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I’m Melody, and I’m the Sr Manager of UX Research at Glassdoor. I’d like to share a recent story about how we used a participatory design exercise in order to move our new blank slate design concept forward quickly and effectively. We chose very simple tools and techniques to conduct our UX research sessions as a trio: with a target end user, a UX researcher, and a UX designer.

What is participatory design?

Participatory design interviewing has been around for quite a long time. In essence, it’s a type of focused collaboration where the conversation flows quickly from the user to the designer and back in real-time. It’s used to generate ideas for brand new design solutions and/or to help adjust a part or section of an experience that isn’t working well. …

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Source: Getty Images

I’m Melody, and I’m a Senior Manager of UX Research at Glassdoor. I’m writing to you today because I want to remind everyone that using basic thinking to reveal simple, unsexy solutions can really help you up your game as a master of compromise and peacekeeping on a UX research study.

Good UX research design is about a lot of things. It’s about information gathering, thorough thinking, budgeting, prioritizing, scheduling, strategizing, etc. But one of the nuances of doing it well, which doesn’t really come with experience, is mastering the art of compromise.

Compromise is not the same as negotiation. Believe me, there is plenty of negotiation that happens with research design, and it can be exhausting, bringing parties to a place of agreement with one another and/or with yourself as you maneuver through the infinite universe of option overload while designing the details of a custom UX research project. This process involves identifying the pros and cons of potential courses of action and decisions and deliberating through each one. It can be uncomfortable when there is friction, disagreement, or indecisiveness on the team, but it can also be very inspiring when creative thinking aligns and problem-solving gels. …

Melody Paine

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