Tag Archives: Business

Talk at MindTree: “Understanding Your Users”

Was invited for a talk at MindTree, at their fancy “Global Village” campus in Bangalore, to talk about “Understanding Your Users“.

Heavily loaded topic, of course. I decided to focus on 1 possible way of understanding users — using photo documentation techniques to uncover unmet & unarticulated needs. Walked through some examples of photo documentation based user research, using a recent informal study we conducted on the topic, ‘Car Storage Behaviour & Needs’. And, at the end, I also shared some “best practices” from my personal experience of having used this technique over the years.

The audience consisted of people from varied disciplines – Engineering, User Experience/Usability, Product Management and Business Analysts…so, decided to keep the content relevant for audiences that are completely new to user research, as well as those who have basic awareness and minimal practical experience in field techniques.

The complete presentation can be downloaded here.

Interestingly, the crowd was very enthusiastic and inquisitive. Unlike similar sessions I’ve conducted before, the audience here warmed up very quickly and were full of questions in the very first few minutes. Was quite impressed with the level of enthusiasm and “aliveness” in the group. It made the whole effort very fulfilling!

And, here’s what it looked like…

Param\'s talk at MindTree


Linked to Bill and the billion-dollar question

Here I am, checking out LinkedIn’s new & improved website and right on top of the homepage, there’s a huge, cannot-miss-blurb (ad?) calling your attention:

Bill Gates asks: How can we do more to encourage young people to pursue careers in science and technology?

Obviously, I click on it. I find myself checking out the beginning of a long list of responses (1674 answers). Bill’s LinkedIn profile page isn’t too far away either! Here’s what I loved about his profile page (apart from the fact that I’m a “3rd degree contact” to Bill):

Contact Settings
Bill Gates is not currently open to receiving Introductions or InMail

Anyways, amusing-stuff-to-trip-upon apart, I’m happy to see somebody like him is now just a proverbial click-away!

And, here was my answer to his question, for whatever it’s worth. (Since I do have a hammer in my hand, everything does look like a nail):

First, use ethnographic research to understand the core issue…about why young people aren’t pursuing careers in science and technology.

We need to understand what factors motivate them to turn away or to look at other careers and what factors influence today’s youth in their career choices.

The solution to the above question will be easier to find once these motivators & influencers have been identified & clearly articulated.

So, do I now get the billion dollars? 😉

Making research work

Finally closed on the topic for my ‘Rapid presentation’ at the World Usability Day, on Nov 30 at the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad. Here’s what it looks like:

Topic: Making Research Work
Abstract: Clients, stakeholders and at times, even design/usability practitioners express concerns about the impact of research…is it really worth the effort, time & money? This presentation deals with possible approaches & measures to ensure your design research, user research initiatives deliver on the promise of the power of research, and to ensure the business ultimately sees the ‘value for money’.

While I’m still putting together the presentation for this topic, I’d love to know if any of you have thoughts/questions/comments on what you’d like to see covered in this presentation. (I’m still trying to figure out how I can summarize all that I want to communicate in this ocean of a topic in a rapid 20-minute presentation).