Bias Is The Context We're In
Ep 40: Since I started asking users questions as part of my design process over 20 years ago, I’ve often asked myself, how could I ask better questions. Am I asking the right questions? What bias am I bringing into the interaction?
As we progress in our research practice and go beyond the 101 lessons like avoiding leading questions, asking questions that are open-ended, leaving silence in the spaces to allow participants to talk more, learning to interpret actions and expressions not just words… those are all important, that’s where we start, but how can we go beyond that. at some point we might begin to look inward as researchers, and the part we as individuals are playing in the outcome, our biases, assumptions, our own values and life experiences.
Who better to have this conversation with, I asked myself, than Steve Portigal, an author and expert on the subject of asking questions. Steve wrote the book Interviewing Users which is a great place to start for those who are newer to asking users questions, and he also wrote Doorbells, danger and dead batteries, with stories from practiced user researchers that deals with some of these questions of bias. We had a great conversation with lots of great advice for researchers at any level.
About Steve Portigal
Steve Portigal helps companies to think and act strategically when innovating with user insights. His work has informed the development of professional audio gear, wine packaging, medical information systems, design systems, videoconferencing technology, and music streaming services. He’s also the host of the Dollars to Donuts podcast, where he interviews people who lead user research in their organizations. Steve is an accomplished presenter who speaks about culture, innovation, and design at companies and conferences across the globe.
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