A week in the life of a New User Researcher…

by Tracy Eaton – User researcher for Buckinghamshire County Council

It all started in the Water Garden, when I meet with Matt and Colin to talk about a User Research role for a project called Verify.

A whole week into the role it is now very clear to me how different the role is, or actually my interpretation of a User Researcher. It is not talking to someone about a system or process and noting down what they have said then analysing it…… quite the opposite in fact.

I now know it is someone who listens, observes, doesn’t guide people through the process and explores hesitation or apparent confusion by asking what are you thinking? What are you trying to do?  Or what were you expecting?….My challenge is to not step in and assist when someone has hesitated, or even worse suggest why they have hesitated.

I completed my first User Research session at GDS this week with a member of the public, who used Verify to apply for his Concessionary Bus pass or as they like to call it in London my Freedom Pass. It was nerve wracking because the sessions where being streamed to other Councils and my face was on a huge plasma screen in the next room where four individuals were taking notes. But it was kind of exciting at the same time, I have done one now so roll on the User Research of the Bucks residents I am nearly ready.

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