User Researcher

Here's a brief overview of what all things a User Researcher would be responsible of.

Below is a quick introduction to the most important rules and responsibilities of our user researchers. It should give you an idea about what your tasks are, the etiquette when working with clients and how we make sure that the quality of outcomes is consistently high.

Role and responsibilities

As a user researcher, your task is to organise, run, interpret, summarise and present the results of 5 user interviews on the product designed by the team. This requires excellent writing skills and precise use of language to make testers feel comfortable while asking them questions about their honest thoughts. You are also responsible to guide the client through the findings in an honest manner, which highlights positive but also negative feedback while giving them confidence in the quality of the outcome and support with further improvements of the product.

Capability IDs and Tasks

Community Member

Capability ID

Task

UR_Shadow

Shadowing i.e. plain observation

Expert & Collaborator

Capability ID

Task

UR_Prep

Prepare the Miro board

UR_Guide

Write interview guide

(including domain knowledge questions)

UR_LaterInt

Run later interview

UR_3Interviews

Run at least 3 interviews

UR_FirstInt

Run the first interview

UR_Notes

Take notes

UR_Tidy

Tidy up notes

UR_Slides

Create a presentation file

UR_LTG

Answer Long-Term Goals

UR_SQ

Answer Sprint Questions

UR_Details

Summarise detailed feedback

UR_Reccos

Write recommendations

UR_Presentation

Present results

UR_Overdelivery

Work etiquette

  • Please behave professionally and reduce visual noise on camera (items in background), auditory noise (background) and contextual noise (unnecessary words or comments) to a minimum.

  • Always listen to the client and pay attention to their needs.

  • Always-Be-Capturing. When someone speaks and the content of the conversation is important, write notes on a Miro board or in your personal notebook to make sure that you can refer back to them later.

  • Always have Discord open with the internal project channel for conversations with the team outside of Zoom.

  • Mute your phone and desktop notifications. You need to be 100% present in the workshops.

  • Don't eat, smoke or do any other activities during workshops. If you are not the main facilitator, turn off your camera in case you need to step away from the screen.

Project set-up and brief

Deep Work takes overall administrative efforts related to sales and the project specification. We then choose the experts who fit the project the most and put together a team. This is when:

  • You receive a request for participation with a suggested date and time

  • You can decline or accept, confirming the date and time

  • After accepting, you receive a brief and calendar invites for an onboarding call and to block out your time on the project

  • You can then choose a collaborator for shadowing (see details below)

  • You then join an internal onboarding call to discuss open questions, understand the product and get to know the rest of the team. Make sure that you get answers to all your questions about the product so you have a good idea of how it works.

  • After the onboarding call, you will be CC'd in an email to the client and have time to prepare everything you personally need for the workshops. You also have a chance to split tasks with your collaborator or discuss their role in the workshops.

Hypersprint

Projects follow a set (but flexible) process to manage expectations and produce high-quality results for the client team.

  • User Testing — Some projects start with a round of user testing. You will be responsible for running it, and the first 30min of the first workshop is dedicated to you presenting the results.

  • Workshops — Depending on the type of Hypersprint, the facilitator will be running two or three workshop sessions.

    • You don't need to participate in the sessions, as they are only for the facilitator and product designer to guide the team through alignment and product design.

    • After the workshops, the facilitator will record a video summary of the workshop to highlight key decisions made by the team and give context on the product.

  • Prototyping

    After the workshops, the prototype will take the results and design a high fidelity prototype. They need to design exactly what has been agreed on during the workshops.

    • After they finished prototyping, they will record a video walkthrough of the prototype, to give you context on how the product looks and how the prototype works.

  • User Testing — During or after prototyping, your task is to prepare a script for the user interviews, based on the facilitators summary of the workshops and the designers' walkthrough video. After you are done, share the script with the team, which will take a look and approve it. This makes sure you can confidently run the interviews and are asking the right questions.

After the user testing is finished, your task is to write a report to present in front of the client. It should contain the user feedback and everything the client needs to know to get an idea of how the product will be perceived on the market.

Final Presentation

Before the final presentation, make sure that the report covers the questions agreed on during the sprint. It should honestly represent the feedback of the users and give the client confidence when developing the product and shipping it to market.

The final presentation should feel like a climactic conclusion to the Hypersprint experience. The facilitator will open the presentation and re-iterate what has been agreed on during the workshop. They then pass on to the designer to present the prototype and after they are finished, it's your turn to present the results.

After that, the client can ask questions to clarify details and you wrap up the presentation by providing the client with free tools.

Retrospective

After each cycle of workshops/prototyping/user testing, we run a short 1-hour retrospective to reflect on our experience and evaluate how to improve. It follows are very simple process:

  • Write down all positives and negatives (7 minutes)

  • Readout all positives individually (1 minute each)

  • Readout all negatives individually (1 minute each)

  • Vote on negatives (3 minutes)

  • Brainstorm solutions for negatives (7 minutes)

  • Vote on solutions (3 minutes)

  • Discuss feasibility and delegate

You can find a Miro board with most Retrospectives here: https://miro.com/app/board/o9J_lfNSlU4=/

If you had a collaborator helping you, you have the chance to give your collaborator feedback on their performance. If you like, you can also review anyone on the project.

It is encouraged for an Expert to give feedback to their Collaborator because it will help them become better and help out more next time. It's also possible for a collaborator to give feedback to an Expert or even across domains.

Invoicing

Remember to send us your invoice after the project is finished.

Tools

Videoconferencing — Zoom

Collaboration — Miro

Team chat — Discord

Interview Guide — Google Docs

Interview Results — Google Slides

Collaborators

For each client project, you are either the Expert (main responsibility and lead) or a Collaborator or a shadower. The Collaborator is usually on a lower level than the Expert (who is paid the full rate) or wants to be observed and graded before becoming an Expert.

There are three scenarios for collaborating on a sprint:

Collaborating in order to become an Expert — 50% of the full rate

This means that if the Collaborator feels confident that next time they will be able to lead a project as an Expert and get paid in full - so this is like a trial run. The trial run is being paid half the amount. The Collaborator needs to prove that they are ready to lead facilitate, lead user research or lead prototype in order to fall in this category. After they apply, the Expert on the project looks at their previous work and evaluates whether they think the collaborator is ready.

Collaborating — Level * $10

Currently, it will give a Collaborator the chance to learn faster by working on actual client projects with high stakes. It will be unpaid but will allow a collaborator to progress in their level on a real project (which they can add to their portfolio) and get valuable feedback from an Expert after the sprint.

Shadowing — Unpaid

Community members can apply to join a project to simply observe and learn from the experience. If no work is contributed with and it's only a learning experience, the shadowing is unpaid. Shadowers still need to apply and invited by the respective Expert.