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Re: [agile-usability] Serendipity on anthrodesign mailing list

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  • John Schrag
    ... When I teach the basics of doing research (usually to people who have already decided to put out a survey) I recommend starting with two questions: What
    Message 1 of 15 , Jun 23, 2013
      On 2013-06-23, at 9:30 AM, Jared Spool wrote:
      Researchers are not immune to Sturgeon's Law. 90% of all research projects, in my experience, are crap. They are poorly formulated, poorly executed, and poorly integrated with the rest of the organization..

      When I teach the basics of doing research (usually to people who have already decided to put out a survey)  I recommend starting with two questions:  What decisions do you need to make?  What information do you need to make those decisions?  Only after those two questions are settled, do I help them figure out how to collect that information.  I'm frequently amazed at how much resistance there is to setting a clear research question, even by the people who are asking for the research.  (And almost always a survey is not the right way, but they're "easy to do". . .)

    • Adrian Howard
      Hey Jared, On 23 June 2013 14:30, Jared Spool wrote: [snip] ... This. Times a bazillion. ... Indeed - in fact I ll just copy n paste something
      Message 2 of 15 , Jun 23, 2013
        Hey Jared,

        On 23 June 2013 14:30, Jared Spool <jspool@...> wrote:
        Much of the poorly executed research I see happens because the organization's reward system and culture have not been adjusted to accept it. If an organization isn't set up to take the research and its results in (which are separate things), then you get the result of the shiny report on the CEO desk. (Ironically, the best research never has a report to put on the CEOs desk, which is fine, because the CEO was involved in the work throughout.)

        This. Times a bazillion.
        You can't separate the problems with being with "research", "researchers", or "organisations", in my opinion. They are deeply integrated.

        Indeed - in fact I'll just copy'n'paste something I wrote yesterday on the anthrodesign list

        ---- [snip start] ----

        I no longer judge my success on the quality of my findings. 

        I judge it on the effect of my findings.

        It doesn't matter how glorious the insights. If they don't end up making the organisation, the product, the world better they're a failure. If management, developers, designers, whoever ignores 'em - that's my fault. Not theirs. I've not laid the groundwork for those results to be used effectively. I've delivered something they cannot use or apply. I've solved a different problem from the one that needed solving. 

        I'm not saying that if an organisation cannot accept or work with "deep" insights I shouldn't do the research. I'm saying that in that situation the first order of the day is to help the organisation move to a place where it can get value. 

        Until I do - doing the research is waste.

        ---- [snip end] ----


        adrianh@... / +44 (0)7752 419080 / @adrianh / quietstars.com
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