Capturing the Moment at User Insight

One thousand two hundred and thirty eight.  The exact number of pictures saved to my phone when I was notified that my storage was almost full this past week.  I was surprised at the number of  pictures I took over the past few months. Mostly of friends, the snapshots are meant to be reminders of what a great time we had celebrating birthdays, holidays and all the times in between.  By the end of any given outing with friends, I may have half a dozen images I would deem worth saving, or more importantly, worth sharing on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook.  It wasn’t until I began to purge the pictures from my phone, with the intent of making room for new ones, that I had an epiphany…

“How much of a moment do I actually miss while attempting to document it?”

Amongst friends, it’s acceptable to simply apologize for missing a conversation because I was too preoccupied with trying to capture a moment that I deemed important.  But if I relate this back to my job at User Insight, that lapse in attention can have serious ramifications to our research.  As a researcher, I spend most of my time observing others. I’m often torn between wanting to make a connection with a person vs documenting the findings from the interview.

During an interview, there can be a disconnect between what I heard, what our strategist heard, what the client heard, and what was actually said by the user.  We bridge this gap by employing a team approach to capturing user feedback. As the researcher, it is my job to engage with the respondent, probe on pertinent findings, identify pain points and uncover any behavioral insights.  Simultaneously, our strategists document and catalog findings for possible design improvements.

The beauty in this approach is that, aside from ensuring that all the information is captured, it also prevents the findings from just being one person’s interpretation of the data.  By looking at findings from both perspectives we are able to make sure nothing is overlooked. The researcher looks for broad themes across all the users while the strategist organizes and catalogs the details while thinking through the optimal solution to improve the user experience.  And I don’t ever have to worry about “missing a moment.”