Weeknote 27th March 2023 – Templating user research and getting into video editing

Writing up after a weekend of DIY, specifically re decorating our hall and dining room. I say re decorating rather than just painting as I have learned so much about prepping for painting, fixing cracks and trying to get surfaces right for the best results. We’ve got the place looking much nicer now, even if my perfectionism and the uneven, hundred year old walls of a Victorian house are not a good match.

Last week I did a lot of work on research planning and recruitment. We’ve got about 4 partners in our Private Beta who came on board recently, so a bit of a backlog of interviews and test sessions looking at how they process forms. I’ve got into a good groove with this work now, so I spent some time templating things like discussion guides and materials for running these sessions.

This was partly to batch up working with 4 partners at the same time and be efficient, and partly to get the work in a state to pass on to someone else in case of getting the chance to work with another researcher on the project in the future. It was good to zoom out and think about things in terms of processes and templates having been working solo for a few months research wise. I like working solo sometimes, as it means you can sprint along quite quickly when you have a clear idea of what you are doing and just need to execute. But you miss out on all the developmental and plannign conversatinos that challenge and get you to iron out the details, so it’s good to balance with periods of working closely with others. Working that way can leave you with a whole load of ‘documentation debt’, so it was good to address some of that.

I also did a playback of the accessbility testing I did a couple of weeks back. I’d paused on this as we had a ‘firebreak’ sprint where we caught up on the end of year HR tasks, technical debt and professional development. I spent a bit of this time working on workflows to use more video in my research process. This led to being able to include quite a few clips to give people on the team a better sense of how the product worked for people using assistive technology. I’m hoping to get quicker at using video so I can use it more in my whole team analysis sessions too. The issue is it takes a really long time to work with video, especially when you have really comprehensive notes people have taken during the sessions that are much quicker to use for analysis. I’ve figured out some workflows to make things a bit quicker though, including setting video at 3x speed before editing to get through it quicker, then back to 1x when saving.

This week I am running several of the interviews I planned last week looking at how forms are processed in various departments. I’m also planning some usability testing of a new key feature to allow people to edit forms that have already been made live without disrupting people who are completing them. Probably some more decorating in the evenings too as I am keen to press ahead and get my long list done!






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