Listen to Steve on the Making Things That Matter podcast

Thanks to Andrew Skotzko for a fun conversation on the Making Things That Matter podcast where we talked about improving your user research process.

Our 75-minute conversation is on the episode page, YouTube, Apple Podcasts, and Spotify. You can find a transcript on this page.

#80 Steve Portigal: Improving your user research process

Steve Portigal is a veteran user research leader and consultant who helps companies mature their research practices. He’s the author of Interviewing Users, a classic in the field, and the host of the design leadership podcast Dollars to Donuts. In this conversation, we explore:

• how to use creative practices to develop your voice as a leader and storyteller

• how to be a smart consumer of research findings when you aren’t an expert in the craft of research

• one simple question leaders can ask to set their organizations to make the most of research

• and how to create the conditions for high-impact, effective creative work in your team

Topics discussed

(10:21) Experimenting with writing and finding one’s voice

(15:47) Feedback model: GASP – goals, attempts, successes, possibilities

(19:53) Workshops, creativity, and self-doubt

(27:06) Embrace authenticity, find your unique facilitation style

(28:10) Appreciating different approaches, understanding executives’ skepticism

(34:37) Engage with compassion

(39:29) Research is essential for informed decision-making

(49:01) Compassion and reflection are crucial for leaders

(50:48) Create a safe learning space for engagement

(56:03) Assessing code quality and marketing effectiveness

(01:00:39) Research raises questions, timing and deployment important

(01:10:31) Stay fascinated with the world around you


About Steve