Posts tagged “whiteboard”

Breakfast of Champions

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!

This week @ Portigal

Sometimes I get a good feeling… that it’s gonna be a great week here at Portigal.

Here’s what we are looking forward to…

  • After bidding a fond farewell to Etta James last week, this week we will lovingly remember two completed projects with a team debrief + reflection.
  • Tamara and Julie are preparing for fieldwork next week in LA (woot! woot!). Let us know if there is anything particularly fantastic we should try to squeeze in, though we will of course be pretty darn busy.
  • Steve is in the final week of preparation for Interaction 12 in Dublin (another woot! woot!) and getting everything in order for the Student Design Challenge.
  • Steve is writing his book about the Art and Craft of User Research Interviewing and Tamara will be interviewing him about writing. Stay tuned for highlights…
  • Steve continues some interviews for the Omni project. Did you see the recent interview with Molly Wright Steenson?
  • Julie and Tamara will be out and about learning from fellow practitioners this week at a number of sweet gigs around the city including SF Service Design Drinks at Adaptive Path, Creative Mornings at Typekit, and theWhiteboard at SonicRim. Will you be at any of these? If so, please do say “Hi!” We would so love to meet you!
  • Julie is nose deep in details and planning for some fieldwork for the Omni project. More to come on this.
  • Steve is exploring an exciting project opportunity in partnership with another studio. Viva collaboration!
  • Tamara is ready for a creative fuel injection when she chaperones her son’s school field trip to the Children’s Creativity Museum tomorrow. Fun for all ages!

Hope to see you out and about.

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