A one-week work experience blog by Megha Routh
I used my time during the Easter break to complete a short internship at Lagom Strategy.
Even though this was only for a few days, I got a good understanding of the responsibilities that one needs to be a user researcher and some of the different tools and methods that are used to build an understanding of the user and their context.
For me, this was really valuable as I will be graduating in a few months time and looking for full-time roles, so having some experience of what work can be like as a user researcher is really beneficial.
I was involved in live user testing, making observation notes, interpreting data and identifying the needs of users.
I was also asked to reflect on the current tools used to capture, analyse and present findings and think of suggestions that Lagom could look at introducing to their processes.
I created these cards which can be used in various ways. They can be printed and used for conducting analysis on a wall or they can also be used to get an overview of all feedback about a concept and pinpoint the areas requiring improvement.
Along with this, I was involved in various meetings and discussions, including show-and-tells of user research findings and also observing a client prioritise the user needs for their service based on research evidence and the business’ objectives.
I also attended progress catch-ups for some projects. Project planning is really a crucial task especially in an industrial environment when the team works on multiple projects. It is very important to have a dedicated person to manage multiple projects.
Lagom specialise in discovery phases which follow a user-centred design process. This is quite different from my earlier experiences of working in the industry, where the value of research was often disregarded.
I understood the importance of involving the users early in the process as they are the experts of their own experiences. This gives rich insights which are helpful in designing products or experiences that meet their needs.
This process also removes designing based on assumptions and results in evidence-based solutions. I also realised how we as researchers have the power to make a positive impact in people’s lives through our research.
A key take-away from my time with Lagom was learning about how they validate user needs. [I had previously dealt with understanding the user and formulating user needs. However, I never used to validate them.] This is a very good practice which I would like to take forward as many times we can assume that the user might need something, but only when we develop the prototype and test it do we realise this was not the case. Validating needs helps to ensure that the service design moves in the right direction, saving time and money.
I would like to thank the whole team at Lagom for taking out their time to give me this opportunity.