinal data from behavioral user patterns (like GPS tracking and cookies) that may draw equivalent ethnographic results. :thinking_face:

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:30
they bring her in, and say welcome thanks for coming – you can have a seat

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:30
she says “I Prefer To Stand.”

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:30
which isn’t a war story but is definitely a monkey wrench.

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:30
The third person told them that she had JUST found out she was pregnant. I mean, she got the call on the way into the office building and had not told anyone.

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:31
So there are these elements of things going “off the rails” that researchers maybe take for granted the more they do and they don’t all produce epic fails or even cause problems but these stories reflect the most extreme

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:31
and we can see nubbins of that every day.

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:31
@fernandez_ux hi there! You ask about reflection, which is a great question.

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:32
I think what’s great about this book – wow that sounds gross when I write that –

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:32
okay what I’m excited about with gathering war stories – and of course, this isn’t the full set, this is a start in formalizing them but I want to see more people collecting and sharing their own stories

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:33
anyway , having war stories as a thing – as War Stories – means it invites a chance to reflect. Ethnography is (I’m saying this wrong) the writing of a culture – the traditional work is very much about

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:33
WRITING

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:33
So you have the experience, and you step back and you reflect on it. And you write it up.

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:33
I think some people have stories they have been telling for a long time.

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:33
But I have people tell me all the time – oh I’m about to go do this project…I’m sure ‘ll have some stories – some war stories.

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:34
So just putting the war stories mindset out there gives people a bit of permission to think of their own experiences of worthy of reflecting on, of taking out and looking at, and maybe doing something with and maybe not.

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:34
I will also say almost all of those stories come from me soliciting them personally or on social media – who has a story, who has a story about x –

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:34
as a practice we are conditioned to ya know

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:34
do the work

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:34
do the work

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:34
report the worko

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:34
(work I mean)

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:35
not go and reflect on the work, and not write it up – not treat those experiences as anything except something that we did wrong.

mallorychacon
2016-12-14 21:35
@alex.lee it’s an intriguing thought. I think it’s crossing too many paths eventually – it would likely get messy. If you’re trying to gather behavioral data, you’re likely not going to pull quality longitudinal data because of the sheer issue of numbers – you can do quant and qual at the same time, but in my experience, it’s going to be a bit exhausting and take a long time. But that’s just in my experience, I’m open to combining methods and trying new things – it’d really depend on the question(s) you want to answer

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:35
I’m hoping that by examining these stories we can have empathy for the fieldworkers in the stories and create a bit of future empathy for ourselves.

h_bookforest
2016-12-14 21:35
@steveportigal Thanks for the sense of scale/perspective, and clarifying the number of sources. I take that to be a few over decades, rather than many each year. I was a little worried for a moment there. Viewing UX from the outside looking in to learn more, I had not expected there to be lots of “war stories”, hence the surprise/uncertainty and my question.

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:35
And what makes them war stories is that unlike the usual inspirational stories

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:35
often the storyteller does NOT triumph.

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:35
It will happen to us all.

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:35
User research is hard – it’s impossible to do perfectly.

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:36
So how will we treat ourselves and our colleagues when things are different than what we assumed they should be?

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:36
We can learn from these stories.

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:36
We can also learn from just the fact that we HAVE stories.

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:36
catharsis, forgiveness, advice.

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:36
Boy no wonder Buster likes this book so much!

kimbieler
2016-12-14 21:36
The hardest part of user research is doing it at all. I think a lot of us would be glad to have done it enough to have war stories. :wink:

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:36

lukcha
2016-12-14 21:37
Yeah. I like that they’re an honest view – that we’re not all perfect researchers who have a perfect answer to every situation. We can share some authentic highs and lows to commiserate, celebrate and learn together.

alex.lee
2016-12-14 21:37
Yes there’s got to be a tension where you are being paid to do research in the interest of business vs when you are interfacing with people to find out their real needs. It sounds like war stories are also WICKED Problems – situations that arise from complexity not foreseen or anticipated by researcher.

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:38
@alex.lee nice application of the wicked problem lens – yes, they aren’t solvable but as researchers in business we are expected to have everything buttoned up and perfect

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:38
we want people to see the world in a new way and the reality of how messy that is versus how clean it’s expected to be is…a challenge

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:38
I wish everyone could be like the client in the back of the car going “yep this is the real world”

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:39
but once people get back to the office they start busting out slide decks with the #1 WOW experiences for the ecommerce platform and lose track – so stories stories stories – one way – not the only way – to help the experiences in all their grit and glory live on

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:40
@lukcha one of the things I argued for in curating these stories is to not turn everything into a lesson. A natural urge I think we have is to say “I did this and I learned that”

hawk
2016-12-14 21:40
We’re at the end of the question queue so if you’re sitting on one, ask away
RELATED:  User Feedback: No Time? No Money? No Excuse!

lukcha
2016-12-14 21:40
Are there some ethics around telling our own war stories? We obviously need to respect privacy of our participants, etc. ‘Gossip’ can be a natural and healthy way to share stories.

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:41
Some drafts of stories had more pedagogy than storytelling – I think the stories can be sufficient. So you see a lot of them with conclusions that are “go with the flow” “carry on” – because there is no grand takeaway except the one that is there by implication,

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:41
that we aren’t perfect as you say

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:42
@lukcha I tell people – these are stories about the researcher not the research. I got a first draft yesterday that was basically a user research case study.

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:42
I pushed back, that’s not really what we need to see – it’s about what happened to YOU. I think we own our own stories.

chrisgeison
2016-12-14 21:42
Re: sessions where people cry: That’s beautiful, @steveportigal—that’s real and human. It hasn’t happened for me even once, but I’ve only been doing hour-long lab sessions and only for the past 2 months. The strangest experience so far was conducting interviews the day after the US election. It was…surreal.

*So the questions:* How are you creating enough “safety” with participants that they open up like that? What questions are you asking (i.e., How are you exploring a wine label, for example, in such a way that allows people to connect so deeply)?

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:42
I’ve mostly left it to people to self-censor – and some have been concerned about mostly their work, like not getting into trouble.

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:43
Lou Rosenfeld refers to the no-asshole rule sometimes – how would someone feel if they saw this?

alex.lee
2016-12-14 21:43
Someone here asked if we could create more opportunities to do user interviews. In part I am guessing because field work is considered expensive relative to other testing tools. What are ways to do more of that and justify its usefulness in business?

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:44
NZer Nick Bowmast went to his participant and got his permission to include an image from his video diary (you can see it in the book but it has to do with this participant watching a movie on his device while driving on the highway – and doing a video diary of that)

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:44
@chrisgeison asks how the heck does that happen. Yeah, it’s a good question.

h_bookforest
2016-12-14 21:44
I am not sure how to put this into words, but will give it a go. My sense on reading the paragraph about slide decks and everyone being so caught up in the product or service is that at that point the users have got a bit lost. How fair or inaccurate an impression is that to have? It’s like the sense I have sometimes when reading an article or published statement, and a thought intrudes along the lines of “Hm. They have been reading and believing their own press notices and advertising again!” It’s that slightly glossy unreality thing…… Sorry for finding the wrong words.

mallorychacon
2016-12-14 21:45
@steveportigal Im curious about your take on performing quant then qual or vice versa. In what cases to you recommend one approach over the other or one order of approach over the other?

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:45
It’s easier to build rapport when you are in their home. You are on their territory, you can have a wide ranging conversation, you can pick up on their cues.

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:45
I think of interviews often – and this is again will sound pretentious

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:45
but that is a theme of mine

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:46
anyway I think about Picasso who said the sculpture is in the marble and his job is to bring it out.

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:46
You can conduct interviews like that, what is this person’s story, listening for the things that they want to tell you and following up following up following up – such that no interview looks like any other from a Questions point of view.

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:46
They explore the same territory but in a totally different way.

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:47
So you ask about wine. You hear about their lifestyle, and how they are socializing around wine, and they tell you what it means to them

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:47
and you get another story and you ask about it, and you let them tell you, you guide and listen and followup

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:47
And then when you bring bottles out to look at and “evaluate” you get a real personal story.

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:47
I was damn surprised.

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:48
Although I had a week earlier this year where we were exploring – honestly it was this big picture – how people find meaning in relationships with products and their passions

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:48
and it created a place where we could dig into almost anything – and I started to see points of trigger where I could tread that was VERY personal -and sometimes I had to stop myself because it became tempting for maybe the wrong reasons – like I COULD go there

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:48
but maybe I didn’t NEED to go there

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:49
(that being said lots of things come up in an interview that I just let go because it’s not my business to ask)

coreyux
2016-12-14 21:49
it sounds like therapy…

hawk
2016-12-14 21:49
haha

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:50
@coreyux actually THAT is also in the book – a story where someone started co-opting the session and it was clear they had a need I wasn’t qualified to address

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:50
not was it appropriate

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:50
and I shut it down

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:50
SUPER needy person with some raw issues

lukcha
2016-12-14 21:50
Some people don’t get a chance to talk at that level very often with a dedicated listener.

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:51
@mallorychacon I’ve seen great examples where quant informs qual and vice versa. I’m also seeing more teams set up where they are TOGETHER. Where data people and qual people and others work together

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:51

chrisgeison
2016-12-14 21:51
@steveportigal: *Thank you.* My background is in clinical counseling. It’s been interesting to make the transition…

coreyux
2016-12-14 21:51
oh wow…

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:51
I think this comes up with Alex Wright from Etsy and Greg Berstein then at Mailchimp

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:52
@lukcha yes, one of the reasons I think user research can work is because we give the gift of listening and most of us could use more of it than we get and in some cases as you suggest

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:52
it’s really extreme

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:52
@alex.lee I think demonstrating value by demonstrating what is learned in one method versus another

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:52
https://www.nngroup.com/articles/which-ux-research-methods/ is a great piece by Christian Rohrer that

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:53
looks at various methods and what they are good at uncovering.

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:53
Having a vocabulary to propose methods based on what is known and what isn’t known and what hypotheses you have

coreyux
2016-12-14 21:53
i was doing an interview of another ux designer about job seeking…and i could feel so much sadness… then i became her mentor lol

crystal
2016-12-14 21:53
@steveportigal Do you think that approaching the interview with some small vulnerablability of your own allows them to be more vulnerable as well and open up and give more insight? And have you found that added insight to often add value to the research?

coreyux
2016-12-14 21:54
but that sadness stuck with me, that empathy… or whatever you call it

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:54
@h_bookforest I think yes, the users can get lost. We do research CHECK

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:54
(I should use the emoji I guess :heavy_check_mark:

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:54
We got the DATA

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:54
MAKE THE RECOMMENDATIONS – make sure it’s only three

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:54
make it actionable

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:54
so research I think has taken off but it isn’t always at the level that it could be

h_bookforest
2016-12-14 21:55
@steveportigal Thank you.

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:55
@crystal our own vulnerability – that’s fascinating and I don’t have a clear take on that. I think a shallow reading

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:55
says being vulnerable means sharing about ourselves and I am mostly against doing that most of the time for most researchers

alex.lee
2016-12-14 21:55
@steveportigal: that is super helpful!

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:56
but it makes me ponder what’s a richer more nuanced sense of what our own vulnerability is, if by being still

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:56
present,

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:56
focused

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:56
listening

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:56
and not needing to make it about us

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:56
we might convey some vulnerability

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:56
I think it’s meeting people where they are, accepting them where they are

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:56
and not putting ourself into it.

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:57
which – to your point – feels DAMN risky to a lot of people. Set aside your agenda and listen

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:57
but do so in a productive effective you’re-on-the-job way.

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:57
so you are balancing different forces and risks.

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:57
I dunno, is that ‘vulnerable’

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:58

hawk
2016-12-14 21:58
And that’s probably a good note to wrap up on

lukcha
2016-12-14 21:58
That’s a great podcast episode

rohanirvine
2016-12-14 21:58
@steveportigal How have research practices been changing over the last couple years? Have there been steps in the right and wrong directioon and what are they?

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:58
One more one more

hawk
2016-12-14 21:59
haha. thanks so much for your time @steveportigal – you rocked it. I didn’t even notice the car sickness.

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:59
If you want to contribute a story – get in touch

hawk
2016-12-14 21:59
sure

steveportigal
2016-12-14 21:59
that’s high praise, I didn’t vomit when you were talking.

rohanirvine
2016-12-14 21:59
Thanks so much for you time!

crystal
2016-12-14 21:59
@steveportigal yes that was the type of small vulnerablability I had in mind. I was not intending to mean personal details of our own

chrisgeison
2016-12-14 21:59
@steveportigal: *Thank you!*

maadonna
2016-12-14 21:59
Thansk Steve!!

lukcha
2016-12-14 21:59
haha

chrisoliver
2016-12-14 21:59
Thanks!

cindy.mccracken
2016-12-14 21:59
That was great- thanks!

h_bookforest
2016-12-14 21:59
Thank you!

hawk
2016-12-14 21:59
Thanks to you all for joining us as well.

alex.lee
2016-12-14 21:59
Thank you

steveportigal
2016-12-14 22:00
thanks everyone

crystal
2016-12-14 22:00
Another great season. Thanks @hawk and @steveportigal !

hawk
2016-12-14 22:00
I’ll post a transcript of the session up on our website tomorrow

mallorychacon
2016-12-14 22:01
@steveportigal thank you!

shasha
2016-12-14 22:06
has joined #ask-steve-portigal

starback
2016-12-14 22:17
has joined #ask-steve-portigal

mallorychacon
2016-12-14 23:10
Thank you @hawk!

hawk
2016-12-14 23:11
Any time. That was the last session for the year so we’ll see you all back after the holidays. :)

Sarah Hawk
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Sarah Hawk
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