Weeknote: A Qual-Quant Research metaphor and the value of alignment

Weeknote# 6

This week, I heard someone state a surprisingly helpful sample of imagery for quantitative versus qualitative research:

“It’s like a shotgun — ‘quantity’. We, on the other hand, are ‘snipers’.”

One of the main things we learned this week — the importance of progress-tracking. Especially for 1) multi-phase projects and 2) partners who are very new to user-centered design.

Since last year, we’ve mostly been working with digital or product people who are quite knowledgeable about concepts and practices like agile, and Lean, and IDEO’s Human-Centered Design process. Sometimes, we forget that outside digital production, these aren’t everyday topics.

We have to help each other understand the value and work in each stage (e.g. crafting participant specifications, debriefing and customer journey mapping). Next time, I need to take the time to show where we are in our own project journey, so we’re in it together — and not as a “supplier”, which is a specific dynamic I hated about client servicing work.

— Angela


We can achieve better work through earlier alignment. And documentation that’s more complete, beyond an introduction or overview. We have to realize that that has to change, in the work we do. We have to be more straightforward about showing and sharing “this is how we work”.

— B

What we know about work, we owe — not only to our formal education and our jobs, but also to the forward-thinking designers, developers, researchers,product managers and teams who choose to share their processes and lessons (for free) on Youtube, blogs, websites and MOOC (Massive Online Open Courses) tutorials. This is the spirit of designing in the open. Where design teams show their process and what they learn along the way. This is done to grow the knowledge base of the industry, and also to get feedback and dialogue going about the work.

(If you’re interested in reading more about the beauty of open design, you can read this.)

We share what we experience in these weeknotes. To respect our clients’ confidentiality, we won’t directly post details about them. Everything we share here are the opinions (and life lessons) of the writer.

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