Mixed Methods

By Aryel Cianflone

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A podcast interested in the how's and why's of user experience research. Through interviews with industry experts and hands-on trial and error, we indulge and celebrate curiosity. Expect to test assumptions, examine methods, and engage in some old fashion experiments.

Episode Date
The Power of Disability - The Disabled List ft. Liz Jackson
Liz Jackson founded the Disabled List in 2017 in hopes of creating more space for disabled designers. She recognized that corporate conversations so often happen about them but without them. The Disabled List is working to change this by advocating for disability as a design advantage. They strategically place disabled designers into organizations to demonstrate the unique value disabled perspectives have. Through the Disabled List, I’ve had my first meaningful forays into the world of disability studies, ableism and disability advocacy. My perspective on the role of disability in design and research has changed, listen in and yours might too!
Sep 06, 2019
Sensemaking Through Information Architecture - Abby Covert, Etsy
Abby Covert, also known as Abby the IA, is a pioneer in the field of Information Architecture. Abby likes to think of herself as a “Sensemaker,” a role she believes is becoming more and more necessary in our increasingly messy world. To spread this message, Abby wrote the book How to Make Sense of Any Mess, helped found World IA Day that now has events all over the globe, and shared her thoughts on the subject here with us.
Aug 22, 2019
Coaching for Creative Professionals - Laura Weiss, Design Diplomacy
Laura Weiss never expected to be a leadership coach. Growing up she knew that she was meant to be an architect and after earning an undergraduate and masters’ degree in architecture her fate seemed all but sealed. That is until she decided to change everything less than a decade later. She had realized that while she loved architecture, it wasn’t quite for her. So she decided to follow another passion and get an MBA from MIT. She went on to find a home for herself in the emerging field of design thinking, combining her love of design and business as a consultant at IDEO for almost 10 years. Today Laura is focused on helping others navigate tricky moments in their careers and grow design leaders through her work as a professor and as a coach. More and more people are turning to professional coaches as a way to grow, transition, and find fulfillment in their work, in this episode Laura shares a bit of what it means to be a coach and what you can gain from having a coach.
Aug 08, 2019
The Future is Life-Centered - Jane Fulton Suri, IDEO
Today’s guest, Jane Fulton Suri, always seems to be looking at the world in a new way and helping others to as well. She is currently a Partner Emeritus at IDEO, where she has been working since the late 80s in a number of different roles, including Chief Creative Officer and Executive Design Director. Jane is an expert observer and has a way of approaching each project with a voracious curiosity that has been inspiring the research world for decades. She is unequivocally one of the founders of the field of design research, a psychologist by training, who pioneered the idea that observing behavior and bringing principles of psychology into a design context could create a more human centered world. Listen to this episode to find out more about Jane’s path and her passion for not only Human-Centered Design, but something she is now calling Life-Centered Design.
Jul 25, 2019
The Future is Scalable - Kate Towsey, Atlassian
When it comes to Research Operations, Kate Towsey is an expert. In addition to her current experience leading the team at Atlassian, she has years of experience working independently for a variety of clients. In her free time, she also started the largest community for professionals in this space. As the field of UX research continues to grow at a breakneck speed, scaling effectively will be paramount. Join us to better understand how to scale your growing research team.
Jul 11, 2019
The Future is Ethical - Tristan Harris, Center for Humane Technology
In this episode, we’ll hear from Tristan Harris, a world renown design ethicist first at Google and now at the Center for Humane Technology. The Center’s mission is to make technology more humane by starting a conversation about the ways in which tech often ends up unintentionally harming users. Tristan offers context and suggestions for how researchers can not only make products usable and useful, but also ethical.
Jun 27, 2019
How to Work Internationally - Jan Chipchase, Studio D
Jan Chipchase has done it all. Before leading the global research practice at frog, the well-known design & innovation consultancy, Jan was a Principal Scientist at Nokia. He specialized in entry level products and his work caught the attention of a writer for the NY Times magazine. He became the center piece for an article titled, Can the Cellphone Help End Global Poverty? Jan was working on a product at the time that collectively sold over a billion units. He now runs a consultancy, Studio D Radiodurans, a luggage brand, SDR traveller, events all over the world and is the author of the popular, Field Study Handbook. 

Feb 15, 2018
Outside the Lab - Emily Goligoski, The Membership Puzzle Project
Emily Goligoski grew up in a family of journalists. After studying the subject in college, she began exploring less traditional paths that would allow her to merge her love of journalism with her love of human factors. A few years and another degree later, Emily found herself working as a design researcher at the NYTimes. In 2015, she became the first researcher to go into the newsrooms, helping reporters better understand topics ranging from archiving to readers’ need during breaking news events. Last year she moved on to The Membership Puzzle Project, a NYU and De Correspondent collaboration exploring sustainable paths forward for public service news organizations. In the episode, we discuss Emily's work, the new methods she's experimenting with, presentation formats, and so much more.
Jan 25, 2018
Combining Qual & Quant - Jeff Sauro, MeasuringU
Jeff Sauro has had an amazing career. In addition to having a PhD in educational statistics and research methods, he’s worked at GE, Intuit, and Oracle. Jeff is probably best known though for his work at MeasuringU, the quantitative research firm he founded in 2004. As it says on their about page, they focus on “the statistical analysis of human behavior and quantifying the user experience.” When it comes to qual/quant research, Jeff is a leading voice in the community and in this episode we discuss what motivated this approach and speak a bit about how UX researchers could begin to incorporate this type of thinking into their practice, including How To Make Personas More Scientific. 
Jan 11, 2018
The True Value of UX Research - Matt Gallivan, Airbnb
Matt Gallivan has had an amazing career in research. From the redesign of NPR's website to Facebook ads, Matt has worked on amazing projects as an individual contributor and as a manager. For the last three years, he’s been at Airbnb and is now responsible for a team of researchers working on the Host side. This experience has given Matt a unique perspective on the role and value UX researchers bring to a product organization.
Nov 30, 2017
Mental Models - Indi Young, Co-Founder of Adaptive Path & Independent Researcher
Indi Young has been doing UX research since before it was a thing. With over 25 years of experience in various consulting roles, Indi is a wealth of knowledge and good stories. Not only about co-founding the well-known consultancy and UX think tank, Adaptive Path, but also the conception of mental model diagrams. She has now written two books about this method, Mental Models and Practical Empathy. Check out indiyoung.com for more resources about how to make your own mental model diagram. Enjoy the episode!
Nov 16, 2017
Career Transitions (Grad School Pt. 2) - Sara Cambridge, Google
Sara Cambridge has had a long and interesting career. After working as a graphic designer for about 14 years, Sara decided she was ready for a change. Not to give too much away, but Sara is now working as a UX researcher at Google. This episode is about how she made that transition and the crucial role grad school played.
Nov 02, 2017
Building Rapport - Michael Margolis, GV
Michael Margolis is a pioneer in the field of UX research. After studying anthropology at Stanford University, Michael began applying his social science degree in an unusual way for the early 90s, redesigning products with a customer centric view. He's worked at The Learning Company, EA, Walmart.com, and Google. In 2010, he was asked to join GV's design studio as the first, and only, UX researcher working for a VC firm. Michael is known in the industry for his exceptional interviewing skills.
Oct 19, 2017
Impact That Matters - Dan Perkel, IDEO
After getting a PhD from UC Berkeley, Dan Perkel went to work at the world-renowned design company, IDEO. He started as a design researcher, and is now responsible for co-leading the design research discipline for the San Francisco office. In this episode, Dan discusses what impact means to him, and how he's seen it over his career.
Oct 05, 2017
Generative Listening - Thomas McConkie, Mindfulness+
Thomas McConkie, has been practicing meditation for 20 years, studying developmental psychology for 10, is an author, fellow podcaster (Mindfulness+), and faculty member at Pacific Integral. His study and practice has allowed him to create safe spaces for what he calls generative listening. This type of listening actually allows individuals to generate and share experiences otherwise inaccessible. As a community often trying to do generative research, this is an invaluable skill.
Sep 21, 2017
Becoming Jared Spool - Jared Spool, UIE
Jared Spool is one of the most influential voices in UX. After a brief stint as an engineer, Jared went on to found User Interface Engineering in 1988, a leading consulting firm that specializes in website and product usability. Jared is a prolific writer, speaker, and advocate for UX with the ambition goal of ridding the world of all bad design. He's also more recently taken on the challenge of starting his own school to create the next generation of UX professionals. This episode focuses on finding out a bit more about how Jared built the enviable career he's now so well know for and what's inspired him to do it.
Sep 07, 2017
Research Bento: Scaling through Collaboration - Donna Driscoll & Kassie Chaney, LinkedIn
Donna Driscoll is a senior principal user experience researcher at LinkedIn, while Kassie Chaney is a senior manager of user experience research at LinkedIn. They are powerful duo when it comes to innovating in the space. They have invented a number of techniques for doing UXR, the latest is called Research Bento. This designer led, researcher supported program allows research teams to scale by more deeply involving design in certain types of research projects. This conversation dives into the method.
Jun 15, 2017
Interviewing Workshop: Don't Leave Data on the Table
Ever wondered how you could get more insights out of your interviews? This week we have a few researchers who did. Marianne Berkovich, Elizabeth Baylor, and Beverly Freeman come from a variety of backgrounds, including a stint as an professor of anthropology. Together they have over 30 years of experience doing user research at companies like Microsoft, Adobe, eBay, PayPal, intuit, and Google. Our conversation was about a workshop originated by Marianne and Elizabeth, and now facilitated by Beverly as well. The workshop helps researchers continuously improve their interviewing skills. I found the takeaways helpful both personally and for a group. 
Jun 05, 2017
Ethnography: A 21st Century Interpretation (@CHI) - Sarah Garcia, UE Group
This year CHI hosted a workshop on ethnography. For UX researchers, this type of observation based study can be invaluable when trying to understand the way different groups think, feel, and behave. Sarah Garcia, who hosted this year’s workshop, sat down to tell us a bit more about it. She’s spent over 10 years at UE Group doing UX research for some of the world’s largest companies.
Jun 01, 2017
The Future of HCI (@CHI) - Ben Shneiderman, U of Maryland
Ben Shneiderman is one of the founding fathers of the field of human-computer interaction. His publications, such as Designing the User Interface, are canonical at this point and he founded one of the first HCI labs in the world at the University of Maryland.
May 18, 2017
Share Better: Rethinking the Research Report - Tomer Sharon, WeWork
Tomer Sharon has been doing UX research for more than 15 years. He's written two books and a couple years ago left Google to lead the UX team at WeWork, a co-working startup turned unicorn that's valued at close to $20 billion. We got together after I heard that Tomer was talking about the death of the research report. The inability of classic reports to effectively convey meaning and meet the needs of product teams seems to be a reoccurring theme. I wanted to hear how Tomer and his team at WeWork had rethought the paradigm.
May 04, 2017
Grad School: Yay or Nay Pt. 1 - Anna Turner, Google
Anna Turner graduated with a BS in economics from the London School of Economics. She will share her story, but as you might have guessed she made a transition to UX research. Anna used a 12 month masters program in Human Computer Interaction at Carnegie Mellon University to facilitate this career shift and ended up landing her dream job at Google.
Apr 20, 2017
Usability Testing: Tricking Gov into Working for People - Dana Chisnell, Center for Civic Design
In the field of UX research Dana Chisnell is a pioneer. As you will hear, she has lived and shaped it’s history and continues to do so. She is currently working as an Adjunct Professor at Harvard, Co-Director of the center for Civic Design, and as a Principal Researcher at UsabilityWorks. I went into this conversation with Dana, expecting to focus on usability testing, how to do it, what makes someone great at it, etc. etc. Dana is a world class expert on this. As you’ll see we did discuss that towards the end, but Dana’s experience in the U.S. Digital Service was a powerful reminder of the sometimes blurred lines between designer, product manager, and researcher that I couldn't help but dig into.
Apr 06, 2017
Class v. Office: Balancing the Study & the Practice - Elizabeth Churchill, Google
Elizabeth Churchill is a director of UX at Google and has worked on a number of projects, including material design. She received a PhD from the University of Cambridge in cognitive science and has since worked at a number of the world’s leading tech companies. Join us while we talk about how she has balanced the industry and academic sides of her career.
Mar 24, 2017
I Have an Idea, Now What? - Sarah Doody, The UX Notebook
Sarah Doody is the creator of The UX Notebook and freelance consultant. She has been working in the UX world for over a decade and we got together to discuss what she has learned about Concept Validation, aka what happens when you or someone you work for has an idea and you’re trying to figure out if it’s worth building.
Mar 16, 2017
Big Questions, Better Answers - Jake Knapp, GV
Jake Knapp is a design partner at GV, formerly known as Google Ventures, and the inventor of the Design Sprint. This 5-day design process revitalizes a number of older methods to allow UX professionals to get over the day-to-day distractions and do better design work. He along with John Zeratsky and Braden Kowitz authored a book on the subject called Sprint. This conversation dives into the method.
Mar 09, 2017
This is a brief teaser for the first season of Mixed Methods, a podcast about UX research.
Feb 27, 2017