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A Retrospective on Remote Research & Winner of the Lifelong Learning Award

A few months ago I, Johannes Geiser, wrote a post about how covid-19 challenged my research process. Remote interview setups, collaboration with my supervisors, and presenting on Zoom calls turned out to be fairly manageable give the situation. A few months after completing all this, I can give some insights into what I learned personally and also from the UX professionals I interviewed.

Retrospective on my Process and my Research Results

Besides interpersonal challenges, most challenges have been able to be solved by introducing technology to simplify communication, managing projects, and work collaboratively. These are some insights:

  1. A modern advanced setup is simplifying your work progress tremendously.
  2. A modern advanced setup does not need to be complicated nor “technical”. Find what works but be open to new.
  3. Collaboration in software is essential nowadays. Say no to sending Word and Excel files back and forth. Get Google Drive or Office 365.
  4. Consistent updating and communicating with your peers. Get feedback early and get insights from others. You don’t have to do the work twice and you shouldn’t continue on things which are not working.
  5. Learning, learning, learning. Never stop. Technology changes quickly and introduces new opportunities to improve your work progress so you can concentrate on the important things. It also offers possibilities to introduce new features. Be careful, don’t overload users with the things you learned with 1000 new features.
  6. Learning has no borders. Everyone can learn from every domain. Be curious and learn about other topics. It will open your silo and make you more open to new approaches.
  7. Quick and Dirty User Testing. Get quick feedback from your users as often as you can. Don’t over-prepare your Usability Testing setup. Send a screenshot on Slack or Teams, share your screen for a few minutes or send an Invision for quick feedback.
  8. Adapt your user testing rhythm to your work progress so it won’t be a burden. Lowering the barrier is better than trying to achieve the optimal user testing scenario.

The Lifelong Learning Award by ENCELL

I also wanted to proudly announce that this research won the best essay award 2020 by ENCELL (the National Center for Lifelong Learning) https://ju.se/center/encell/en.html. Lifelong learning will be and is getting a more prominent topic not only for professionals but for everyone seeing themselves for work in the future. I highly appreciate the recognition and support by ENCELL on this topic. I hope your work and this research will encourage people to research similar topics to ease the life of professionals being on the lifelong journey of learning.

In the end, I also wanted to thank my supervisors again for all the support and hope everyone stays positive in these times. Enough of wrong decisions and misunderstood information?

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