Drawing and brainstorming are for everyone, not just designers or “creatives.”

2 people drawing boxes, lines, shapes, etc. to describe ideas on a whiteboard.
2 people drawing boxes, lines, shapes, etc. to describe ideas on a whiteboard.
2 people drawing boxes, lines, shapes, etc. to describe ideas on a whiteboard. Photo by Kaleidico on Unsplash

What is ideation?

When to use sketching as an ideation tool

Rapid sketching exercises are especially useful to generate lots of ideas at once. Of course, these won’t all be revolutionary…


That’s right, preschoolers.

Null. Decorative image of plush toy.
Null. Decorative image of plush toy.
Decorative image of plush toy. Photo by Anastasia Dulgier on Unsplash

Recently, I worked on a research project with an audience I hadn’t encountered yet in my professional experience — preschoolers.

To provide a little background on me, I have to say I love working with kids. However, it’s typically been in an academic or recreational capacity, like after-school tutoring or volunteering in a hospital playroom.

As you can imagine, interacting with this group generally requires more care and consideration than adults. This is especially true and important when it comes to usability research. In this article, I reflect on my experience and what I’d like to try in the future.

Research goals and methods


Accessibility is important. Inclusion is important. So why haven’t all organizations integrated it as a key part of their UX work?

Checklist of 4 must haves: 1)Cohesive design, 2) modern aesthetic, 3) tested and logical IA, and 4) accessible design. “Accessible design” is crossed out and marked a “nice to have” instead.

Let me preface this article by saying I am a UX researcher trying to figure out how to make inclusive design a priority within organizations. This article will explore my own experience with trying to integrate accessibility in UX work and the barriers I perceive to doing this successfully. I list the resources I’ve found at the end of this article.

Accessibility vs. Inclusion

After doing more digging, I also found this Medium article by Lee…


Time travel to a future where UX work is cherished at your organization and we are all free to hug our friends again.

White paper with a pencil drawing of a lightbulb with a question mark inside and rays from the bulb.
White paper with a pencil drawing of a lightbulb with a question mark inside and rays from the bulb.
Photo by Mark Fletcher-Brown on Unsplash

Imagine, you’ve moved past the stage of struggling to convince your team about the importance of conducting UX research. You’ve run a few UX research projects now and your stakeholders understand clearly the benefits of the work. You’ve got them engaged with the research and you are able to request resources to continue UX work at your organization. Congratulations! You are officially living the dream.

Now, you’re curious about building a “recurring research program.” You’ve seen some…


How recurring UX research is different and why we built a new research program for one longstanding UXR client

Line graph plotting an upward progression from “sucking” to “not sucking” as time moves forward.
Line graph plotting an upward progression from “sucking” to “not sucking” as time moves forward.
Line graph plotting an upward progression from “sucking” to “not sucking” as time moves forward. Photo by Isaac Smith on Unsplash

What is a recurring UX research program?

These programs usually involve an initial discussion about key business goals, an agreed-upon cadence of work, and checkpoints to monitor progress and update the plan as needed.

Case Study: Implementing new recurring research with an existing UX client.


A low-budget way to gather user feedback

In my last article, I discussed using session replays for UX research to understand how real people interact with a website. In this article, I’ll continue that topic of speaking with real users. One way we recruit real site users/visitors is with live-intercept surveys.

What is a live-intercept survey?

This is a recruiting survey that appears as a “pop-up” on a website or specific page. It appears to actual people who are on the website, so you’re hearing from real site visitors.

Example of a live-intercept survey on Progressive.com with ForeSee.

What are the benefits of using a live-intercept survey to recruit users?

  • You learn about users’ behavior as they are working toward completing a real task vs. participating in a usability session.
  • This is typically…


These videos provide key insight into how real people are already using your website or service.

Partially completed puzzle with remaining puzzle pieces scattered around it. Black and white.
Partially completed puzzle with remaining puzzle pieces scattered around it. Black and white.
Description: A partially completed puzzle with remaining puzzle pieces scattered around it. Photo by Wonderlane on Unsplash.

What if we could see how people actually used a website, without being in a usability session with them? Sounds a bit creepy, but stay with me.

What are session replays?


This online whiteboard is key for successful remote ideation and analysis sessions.

Photo by Damian Zaleski on Unsplash

When I joined this fully remote team in 2018, I learned a lot about translating traditional in-person collaboration to a virtual platform. Initially, I wasn’t sure how this would apply to analysis and ideation workshops. The fun and electricity of being huddled together in a room, going back and forth between ideas, seemed hard to replicate online! I quickly learned that as long as workshop facilitators stay energetic and choose the right online collaboration tools, it’s generally easy to guide participants through virtual analysis and ideation workshops.

This article will focus on Groupmap, the virtual whiteboard that’s been our go-to…


Good UX work involves trying new research and analysis methods to get key user input you might be missing.

“Damien Newman created “the squiggle” to convey the messiness of the design process.” View on Flickr.

At Marketade, we’re very lucky to have leaders who encourage us to try something new without the fear of reprimand if it fails. Heard about a new research technique and want to try it out? “Go for it.” Want to shake up a tried-and-true deliverable template to better suit project needs? “Let me know how I can support you.” This isn’t the case everywhere, and it’s one of the reasons I love my job.

As a fully remote UX research consultancy, we receive various types of projects, which means we get to use various UX skills depending on the project…


Working as part of a fully remote team, one of my favorite parts of our user research work is meeting teams in person for a collaborative workshop. It’s an energizing, hands-on way to analyze findings and brainstorm innovative solutions, and it usually brings together people from different teams who don’t typically work together. The amount of workshop participants can vary, depending on team sizes and how interested people are in participating in the workshop.

However, we’ve found that the number of workshop attendees does not directly impact workshop strength or success. What does matter is who is in the room.

Throughout a typical workshop, participants will take notes on user sessions, organize those notes through an affinity mapping exercise, identify themes in user behaviors, and brainstorm…

Karishma Patel

User Experience Researcher at Marketade. She/her/hers.

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