Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The Best Way(s) to Learn Lean User Research

I've been excited to see more and more people getting interested in user research and customer development over the past few years. It's not a new field by any means, but it's new to a lot of entrepreneurs and founders.

 Of course, what that means is that when I talk about research, I hear a lot of the same questions over and over again. I hear questions about recruiting the right users, the right number of people to talk to, and what questions to ask. I also hear a lot of confusion about how to choose the right type of research and when to use qualitative versus quantitative methods.

 Now, there is a lot of great information out there about how to do research. There are blogs and books and classes. But often these are more than entrepreneurs really need. They don't want to become user researchers. They want to learn exactly the techniques that they need to do whatever they need to do right now.

 The first third of my book, UX for Lean Startups, is aimed at getting people comfortable with the idea of validating hypotheses and figuring out what sort of research to do. But I've found that often people need a little more help. They need specific guides for running each different type of study.

So, that's what I'm working on now, and I hope to have some guides available in the next couple of months. These guides will be fairly detailed how-tos for things like running a usability test, recruiting users, conducting observational testing, and other topics that I get asked about constantly.

If you would like to sign up to be the first to hear when these guides are available for purchase, go here and sign up.

If you would like to tell me what guide you'd most like to see or what question you'd most like answered, send me email at

If you'd like something to read in the meantime, did I mention I'd written a book?

If you don't like all this reading and would prefer to learn in workshop format, I will be doing some video workshops for LUXr. You should sign up here.

And if you still have questions, you can reach me on Clarity for a quick call or sometimes hire me to consult, depending on my availability.

You know what this means, right? It means that pretty soon you will have absolutely no excuse for not learning from your users.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Don't Allow Behaviors. Encourage Them!

I wrote this post for the O'Reilly Programming Blog. Here's an excerpt:

As a consultant, I’ve talked to a lot of startups who have “social” products. You could tell that the products were “social” because they had comment sections and sharing icons that let people post to Pinterest or Facebook.

Of course, one of the things that the founders complain about is that too few users are actually making comments or sharing or doing anything remotely social with the product.

There’s a very simple reason for this: the founders have added features to their product that allow users to be social rather than encouraging them to be social.

Read More at O'Reilly >