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EQX Member App

When I first started at Equinox, I quickly learned that members were not just highly valued, but extremely protected. There was concern that contacting our members too frequently (i.e., more than twice a year) might turn them off from the brand, or even cause them to cancel their membership. As a UX researcher used to interfacing with customers on a weekly basis, this was a big change. How was I supposed to validate our product ideas, designs, and prototypes on a regular basis? Because my role was new to the company, there was no playbook.

One of my immediate goals became to create, grow, and nurture an ongoing member panel. How would I find members not just willing, but happy to participate in our research? …

Researchers are more core to the business than ever before. We are the advocates for the voice of the customer. We drive cross-pollination by bridging the gap between product, tech, and stakeholders. In a customer-centric organization, we provide evidence-based recommendations that direct initiatives and inform the strategic roadmap. With that level of influence comes great responsibility. As insights owners, we must acknowledge the importance of balancing different data.

As a UX researcher, you quickly learn that there are many different types of data: anecdotes from interviews, notes from passive observation, behavioral data from your experience monitoring tools, A/B test results, feature usage metrics, and more. …

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Getting stakeholder buy-in can be hard, especially if UX is new to your company and especially if your executives haven’t yet familiarized themselves with the benefits of conducting UX research. There is no quick and dirty path here. Simply put, as a UX researcher, it is your job to demonstrate the advantages of conducting user research. Here are some tips that will help you on your journey of getting stakeholder buy-in:

Thoroughly understand the problem.

Make sure to step out of your comfort zone and talk to anyone who has insight into the scope and landscape of your problem. Interview your stakeholders, not just your product manager. Understand their priorities so that you can align your research goals with them. This way, they will see that their needs are directly addressed through this research and will be more inclined to approve. …

You have probably heard about the Design Sprint methodology by now. Perhaps you have even read the book (twice), but just in case you haven’t: The Design Sprint, developed by Jake Knapp, is a five-day process that helps companies (startups and enterprises alike) tackle big problems and answer critical business questions through various design, prototyping, and testing activities. You may want to run a design sprint because you’re tackling a new, challenging problem, craving product innovation, or perhaps you’re just plain stuck.

A few months ago, I facilitated a Design Sprint at Intent Media. Since we have a handful of remote folks, we ended up with 2 remote participants. We followed the book closely, with a few adjustments here and there. I’ve read several blog posts about how others lead sprints, what tools they used, tips they have. …

As a UX researcher at a historically data-driven company, I’ve come to appreciate the importance of and confidence in quantitative data. We are always asking ourselves: What’s the interaction rate? Click-through rate? What’s the revenue comparison? How many impressions? And, these are important questions in order to measure success.

However, nothing is quite as satisfying as being in a weekly planning meeting, reviewing the performance of an A/B test and seeing flabbergasted looks around the room. The Product Manager might exclaim: “What? That doesn’t make any sense!”, to which we (the UX team) might say: “Well, actually, in our recent usability tests, we learned that people don’t necessarily understand the functionality of [X]”. The word “interesting…” is quietly spoken, as we pause for a moment of reflection. …


Sam Shi

I like to listen to people's stories, collect data, and measure success. But also, I like to travel and be active.

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