Last year, we at Hureo, a user research agency in India, came up with the idea of launching Hureo Social – a community that brings together people passionate about building user-centric products.
The first Hureo Social, which happened last year in August, saw Anjeli Singh, the founder of Hureo, tackle the issue of ‘Validating your products when you don’t have deep pockets.’ The event, which welcomed people from various walks of life, including designers, product managers, founders and students, was a resounding success, with our limited seats filling up faster than we expected.
For the Second Chapter of Hureo Social, which took place this September in Pune, we decided to invite a special guest, Ripul Kumar, for an open conversation on UX research with Anjeli Singh.
Ripul, co-founded a global design, research and innovation consulting company, which he led and managed for 12 years. He holds deep expertise in user research, having consulted with global corporations including IDEO, Google, Nokia and Microsoft.
(Here is a short video clip giving you a glimpse of Hureo Social – Chapter 2.)
From the get-go, Ripul had the audiences hooked, as he dived into his unusual UX Research journey, which began at a time when user research was virtually unheard of in India.
Ripul and Anjeli then went on to share their experiences working with leading Indian and international brands, and how they overcome common barriers faced by UX researchers.
Towards the end of the evening, the room was abuzz with conversations and discussions, as participants networked with each other. What made the Social all the more interesting was the diversity of the participants – this time, we welcomed engineers, coders, advertisers and product managers across various industries.
For us, the open discussion led to 3 takeaways –
Ripul Kumar shared an interesting real-world anecdote to drive home this point.
Long back, a famous electronics company was poised to launch an exciting new product: the music player. While deciding what colour to launch the player in – red or black – this company ran a market survey, with over 10,000 people. Most of the survey respondents indicated red as their colour of choice. However, later in the guise of a party where the same people were asked to pick up a red or black music player as a take-home gift, almost all picked up the black one.
The takeaway? Market surveys uncover people’s opinions, while user research shows how people behave, providing inputs on what will and will not work with the product.
One of our participants voiced a question that is usually on most people’s minds, namely: How do we convince our senior leaders of the benefits of user research? To this, Ripul had some invaluable wisdom to share, encouraging designers and researchers to understand how business works. According to him, researchers who can measure and demonstrate the impact of user research in tangible terms, aligning it to key business objectives, have a much better chance of building a strong case for research.
Ripul ended the talk by encouraging researchers to keep trying to get their point across, no matter how impenetrable the wall of opposition. His advice? To keep telling people, in every way possible, how they will benefit from UX research, which will some day, lead to a breakthrough.
The event led to an important realization that though user research is still a niche field in India (something we’re hoping to change), what we lack in numbers, we make up in enthusiasm. ‘How can I volunteer in such Socials in the future?’ – was a common refrain among most participants, which pleasantly surprised us (and which led us to create this form here). Though these attendees came from diverse fields, each was driven by a marked passion to build meaningful products. All that had been lacking was a common platform to bring them together – a gap Hureo Social is now trying to bridge.
Hureo Social needs more people like you, and our next Social is slated for the first week of December. We welcome you to be a part of this fast-growing community individuals as future volunteers, attendees, guest speakers, or any other role you see fit. Do sign up here to be a part of our next Social – filling this form doesn’t oblige you to necessarily attend any event, it just keeps you in the loop of things.
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