Amy Silvers

The Embedded Researcher: Integrating Research into the Design Process

Friday, March 24 3:30 pm – 4:15 pm

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Session Summary

Too often, design teams treat research as an artifact or as an item to check off a to-do list. They dutifully conduct and record interviews, then put the interviews on a shelf and forget about them instead of referring back to the recordings and findings as they design. This inevitably results in finished designs that partly or entirely fail to meet the needs that users expressed in their research sessions.

This oversight isn’t usually intentional. It may result from a separation between the researcher and designer, or from a sprint structure that doesn’t allow enough time for revisiting research findings, or from stakeholder pressure to discount user feedback. Whatever the reason, though, giving short shrift to the results of user research is a design failure waiting to happen.

In this talk, I’ll discuss how Nasdaq’s design team has been working to include research throughout the design process. I’ll share and demo the tools we use to manage and share findings and suggest a team structure that will help ensure that research is carried through every phase of the design process.