Coffee and wifi: beyond the research project

It’s been a long time since I’ve blogged anything related to Coffee and Wifi; the research project that formed my MA Digital Sociology dissertation.

Coffee and Wifi was a success and I enjoyed every second of research and writing that went into it.  The dissertation went on to receive a Distinction and I graduated from Goldsmiths, University of London with an MA in Digital Sociology late last year. Coffee and Wifi is now available to read online (if reading dissertations is your kind of thing).

After presenting my research at the EPIC 2013 colloquium, I started working at the Government Digital Service as a user researcher on the GOV.UK website. It was an absolute privilege to be able to help make Britain’s online public services better by meeting with users to find out what they needed from their government. However, all good things (read: my UK visa) must come to an end and I had to leave the country and a job and colleagues that I adore.

Rather than leaping straight into another job straight away, I’m currently in North America, travelling around and meeting others in the user research community.

Why? Well, this happened a few weeks ago:

Tweet

The response was overwhelming and humbling and I didn’t want to squander the opportunities that have arisen from one single tweet. I had some time up my sleeve to meet some of the people who have been kind enough to reach out to me via Twitter. I’m keen to see how people are approaching user research in different locations and different industries.

So I’m slightly changing the tack of this blog to reflect on user research as I travel and meet with the user research community across continents.

I also hope to use this blog to talk a little bit more about:

  • the user research industry – what are we doing? how can we communicate what we do better? I’m slowly on the lookout for my next research gig and I’m looking to share some of the joys and frustrations of that journey.
  • experience design – I think travelling and being new to so many cities in the next few weeks will give me a great opportunity to look at services and systems I encounter along the way and almost conduct some mini field observations on them.
  • empathic design – I started a conversation and a train of thought on empathic design just before I left GDS, I would like to explore that a bit further.
  • methodology – I’m a methodology geek. I’m keen to create some discussions around how we research and the methods we deploy.

I’m pretty excited for what’s to come and would love your comments and feedback along the way!

 

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