Tiane Lee is a UX Research Lead at Google. She has led a team of researchers distributed across multiple countries and time zones, to uncover insights and lay the foundation for products for both end users and small and medium businesses (SMBs) in emerging markets. This is her dream job, combining international research, cultural psychology, and product design, which are three of her favorite things. Prior to Google, she was an academic for 10 years, with her work focused on cultural psychology in the Middle East and East Asia.
One billion new internet users (NIU) will come online for the first time over the next 5 years. These NIU are using their first smartphones, with most of their online activities focused around communication, maintaining social connections, and entertainment. Beyond these use cases, NIU are learning to navigate the digital world.
For UX researchers, foundational research is key to understanding users’ full context. These methods include in-person and at-home ethnographic interviews and shadowing, and are critical to understanding NIU needs, aspirations, and challenges. However, they are not options during Covid. We need to adapt our research from in-person to remote and online, and must do so with a user group (NIU) who are learning to navigate the online medium.
I will reflect on what my team did to adapt our research approach, and provide tips for practitioners who are in a similar situation of needing to pivot to remote research with NIU.
The first set of best practices revolve around ADJUSTING YOUR RESEARCH PLANNING to budget for a timeline that is at least double the time needed pre-Covid or for research with digitally savvy users, as well as resetting expectations with stakeholders.
Second, I’ll go through how you can LEVERAGE NIU’S TECH HELPERS AND CULTURAL CONSULTANTS, from using a buddy system to appointing tech helpers for longitudinal studies.
And, finally, I’ll walk through a few effective ways to LOCALIZE YOUR RESEARCH so that the process is relevant and resonates with NIU, including using concrete language and examples and using tools NIU are already familiar with.
Attendees will walk away with an understanding of the challenges and considerations behind adapting research for varying levels of digital literacy and gain specific ideas for planning and conducting remote research with NIU.