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New Release:

Erika Hall – Cultivating Shared Understanding from Collaborative User Research  


[ Transcript Available ]

Erika Hall

Traditionally, user research has taken on more of a scientific identity. You would do usability testing and research, take a ton of notes, and then compile all of your findings into a report. The effectiveness of that research depended on whether anyone read the report, and then if they could do anything actionable with that data.

Erika Hall, of Mule Design, has taken a more effective approach she calls team-based research. She says her goal is to shift the focus away from a more academic way of thinking. Rather than being concerned with doing high quality research, determining how much the research actually helps you will allow you to build and create better.

Another part of team-based research is to view research as having its own customer. Research is sometimes done as a checklist item and doesn’t go much further than just being able to say you’ve done it. When you consider that the “customer” for your research is the people who are going to change or design the product, research becomes more of a service itself. You can measure how well you’re doing the research by how well the results help that “customer.”

Erika will be presenting one of 8 daylong workshops at UI20, November 2–4, in Boston. For more information, visit

Recorded: August, 2015
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