Diving into the industry: the value of work experience

Adam Spencer

A blog by Shambhavi Virgaonkar.

With my long-time inclination in User Research, I was extremely excited to join Lagom for a two-week internship during my Easter break. I will be graduating in a few months, and I think it is important to know about the kind of work a User Researcher does on a real life project before I actually plunge into the industry.

When I joined, I was introduced to the research and design process at Lagom: the different projects, the various phases of research, and the standards that they align to within the industry.  

Over the two weeks, I was involved in many research activities like planning and conducting live user testing, reviewing user journey maps and service blueprints, and observing client meetings and presentations. Along with this I also got to attend various project progress catch-up calls and internal production meetings which are evidently important to their planning and teamwork in this industrial environment. I also got to work with Victoria, one of Lagom’s delivery managers and learn about the business side and the process of pitching for clients and recruiting research participants.

After learning more about the work at Lagom, I was able to test my own knowledge and skills by completing relevant tasks. This included: transcribing and analysing user interviews, writing user needs and creating personas. I am thankful to Adam and Liam for providing me with additional resources that helped me better understand and complete these activities. Although these tasks were curtailed, they helped me gain confidence and grew my interest to work in Research in the future.

One of the key takeaways from my experience is that it has helped me realise the importance of research in UX – as is always stated by the experts. It is important to involve users from the very early discovery stages of the design process as it helps to eliminate false assumptions.

I have also understood the importance of crafting thoughtful and detailed user needs. Although this takes a lot of time, it is crucial as it guides further design process. At the same time, it is important to validate these user needs through prototyping and testing to ensure that the service we design addresses the most important user pain points and saves time and money.

I have gained invaluable experience during my time at Lagom and will carry forward the Lagomer mindset of striving for continuous improvement. I am extremely grateful to the entire team for providing me with their time and sharing their knowledge. It has given me immense clarity and confidence to pursue a career as a User Researcher.

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