Collected UX research posts from my government days

I’ve taken some time over the new year to repost some of the blog posts I wrote while I was working in government. These were originally posted on government blogs, first in the UK and then in Australia.

Can’t guarantee I still agree with everything I wrote back in 2013 but perhaps you’ll find something useful here.

How we do user research in agile teams (GDS 2013)
This was probably the first time I’d ever seen user research work really well in agile.

User research not just usability (GDS 2014)
It’s pretty typical in low maturity organisations that they think usability testing is everything that user researchers can do, right?

What user researchers do when they’re not researching (GDS 2014)
First time I wrote about the old 70:30 rule…

It’s user research, not user testing (GDS 2014)
Call me a pedant. I still think it matters.

5 ways to help user research work better in agile (GDS 2014)
Summing up things that I found myself saying over and over again.

Sample size and confidence – how to get your team to trust qualitative research (GDS 2014)
My response to the ‘oh, but its not statistically significant, how can we possibly trust it’ objection.

Anatomy of a good sticky note (GDS 2014)
The building block of good research analysis. Surprising how few people get it right.

So, you’re going to be a user researcher: top tips to get you going (GDS 2015)
What I recommend when people ask me how to get started with user research.

Doing user research in the discovery phase (GDS 2015)
No, discovery is not for validating the ideas you want to proceed with, it is – surprisingly – to discover,

We need to talk about user needs (GDS 2015)
User needs are not user stories, they are so much more!

Improving internal services and tools to help make the end users experience better (GDS 2015)
A few notes on the particular challenges and rewards of doing internal facing user research.

How might we improve the voting experience? (GDS 2015)
Very occasionally I got to actually do a tiny bit of research rather than just fighting off bureaucracy so that others could do great work. This was one of those times. The other time was the Welsh project.

‘I want a pony!’ or the critical difference between user research and market research (DTA 2017)
The evergreen discussion of why user research methods are different to market research methods and how they’re both valid when they’re used for the right things in the right ways.

Why we say no to surveys and focus groups (DTA 2017)
Why many organisation’s research tools of first choice is generally my tools of last resort.

There were a few more blogs from DTA days but they were very project specific so I’m going to leave them where they lie for now.

And, of course, the summary of that government experience:
If I could tell you 3 things – notes from a brief career in the public service

And hopefully, if the new years resolutions hold, some more original content soon.