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The "Introduction" Lesson is part of the full, UX Research & User Testing course featured in this preview video. Here's what you'd learn in this lesson:

Paul introduces the topic of user research and user testing. He explains that the purpose of the workshop is to help participants understand that they can do more user research and testing than they think, even with limited resources. he shares their experience in the field and discusses the principles of lean user research and testing. He also outline the different areas where user research and testing can be incorporated into projects. he emphasizes the importance of starting small and doing something, rather than doing nothing at all.


Transcript from the "Introduction" Lesson

>> Hello everybody. Thank you so much for joining me today, so what are we talking about? Well, we're talking about user research and testing. And I've created this workshop for a very specific reason, and reason that really is important to me, because I get to work with a lot of different people across a lot different organizations, and everybody knows the value of user research and user testing.

At least developers do, designers obviously do, UX researchers obviously do. We all know how important this stuff is, but getting to actually do it can be really hard, all right, it can be really challenging, there's never enough money, there's never enough time. It seems complicated and difficult to do and so it doesn't really happen like it should.

And so, in this workshop, I wanna kinda really encourage you that you probably can do more than you think you can do, to maybe take off a little bit of the pressure that goes around, this is how you're supposed to do usability testing. And if you don't do it this way, you're not doing it right and encourage you just to get started in it and to give you some tools of how you can get started without any money and without any time, right?

So I know that sounds impossible, but trust me there are ways of doing it. So that's the kind of aim for today. Just to briefly introduce myself because that's the kind of thing you're supposed to do when you do these workshops. My name is Paul Boag, and really depressingly I've been working on this field for almost 30 years now, in fact it is 30 years 1994, yes.

So I know I don't look that old obviously, it doesn't look like I've been working in the field 30 years, note. No nothing no that's fair enough. But I have and over those years, I've kinda worked with all kinds of organizations doing all kinds of different work. So I've got a lot of experience in user research and testing it's probably these days, I would say 70% of what I do.

So it's a really important area to me but I've also worked with a huge range of organizations, right, from kinda tiny little companies all the way through to enterprise clients across pretty much every sector you could imagine. So, my clients include people like Shopify, so kind of Silicon Valley type companies, PUMA big enterprise companies, the UK Governments have worked with governments and charities I've worked with.

And I tell you all of this to say that whatever I talk about today is applicable no matter what kind of clients you have, right. So I don't care whether you've just finished working with a really big bank, o obviously, you think big organization they've got lots of money and time for user research and testing.

Well, in my experience, that isn't always the case, right? Because there's deadlines and you've got to get things out and well we know what users want anyway, we don't need to do testing. So even big organizations suffer from this and then small organizations often obviously do as well you know, they don't have a lot of time or money.

So we're gonna start off by looking at the principles of a lean user research and testing. So this is kind of the foundation of how I approach this problem, right, of doing user research and testing with no budget and no time. So that's where we're gonna start at.

Then we're gonna look at, okay, what do we need to do up front before we start any kind of work? We kinda all know we're supposed to do some user research up front, but what do we actually need to do? What's the bare minimum we can get away with?

And how can we fit that in alongside everything else we're doing? And then we're gonna look at some different areas of different opportunities to do some user research and testing through the projects. So for example, one is planning your information architecture. That's an area that often things go horribly wrong, because they were not in any way talking to users so we're gonna look at information architecture.

We're also gonna look at testing design concepts, you know when you have to do those mock ups that you show to clients and stakeholders, and they're supposed to sign of on the design. Well, there is an opportunity there for design testing to make a big difference. We're also gonna look at opportunities that come from prototyping.

When you've got a prototype, what testing can you do there? How can you keep that really lightweight and easy? And then finally, we're gonna look at, okay, so you maybe have an existing website or an existing app. What testing can you do on that something that already exists?

And I wanna come back to this sentence, do what you can something is better than nothing. I wanna come back to that again and again, that's the kind of underlying principle of everything we're talking about, right? Start small doesn't matter where you're at, just try and do something a little bit better than what you're already doing, right.

If you're doing no user research and no testing, then just do something, right? Maybe just run one question survey before you start working work. If you're already doing I don't know AB testing, maybe consider adding some qualitative stuff alongside it. Do you see what I'm meaning? Always look for the next level up the way of improving, but never resent those small beginnings, no matter how small it is to begin with, doing something is always better than nothing

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