Elizabeth Benker

UX Director at ZS

Elizabeth has helped over 50 companies enhance the user experience of their flagship tools. Currently, she is UX Director at ZS where she’s focused on putting more “user” in the UX practice. She forged direct pathways to customer feedback, including establishing a research team, forming a client council, and enabling product teams to connect with customers more effectively. She’s learned that there’s a time for product teams to conduct research on their own and a time to call in the experts. This balanced approach helps to understand users holistically, identify linkages across product lines, and discover new opportunities for delivering customer value.

@empressgui

Talk

Conducting User Research at Scale: When to Enable Everyone and When to Leverage Experts

In Lean UX, we’ve embraced the idea that it’s important for teams to conduct their own user research. Leveraging an experimentation-based mindset, we’re asked to roll our own interviews and usability tests in context of day-to-day design. And to a certain extent, this makes sense. Even in large enterprises, there are never enough researchers to go around. Teams need to move fast and the people within those teams have the most direct line of sight for how to leverage research findings.

But if you only think about research in bite-sized chunks, closing the gap from one experiment to another in context of an agile development process, you’re likely missing the boat on the bigger picture. It’s also important to understand users holistically, identify linkages across product lines, and discover new opportunities for delivering customer value.

This talk will introduce a framework for thinking about how to staff and structure qualitative user research activities within a large enterprise, ensuring that Flex insights, Core insights and Foundational insights are all supported and enabled. This “Flex, Core & Foundation” framework helps teams make decisions on: 1) when and how to enable non-researchers to conduct user research activities; 2) how to ensure that one-off approaches don’t get lost; 3) where to deploy deep research experts and methods; and 4) how to showcase the value of this approach to your organization.