Last Friday we opened our doors to a few superheroic leaders from Silicon Valley firms for a morning discussion about championing user research within an organization (thus “Breakfast of Champions”). This event came hot on the heels of Steve’s recent webinar and provided a learning forum for us as consultants and for our guests, who shared insights and questions from the client perspective.
The discussion included trials and triumphs, questions about current challenges, and new frameworks to yield as tools for overcoming obstacles. We were impressed with the humility and willingness to share evident in the discussion as research champions from diverse departments, companies, and industries swapped war stories and provided each other with encouragement and new ideas.
I captured some of the conversation on our whiteboard. On the left side are successes, questions and ponderings in the middle, and current challenges on the right. See a bigger image here.
We covered a lot of ground during two hours so the list below is not exhaustive, but it does start to hint at the themes that came up.
- The importance of measuring, benchmarking, and storying research successes
- The value of taking non-researchers (especially skeptics and critics) into the field
- The challenge of confronting organizational paradigms and questioning sacred ‘truths’ when framing research questions
- Success with embedding research in the design process as opposed to making it a distinct, standalone project
- Overcoming obstacles of apathy with insights that are action-ready and and deliverables that are easy to share
- Thinking strategically about the relationship between quant and qual, and considering how they feed each other
- The value of research in corporate strategy and business solutions and the need to frame it as such
- The changing role of the consultant and research provider
- The importance of show and tell of research results to various groups, departments, etc.
This was our first time doing something like this and we’re looking forward to doing it again in the near future!