Back in March 2018, after #ResearchOps on Twitter had gained some momentum over the previous ~6 months (Louis Rosenfeld may’ve been the first to adapt the term from academia in September 2017), a single tweet by Kate Towsey sparked a movement that became a worldwide phenomenon and has fundamentally reshaped the way teams think about Research:

The tweet heard ‘round the Research world

Since then, the ResearchOps Community has grown to over 7700 members 🤯, spawning dozens of Medium posts, a handful of local meetup groups, presentations at Research events and conferences, and even a Research Ops Day at the UXInsight Conference. While I missed the initial…


Depending on your context and your background, the notion (or even terminology) of a playbook may be completely foreign or completely mundane, however there’s a huge potential upside in developing a Research Playbook for your organization. This post will go into detail as to what playbooks are, why you should have one, and how to get started. There’s also a call-to-action at the end to help produce an open-source playbook to set a standard across the industry.

Why you should have one

The justification for and benefits of implementing and maintaining a Research Playbook.

Before we get into the details of what the playbook is…


These stories usually start with some sort of “when I first heard about ___”, but in this case, that goes much further back than a) the story usually goes, and b) is really practical. 1010data has been around since 2000 and has gone through tremendous growth and change as an organization since then. Recently, we’ve embarked on a new set of changes.

Document the process

There are two things I hear time and time again when telling friends, family, and colleagues about what I’m doing at 1010:

  1. “that sounds super cool and like a great opportunity”
  2. “you should write about this”

I literally…


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I’m certainly not the first person to write about the role of improv in creative processes, its value in broadening ways of thinking, creating general good-feelings (which, interestingly, go hand-in-hand), etc. However, the majority of what’s been written so far pertains to using improv exercises in group dynamics and doesn’t address its potential as a design tool.

Part of the inspiration behind this post is my recent participation in one of Improv Everywhere’s “MP3 Experiments”, in which a massive number of strangers volunteer to interact with a recorded set of instructions in a public space. The instructions started off with…


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As professional artists, we’re expected to practice our craft every single day. For dancers, the main way to do this is to spend time in class (for most of us, that’s every day, if not several times a day; full-time dancers are usually in class or in the studio 6–10 hours per day, 5–6 days a week). Aside from the physical exercise (which is an important element for performing artists), all of this time spent doing roughly the same thing has many benefits and side-effects. But in the world of product design, do we have an analog?

First things first: who needs technique?

“I’m an amazing…


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Underneath a lot of what we cover in performing.design is embodied cognition, a fairly recent development psychology and cognitive science. Embodied Cognition seeks to explore the relationship between how we use our bodies and how we think/what our brains do. It’s about looking at a thinking organism holistically as opposed to focusing on the brain, including the motor system, perceptual system, and the body’s interaction with the current environment. In short, EC is the reason why, sometimes when you’re stuck, the best thing you can do is go for a walk.

We’ll dive deeper into the connections between EC and…


At NYC Service Design Jam 2018, a conversation started between co-organizer Tim Gilligan and volunteer Brad Orego. Tim & Brad shared a passion for design, but also a unique backstory: both have experience in performing arts (Tim in theater, Brad in dance).

The immediate kinship launched into a second conversation, this time over coffee on a fateful Friday morning in Manhattan. …


Photo Credit

A comprehensive list of how to prepare for attacking the great big challenge of usability testing.

TL;DNR

  • A lot more goes into designing and running your own usability tests than people typically think.
  • Being properly prepared can be the difference between great success and catastrophic failure for your user research.
  • Don’t underestimate how much time, energy, and resource setting up a proper usability study takes.

Update 4/30/18

This content used to be publicly available, but a more-in-depth version is now available for purchase via MelioraLabs. Head over there for more information and make sure you subscribe to the email list!


This will evolve over time, but instead of keeping these on a Google Keep checklist (or buried in Medium bookmarks), I wanted to be able to share some of our favorite posts and learning materials for UX, all here on Medium.

At some point we’ll come through and organize them into groups/themes, but for now, it’s just a public brain dump for your viewing pleasure.


How to build company culture that works and keeps your people happy.

TL;DNR

  • Transparency is paramount. Make sure there are stated objectives (even if they’re inaccurate), daily check-ins, and quarterly reviews.
  • Flexibility empowers your people to do the best work they can. Have a bias against policies, rules, and meetings.
  • Trust is your most powerful tool. Get a bunch of good people together, point them in a direction, and get out of the way.

One of the myriad benefits of having spent so much time working as a contractor is the variety of cultures, work practices, and methodologies employed by…

Brad Orego

The only Comp Sci & Psych double-major I've ever seen. Head of User Research @ Auth0. 1/2 of Performing.Design. Dancer, curler, homebrewer.

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