Research like you’re wrong: Lessons from user research gone rogue


We all want to create docs that help our users. We know good research helps us to give our readers what they need and poor research can weaken our docs so it’s time to step up our research game.

Grounded in the things I’ve learnt (read: mistakes I’ve made) from my time writing open source documentation for the UK government at Government Digital Service (GDS), this talk will look at:

  • deciding what - and how - to research
  • interviewing, simulation and content evaluation techniques
  • distinguishing user ‘needs’ from ‘wants’
  • how the Hawthorne effect can influence research
  • how to feed findings into product and content development

Throughout it all, we’ll cover strategies to avoid common pitfalls, how to avoid users telling you what you want to hear, how to manage research with no extra budget and, when it’s all done, how to turn all that qualitative data into tangible content changes that have a genuine impact for users.

  • Conference: Write the Docs PORTLAND
  • Year: 2018

About the speaker

Jen Lambourne