I am very excited to say that I am working on a second edition of User Research, published by Kogan Page, due out February 2022!
I’m very happy and grateful that people have found the book useful. I am very grateful to Kogan Page for giving me this opportunity to update the book, so I can add and share more things I have learnt in the last few years and new content relevant to how things have changed in the last few years.
New content to expect
In the first edition there is a small section of ethical and legal considerations when doing user research, since the book was published in March 2018 new data protection laws have come into effect in many parts of the world, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that protect citizens of the EU and UK, and California Consumer Protection Act (CCPA). So I will be adding more practical detail of how to handle user research data to comply with data protection laws. You may in a part of the world that doesn’t have the same kind of data protection legislation, but I would recommend taking on data protection practices as they also part of ethical practices in research and practical habits such as making sure data is findable in case you ever need to delete it.
Setting up for success
This leads me nicely into the next section of new content. Another development that happened as the first edition was being published, was the movement of Research Operations. ReOps focus on all the stuff that researchers have to do around doing the research, all of which is important for doing and sharing good quality research. This is also the field that I now work in. I will outline the basic research operations practices to set up when you are starting out in your research practice that will help you out immensely as user research is done (hopefully) expands, scales and matures. This will not be a comprehensive look at ReOps, which is vast, but a good starter for 10. Kate Towsey is currently writing for Rosenfeld Media on Research Operations Handbook, which I am very much looking forward to.
Analysing research data
I’ve come to realise more and more over the last few years that in user research writing data analysis methods are focussed on much less than the doing of research, the methods we use to gather the data.
Each stage of the user research process requires different skills, from identifying research questions, through planning, doing, analysing and communicating. Analysing data I think is one of the most difficult parts of the research process that takes longer to master. It is key to understanding accurately what the data is telling you and then what you should do about it, it is integral to the integrity of your research findings. So I’m taking this opportunity to go into more depth on analysing your data once you’ve gathered it.
Choosing the right methodology.
I’ll also be taking the opportunity to improve the way choosing methodologies is presented. Summarising what method to choose when, in a clearer and more engaging way, both visually and textually.
There will be other revisions and updates along the way. I am very much looking forward to working on them in 2021 and then sharing it in 2022.
What do you think?
If you have any ideas you’d like to share, for things you’d like to see changed, or topics you’d like to see covered, I’d love to hear them. Please leave a comment below.