A Day in the Life of... Our Lead UX Researcher
Welcome to another installment of 10Clouds’ ‘A Day In The Life’ series in which we’ll be talking to a range of people across the business to find out what their job involves, what they love most about their workplace, and what challenges they face and overcome on a daily basis.
Today we’re excited to talk to our Lead UX Researcher, Agnieszka Zygmunt.
Agnieszka has more than 4 years of design experience and has worked with startups, scale ups and enterprises in a wide range of industries, from industrial design, legal and fintech to even NGOs and education. Welcome Agnieszka.
Congratulations on being promoted to Lead UX Researcher! Could you tell us a bit about the position?
Of course. I have several key responsibilities. The most important ones are leading the UX team, developing internal processes and knowledge, and of course actively conducting (or supervising) UX projects. Supporting team members in their development is especially important to me - all our designers have unique skills and experience, which together allow us to provide our clients with outstanding projects, and to ensure that the user perspective is central to every one of them.
The second most important element is the creation and implementation of processes from a wide range of UX, especially research. Together with the entire team, we create, test and improve our activities on an ongoing basis to make sure that they are best suited to both the internal goals and the goals of our clients.
What makes UX research so important in the product process?
It actually all boils down to risk reduction and gaining a market advantage. From a business perspective, conducting research allows us to avoid the costs of creating a solution that does not match the market or the needs of users. Especially in the case of projects that are just introduced to the market, carrying out activities in the field of Product Discovery is extremely helpful, because it allows for a fairly detailed definition of our action plan, product shape, and business assumptions - and it even provides information for further marketing activities.
From the perspective of the product itself - we minimize the risk of errors, discover new needs and increase the level of satisfaction with the use of the solution. These activities also allow the discovery of unique needs, not covered by other market solutions, which directly translates into an increased chance of a product's success.
How do you collaborate with other team members when you’re working on digital products?
The work of a UX Researcher is always to work with people. Even in the case of conducting research activities on my own, I present all the materials that I develop to other team members on a regular basis. Sometimes, I even work together with them on figuring out what conclusions should be drawn from the research.
Ultimately, research serves three purposes: supporting business goals, discovering user needs, and transferring this knowledge to further executive activities.
The moment of transferring this knowledge is always individual and I try to adapt it to the current needs for which the collected information is essential. As a team, we are all involved in the research process at some part. Because of this, I can be certain that all my activities are aimed at the real needs of the project. This is achieved by our regular meetings, ongoing preparation of materials as well as joint workshops in the case of milestone moments (e.g. developing further research directions or a list of functionalities).
As part of the UX research process, after collecting information, there is a stage in which we "characterize" the data - that is, we map into appropriate conclusions, and create artifacts (platforms, groups, user paths) that are useful for further work. Here, having group input is super useful, as we can organize the collected information together and take into account many different perspectives.
What has been your favorite product that you’ve worked on? Why was it your favorite?
Honestly, I'm a person who is genuinely excited about any project. I believe that regardless of its form, I will always find a new and interesting challenge.
However, I’m currently working on one of our internal fintech solutions that facilitate customer contact with bank employees – which I can now call the most interesting challenge from the last months. We conduct activities in the field of full Product Discovery, where, apart from analysis, there is a huge number of creative workshops (with all users), observations, interviews and other interesting forms of gathering knowledge. This project is challenging due to its complexity - but also exciting thanks to the innovative insights we are collecting. We also have the ability to operate in research loops and adjust the process to the needs on an ongoing basis, which enables the most effective use of our time and finding real values to be developed. I am genuinely excited about this and I hope that soon we will be able to share our discoveries and the project more widely.
What advice would you give to someone just starting out in their UX research career?
Be curious about the world and keep seeking knowledge. Research opportunities are lurking at every turn - use them to polish your skills and build a research mindset. Be modest and vigilant in all of this as well. Every test is different and you should always think about it individually, guided by its end goal.