Brad Nunnally is a User Experience Designer based out of St. Louis, MO. For the last 9 years, he has been a UX consultant working with clients all over the country in just about every major industry. He started off focusing on user research and evaluations, but eventually shifted to focus more on interaction design. For the last couple of years, Brad’s been leading teams on key strategic projects that help set the tone for a year long engagement.
As a UX consultant, Brad has worked in a variety of industries over the years, performing user research in people’s homes and offices, public libraries, and inside formal usability labs. Currently, he is a designer at 18F, a digital consultancy within the US government.
IA Summit 2016 Main Conference Talk
Topic(s): techniques and user research
Regardless of whether it’s the first time or your hundredth time, conducting any sort of field research is always a bit of a daunting task. The planning and conducting of field research is a juggling act between prep work, interview skills, and synthesis of research data. While it does take practice and experience to get comfortable with the act of field research, there are lessons you can learn that will help you get past many rookie mistakes and get you to collecting invaluable information. This talk will cover key aspects of three main stages of conducting field studies:
- Planning and Prep – Good research data starts with proper planning. This involves everything from writing interview questions, developing an interview guide, recruiting participants, and determining the logistics for the interview sessions.
- Out in the Field – Conducting this type of research can drain you physically and mentally. There are a number of tricks that help you keep your mind sharp and allow you to give each session the same amount of energy as the first.
- Finding the Patterns – The number of data points that result from field research grows quickly. Aside from time, certain techniques exist that help you get through this mountain of information and get to the findings you need to be successful.
The world is changing faster than people can keep up, both physically and mentally. Field research is one of the key tools that designers can use to understand how new products and digital experiences can be designed to aid people with managing this growth.