8: Aviva Rosenstein of DocuSign
By Steve Portigal at 4:08 am, Tuesday February 02 2016
Part 8 of 8 in the series Dollars to Donuts
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In today’s episode I speak with Aviva Rosenstein, the Senior Manager of User Experience Research at DocuSign. We explore how to make all types of research actionable, the benefit of doing your own recruiting, and the evolution from building a usability lab to having an in-house research capability.

They weren’t going to limit themselves to telling us about what was going on with sending. And I’m not going to shut those people down. I’m going to listen to what they have to say because it might be something amazing or new or super important. And of course it’s important to the customer so you don’t want to shut them down. So sometimes the scope of the study can get very quickly past where you wanted it to be, but it’s still going to be valuable so you still listen. – Aviva Rosenstein

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My talk about improv from UX New Zealand
By Steve Portigal at 11:12 am, Thursday January 21 2016

Last year I gave a highly interactive talk at UX New Zealand about improv, creativity and design, entitled Yes, My Tuatara Loves to Cha-Cha. They’ve just posted the video and I’ve embedded it and the slides below.

Yes, My Tuatara Loves to Cha-Cha Improv, Creativity and Design from Steve Portigal

Sketchnotes, from Matthew Magain
Matthew-Magain

and Kim Anderson
Kim-Anderson

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7: Judd Antin of Airbnb
By Steve Portigal at 11:46 am, Tuesday January 19 2016
Part 7 of 8 in the series Dollars to Donuts
Play

We kick off the second season with Judd Antin, the Director of Experience Research at Airbnb. Judd and I speak about their model for embedding talented generalists with product teams, skill-sharing among researchers, and just what exactly makes research “sexy.”

I don’t know of another way to do things better than to give and get feedback. It should flow like a river. And I think that can be hard, to be open, to focus on strengths rather than weaknesses. To be humble is a thing we’re always seeking to be better at, but that’s how I approach the task of building a team. – Judd Antin

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Interviewing Users: Link Roundup
By Steve Portigal at 8:30 am, Wednesday January 06 2016

interviewing-users

Welcome to 2016! The New Year seems a good time to post my occasionally updated roundup of links to various bits connected with Interviewing Users. Of course, if you haven’t already, you should buy a copy here! It would be fantastic if you wrote a quick review on Amazon here.

The Book

Reviews

Interviews

Presentations

Other

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Learning from kids interviewing bands
By Steve Portigal at 1:51 pm, Monday December 14 2015

Kids Interview Bands is a series of videos of, obviously, kids interviewing bands. I propose these videos as a lightweight teaching tool for interviewing as it’s curious to see what goes well and what doesn’t.

The different kid interviewers are coming with a set of stock questions which they ask one after another, with practically no followup. So they never become an actual conversation and the amount of insightful revelation is low. But the kids are real, as little kids, and many of the band members respond to them in a real way.

I first came across this interview with Tom Araya of Slayer as an overall bad example, but I found it incredibly charming.

These people have very little in common, and perhaps limited skills in overcoming that gulf, but Araya never talks down to them, he never plays up his persona, he just does his best to connect with them, never forgetting they are children.

In a slightly different vein, I also liked this interview with Pustulus Maximus of GWAR who absolutely stays within the bounds of his horrific persona, but is kind and entertaining with the kids. He manages to work within his character and the context of the interview, and even though he plays a sort of monster, he doesn’t act like one.

In some ways, the limitations of these interviewers (they are just kids!) highlights other aspects that can contribute to a good interview – participants that take on some of the labor of establishing rapport and making that connection with the other person. And even if the kids don’t ask good follow-up questions (or any), their naturalness serves as an invitation to the musicians to meet them in that state.

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Listen to Steve on Yours Productly, on the Art of Interviewing Users
By Steve Portigal at 12:03 pm, Monday December 07 2015

I was a guest on the Yours Productly podcast, in an episode generously titled The Art of Interviewing Users.

Listen via the above link or the embedded widget below.

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Out and About: Steve in New Zealand
By Steve Portigal at 7:54 am, Monday December 07 2015

We traveled to New Zealand to give a workshop and a talk at UX New Zealand. We had some time to explore after the conference; here are just some of the pictures (the whole set is here).

judder

lamb

pee

soda
Six Barrel Soda

streetart

drysdale
One of my favorite sheep.

goethermal
Geothermal wonders.

gumboots

happypants

icecream
The ice cream loves ice cream, or so the bad Photoshop job would have you believe.

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Out and About: Steve in London
By Steve Portigal at 8:54 am, Friday December 04 2015

I was in London towards the end of October to give a workshop and the closing keynote at Interact 15. Here are just a few of my London pictures.

welcome
Welcomed to Tobias & Tobias, just before the fire drill (an actual fire drill).

bee
Bee guy.

cosmetics

fish

goat
The login screen at a nearby gastropub.

hadid
Serpentine Sackler Gallery by Zaha Hadid.

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Out and About: Steve in Grand Rapids
By Steve Portigal at 8:30 am, Thursday December 03 2015

I passed through Grand Rapids in October and was able to see part of Art Prize and see friends. Here’s a few pictures from the visit.

huzzah
Welcome to The Understanding Group.

bunny-dinner
Bunny diners.

Jevremovic
Technician 3 by Charles Jevremovic

Seungmo
MAYA 7624 by Seungmo Park

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Out and About: Steve in Brooklyn
By Steve Portigal at 8:53 am, Wednesday December 02 2015

I was in Brooklyn in October to teach a workshop at the Delve event. Here’s some of what I saw when I was in town.

wellness

sticky
Hotel housekeeping messages left on the headboard. Have we reached Peak Sticky?

fire
A tempting do-not-touch.

design

gay-storage

fdny
Branding.

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A listening bootcamp
By Steve Portigal at 12:22 pm, Tuesday December 01 2015

ListenUp_logo

Listen Up! is an online program from WNYC to help improve listening skills.

It’s not easy to improve our hearing. But everyone has the ability to become a better listener. Only Human invites you to participate in a listening bootcamp, with guidance from a memory champion, a world-class mediator, actors and improv comics, we’ve got five challenges designed to help you sharpen your listening skills.

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Out and About: Steve in Kitchener-Waterloo
By Steve Portigal at 8:52 am, Tuesday December 01 2015

I was in Kitchener-Waterloo to speak at the Fluxible conference. I had a bit of time to take photos and here’s some of what I saw

flamingo
A promotion for a local cafe.

guelph
My alma mater as an infrastructure brand

storage
The future of storage will be millennials.

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Out and About: Steve in Toronto
By Steve Portigal at 8:52 am, Monday November 30 2015

I was in Toronto a little while ago, en route to the Fluxible conference. Here’s a sampling of the photos I took in my short time walking around the city.

bird

nature

pain

together

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How To Interview Rihanna
By Steve Portigal at 11:21 am, Thursday November 12 2015

Very very specific interviewing tips from Miranda July

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Animal Dissonance
By Steve Portigal at 11:54 am, Wednesday November 11 2015

giraffe-legroom

United is promoting their copious legroom by suggesting they can accommodate a giraffe. But of course, giraffes (as show in their image) are known for their long necks, not legs. Sure, they have long legs, too, but that’s the primary association. They have big toes, don’t they? Dr. Scholl’s us not going to use them in advertising (unless they come out with a new NECK powder). Giraffe :: Neck.

An opportunity for a clear message but instead it’s an obscure message.

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