Airbag Industries

Making sense of all the jibba jabba during user research.

Talking to users is paramount to the success of any design project. It’s one of the activities I enjoy a lot because I can talk to users until they suffer from discomfort due to hunger and dehydration. The hard part of research, the part that sometimes puts me into a round room is the work that’s required after having a nice chat — synthesizing the results into meaningful insights.

One of my former Design Campers, Jessica Zhang, now a UX researcher at IBM, recently shared her thoughts on the topic in an essay called “What Should I Do with My Interview Notes?”

You just interviewed a user. You feel excited about all the insights you obtained from him or her. You upload your notes into your online storage with a click. Now what?

In other words, how do you turn lines and lines of words (and snippets of your memory) into an accurate picture of what the user needs, without needing years of formal training? Moreover, how do you strike a balance between doing this collaboratively and getting it done quickly?

Please click that heart shaped icon at the end of the article. Unlike most of my designers, Jessica is one who actually listened when I said that writing is vital to early career success. More importantly, she is one sharp tack so follow her on Medium and look for more productive thoughts as she navigates the world of user research in enterprise software and cognitive intelligence design.