I’m excited to share that Research Practice: Perspectives from UX researchers in a changing field is done! The official launch date for the paperback and e-book is 19 January 2021, but the Kindle edition is available for pre-order today on Amazon.

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Right now editor extraordinaire Nicole Fenton is finding the last of my typos and excess ramblings, while my friend and former colleague Aarron Walter is drafting the foreword.

How’d the book turn out?

This is a hefty book—430 pages of in-depth research knowledge from some of the sharpest practitioners around. You’re bound to learn a thing or two.

What’s this book about?

This book is not an argument for doing user research. Nor is it a tutorial or toolkit for common methodologies. It won’t show you how to run a usability session or recruit users remotely—though I will share helpful resources on those topics in the appendix.

Research Practice captures the day-to-day of the practice itself—what it looks like to work with peers and stakeholders, to raise awareness of research, to make tradeoffs, and to build a larger team.

Research Practice takes you inside the field of applied user research through the stories and experiences of the people doing the work.

What’s in the book?

Each chapter explores a specific theme:

  • Finding a way in presents the various pathways people take to this field. You’ll learn how practitioners navigated from schools, the social sciences, fine arts, and beyond to a career that satisfies and rewards a passion for understanding people.
  • Getting started in a new role demystifies why organizations hire researchers, how to assess a role, the hiring process, and how to start when you land a new job.
  • Building momentum describes the different roles and teams a user researcher might work with, how to build and navigate relationships with colleagues and stakeholders, and the best place within an organization for researchers to make an impact.
  • Sharing the work unpacks what researchers really share by exploring how practitioners build an awareness of research, teach research methodologies, and—yes—disseminate research findings with their teams and organizations.
  • Expanding your practice covers how to navigate growth in both influence and headcount for practitioners, from what research leadership means to how to hire a team to when to operationalize a practice.
  • Overcoming challenges exposes the hard parts that no one tells you about user research, from the loneliness of being a team of one to battling imposter syndrome to advocating for change to taking an ethical stand.
  • Where to go next charts the pathways of a research career through an examination of possible career ladders, perspectives on when it’s time to leave a role, and thoughts on where a research leader goes when there isn’t a clear next step.

Why read this book?

If you’re in school or considering a career switch, you’ll know what a job in user research might look like. If you’re new to the field, you’ll see where your career might go and know how to get there. If you’re expanding the size or reach of a practice, you’ll understand how others have approached it.

Anything else?

I’ll share more details and samples as we get closer to launch day. But if you’re already sold, go ahead and pre-order the Kindle edition today.

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