User research is an unmissable phase of any UX project. Not only for crafting better experience but also to understand and satisfy the user needs, user research is must for any product or service. UX has become one of the key impactful factor for any product success and that is why companies (big or small) has started focusing on user research. The need to hire for User research role has also been increased in few years. Many UX professionals intended to make a move in user research. When it comes to hire for UX researcher role, it becomes an important task to select technical and practically sound candidate for UX research role.
While hiring for UX researchers, candidates have to go through with one important round of project or portfolio walkthrough. With the help of research project walkthrough phase, the hiring panel wants to understand the technical and practical knowledge of candidate related to user research. This phase is critical and sometimes decision maker as well. Now the question comes, what does the hiring team look & focus in research project walkthrough, what do they want to know? How the candidates read hiring team’s mind and craft their project story around this. In this article, I would like to share few thoughts on preparing for UX research project walkthrough with respect to my own experience from various research job interviews. This article will help you in knowing how to prepare for UX research project walkthrough? How to structure it? What all elements needs to be included in project walkthrough.
· Tell about basic details of project – Mention the project type, whether it was explorative or evaluative research, new release or existing product, client (not necessary client name), domain, any important statistics, project phase etc.
· What were the research questions – What research questions were you trying to answer? What was your research goals?
· Who all were involved in project – With whom you have interacted during this execution of given research project like stakeholders, product owner, sales, UX team etc. What kind of involvement and role they played?
· How and why did you pick specific research method (s)? – Which research method(s) have you chosen and what was the reasoning behind choosing method(s)?
· What was the duration and timeline of activities? – What are the activities get executed and what was the overall timeframe? Can you also provide day wise or week wise plan?
· How did you recruited participants and how many – What was the criteria to identify or recruit participants? How many participants were recruited and why?
· Practical execution of research – How did you execute the method(s)? What were the challenges you faced during execution? Who else were involved with you during execution and what was their roles?
· How did you analyze the data – What kind of data got gathered during research execution? What was your methodology (s) to analyze the data?
· The insights derived from analysis – What were the top-level insights? What actions have been identified from those insights? Can you relate the research questions and goals with insights?
· What was the impact – What impact the overall research project made? Did you see any change in stats post research insights implementation?
· Last but not the least, Storytelling – Remember research project walkthrough should not look like tedious business presentation, the team is also looking how well the story can be narrated.
Your project walkthrough story needs to cover all the above points but it doesn’t mean you will be able to get job as UX researcher, there are even more challenges where you may have to perform but with given tips you will be able to place your project walkthrough in better shape.
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