You’ve made it this far! Now, let’s bring it home with Part 3. This is getting a bit ‘meta’ and looking inwards to reflect on how design researchers talk about what we do.

(Lost? Here is Part 1 and Part 2).

How we as a design research community talk about what we do — and how we may exclude others through language we use

Have you ever sat in a presentation and thought to yourself…what is this person talking about? They could be talking very quickly, so that it’s hard to understand what’s going on. Or they could be talking too slowly and you’re struggling to pay attention. …

I hope you enjoyed Part 1. Get excited for Part 2 — this one’s all about…

How our experiences, the way we speak, and those of our research participants influence the collection of research data

Do you think your experiences always mirror those of your participants? Probably not.

Let’s explore how we use language to express our identity, subconsciously or consciously, and what that means for research.

What assumptions might you make about someone based on the way they speak? What assumptions might they make about you? I’m talking about accents. A good example of this is the TV show Family Guy.

The happy Family. Image credit:

Lois, the mum, comes from a well-to-do family from New England. How do you as the viewer…

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

Hello. My name’s Caylie, and I’m a Design Researcher. In a past life, I studied Japanese, Mandarin, and Linguistics.

The use of language — spoken, signed, gestured, or written — unites us as humans. Beyond serving as a means of communication, language also has the power to influence the way we think, talk, act, and behave — the power to do good, and the power to cause harm.

Given my background, I’ve always wanted to explore the intersection of sociolinguistics — how and why we talk the way we do — and design research. Applying core concepts in sociolinguistics can…

Hello there. I see you’re into usability testing.

What I’m writing about below is not by any means the one-stop-shop guide to usability testing. It’s simply my process — and what I’ve found to work well through…doing this a lot.

Many of the steps below are also applicable to concept tests.

All right. On with the show.

Thanks to David for these amazing notes he took during the session!

What’s all this then?

Earlier this year, I was asked by my friend Kristen Hardy to present to the team at Telstra Health on conducting usability testing. I then spoke with Design Lead David Bacon to determine what would most benefit the team.

The steps below are…

At SEEK, we’ve been experimenting with different ways to conduct research remotely (moderated and unmoderated) for a little while.

Given the current situation with COVID-19, Mimi Turner and I had to quickly whip up some guidelines for our UXers and product teams to continue conducting research remotely — while being sensitive to, and respectful of, people’s experiences.

1. Recruitment and incentives

Our processes for recruiting participants remains much the same:

  • We use an external recruitment provider to recruit our job seeker research participants for us, and in some cases, our small business employers. We create a recruitment screener that details exactly who we’re looking…

I’m now 18 months into my role at SEEK (wow!) and I’ve been reflecting upon the things I’ve learned, where I’ve come from, and where I’ve got to.

Often, we’re so focused on pumping out the next bit of research/design/Keynote presentation that we forget to stop and smell the lightbulb-moment-roses, so to speak.

The role I undertook at SEEK was a step up from my previous one. This was great, because I was after a challenge — but I’ve also learned some lessons along the way about what it means to build and lead a research practice.

With that in…

So. I’m going to write about spiders.

If you don’t like spiders, or if you’re an arachnophobe — beware! Pictures of spiders ahead.

Wait, you helped design WHAT?

In late 2017, two dear friends of mine let me know that they were attempting to build an app that would help Australians (and tourists) identify spiders.

I didn’t like spiders much. I didn’t like looking at them, them looking at me (with all 8 of their eyes!), or even being in the same room as one.

Despite that, my UX brain kicked into overdrive. …

Photo by Jose Urbano on Unsplash

The ask

About 3 months into my role at SEEK, the Candidate product stream (that is, the side of our site that you’re probably most familiar with — looking for jobs) wanted to better understand job seeker sentiment toward SEEK.

As a researcher, this piqued my interest so I poked my nose in.

The goal in measuring sentiment is to provide a leading indicator of how our users are feeling about SEEK, regardless of their experience in finding a job. This would be used to adjust the things we were working on, and ensure we were solving the right problems. …

In August 2018, I presented a 10 minute talk at UX Australia. My talk focused on a pattern I’d observed emerging among UX researchers and teams — that UX research sometimes felt a little unloved, and difficult to execute. I wanted to share some tips and tricks I’d learned to help UX research flourish.

This is the written and slightly expanded version of my talk. It comes with a great SketchNote summary by Judy Shaul.

The audio can be found here:

So let’s talk about UX research. Do you work in an organisation where…

  • UX is relatively new?
  • UX…

For my first research project at SEEK, I had the privilege of conducting contextual research with jobseekers. This research involved interviewing jobseekers about their experiences, and then observing them performing some common tasks on the website.

The participants I travelled to were situated in Melbourne (inner and outer suburban), and regional Victoria. All had been unemployed for 3–6 months, or were experiencing significant barriers to entry to the workforce (e.g. single parents returning to work).

Below are some pointers you might find useful when conducting your own contextual research.

  1. BYO Internet

It might sound obvious, but if you’re testing something…

Caylie Panuccio

UX & design researcher in Melbourne, Australia. Follow me for ponderings on design research technique, UX, language and whatever else springs into my head!

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