This week's show and tell was all about user research. Narelle Ong (formerly of Research and Citizen Insight) joined the team in July as lead user researcher: it's her job to help the team understand what the users need, and to lead on the testing of draft and published content.
Her presentation was split into two parts: an introduction into the basics of user research, the methodologies and some examples of it in action, followed by her explanation of her work to date building a user research panel. As she explained, when she joined the team we had a fairly ad hoc approach to user testing.
While this had its bonuses, like keeping everyone close to what users were saying and doing, it took a lot of time.
Her solution was to begin to build a user research panel, making the process of testing content a whole lot easier and quicker. Narelle detailed how she did this and how she made sure it kept within GDPR guidance. The panel is still recruiting and in particular needs more people in the 'young' demographic (the fairly broad 26-50 range), you can sign up here.
We've had feedback that people enjoy it when there's user participation in the show and tells. people have told us taking part in exercises helps embedding the learning and is a welcome opportunity to meet people from different team, so Narelle built in a quick series of exercises half way through her presentation.
Attendees were asked to suggest how they would go about building a research panel, what information they'd procure and how they'd keep the participants engaged. There were lots of good ideas that came out of the workshop and Narelle has incorporated some of them into her future plans.