5 ways Mary Poppins taught me to be a better user researcher

1. Project Goals: look beyond the obvious

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“Never judge things by their appearance, even carpetbags”

At the beginning of every project it is imperative to do the work to uncover the true project goals before you get deep into the work. Every good UXer knows that understanding the problem is key to any process, but I’ve found that when it comes to project goals, it’s always wise to dig a little deeper. When taking on a project, meet with all of your stakeholders if possible, one at a time so that you can understand the motivations driving the project and in turn validate that you are indeed asking the right questions.

Questions I keep in my back…

Lessons in constructive criticism

For design teams to truly challenge one another in collaboration and grow, each member of the team has to learn how to communicate. This isn’t limited to learning how to speak about your own work, but extends to how you speak about other people’s design. Growth starts with you.

You’ve heard people say, “It’s not so much what you say, but how you say it.” I’m here to tell you it’s both.

Be Specific

Vague feedback doesn’t help anyone. If you can’t give a reason for why something bothers you, then it’s probably a good idea to sit on it for a bit. Blurting out, “I don’t like it,” “It’s just ugly,” “I think it could be better,” is simply expressing an opinion and bringing everyone to a dead end. …

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Because even heroes need a little de-escalation refresher.

I’ve been thinking about de-escalation techniques.

I got my Bachelor’s in Social Work and for the time I spent working with a homeless population and people dealing with mental instabilities, these techniques were directly applicable. …


Brenda Buchanan

Writer + Researcher + Affable Introvert - www.tinykitcheneats.com

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