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Tomer is a user experience researcher at Google Search in New York City and author of the book, It's Our Research: Getting stakeholder buy-in for user experience research projects (2012). He founded and led UPA Israel and is the co-founder and organizer of leanUXmachine, a weekend of UX learning, collaboration, and mentorship for Israeli startups. Tomer holds a master’s degree in Human Factors in Information Design from Bentley University.
Liverpool FC fans sing “You’ll Never Walk Alone” to their players during matches. UX research is best done when a team is involved. When you run UX research on your own without active observers, you are missing its point.
This article describes and gives you a tool I created called the Rainbow Spreadsheet. With it, you will be able to collaboratively observe UX research sessions with team members (or clients). You will be able to conduct research that involves the entire product team, with results that are turned around quickly and that team members will be committed to acting on.
When Albert Einstein was a professor at Princeton University in the 1940s, there came the time for the final exam of his physics class. His assistants passed the exam forms to the hundreds of students, and the hall was dead silent. One of the assistants suddenly noticed something was wrong.
She approached Einstein and told him that a mistake had been made with the exam form and that the questions were the same as those in the previous year’s exam. Einstein glanced over the exam form and said that it was OK. He explained that physics had changed so much in the last year that the answers to the questions were now different.
UX practitioners, both consultants and in house, sometimes conduct research. Be it usability testing or user research with a generative goal, research requires planning. To make sure product managers, developers, marketers and executives (let’s call them stakeholders) act on UX research results, planning must be crystal clear, collaborative, fast and digestible. Long plans or no plans don’t work for people..
You must be able to boil a UX research plan down to one page. If you can’t or won’t, then you won’t get buy-in for the research and its results. This article addresses one key aspect of planning UX research: the one-page plan document. Before we get to that, we’ll briefly discuss the benefits of research planning and identify the audience of a research planning document.