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The Right Hand - Issue #5

The Right Hand
It’s time for another issue of The Right Hand! Thanks for your continued support.
Why is this newsletter called The Right Hand?
In the book and series Game of Thrones (GoT), The Right Hand was an important advisor to the King (or Queen). The monarch commonly turned to them for counsel when they were making important decisions.
But where did the Hand come from?
In GoT, during the Conquest of the Seven Kingdoms by House Targaryen, King Aegon I Targaryen proclaimed his half-brother, Orys Baratheon, to be “my shield, my stalwart, my strong right hand.” And with that, Orys is regarded to have been the first Hand of the King.
Insights teams (UX research, market research, and consumer analytics) are The Right Hand of the businesses they serve.
Take your rightful place. Don’t deliver data. Don’t deliver insights. Deliver counsel.
What’s new?
Check out this week’s issue of The Right Hand.
Again, you are getting a first look at an essay I am publishing this week. And why shouldn’t you—a subscriber—not get the first look? I appreciate you.
I always value thoughts and feedback.
The best compliment you can give me is to share this.

Micro Essays and Articles
Micro Essays and Articles
Investigative Research for Startups
Startups have to operate lean.
But that doesn’t absolve them from finding—and solving—a customer problem.
Finding the right problems can be elusive, even for companies that don’t have to operate lean. 
Operating lean means that startups have limited resources.
Often missing from the resources they have are a dedicated insights team, UX research function, or market researcher, and the responsibility of identifying, customer needs fall to the entire team.
Using this Investigative Research process will ensure that a startup is:
  • Solving the right problem
  • For the right people
  • At the right time
Investigative Research is well suited for companies with limited resources.
Investigative Research uses an abductive approach to gathering information. Abductive methods start with an observation or set of observations and then seek the most likely conclusion from the observations. 
Investigative Research involves collecting, verifying, and assessing information in six SIMPLE steps.
Step 1: S—Surveillance
Surveillance is looking for potential problems you can solve for a particular audience or person. This is where you seek opportunities to improve the lives of others.
Step 2: I—Intelligence
Start gathering intelligence on the people and problems you have identified in Step 1. Take a look at reviews, social media, or any evidence that tells you how big the problems you have identified are.
Step 3: M—Map
You have identified opportunities to improve the lives of others, i.e. problems people have. Map these problems to the things that people are currently doing to solve them.
Step 4: P—Problem
Select a specific problem you can solve for them. It is also important to identify who is trying to solve the problem.
Step 5: L—Leverage
Develop a product or solution and leverage that to solve their problem.
Step 6: E—Execute
Have a bias for action in building your product using a series of “small bets and experimentation. Keep conducting research and incorporating that into your product.
Investigative Research will help startups stay lean, learn more, and move faster.
~fin~
What's the difference?
The research field is unnecessarily divided.
If I asked 100 researchers, “What is the difference between User Research and User Experience Research?“ I suspect I would get 100 different answers.
I might get answers like:
  • User Research is more related to talking to people to know about their behaviors while UX Research is more about knowing about users’ experiences with a product or a service.
  • UX Research is more about usability
  • There is no difference between them
If you do a Google search, you won’t find a reigning opinion. If you scour the job boards, you will find no single prevailing definition.
There is an incontrovertible fact; if researchers can’t define a distinction, those outside of the research disciplines definitely won’t know the difference.
This begs the question, should people even think about User Research and User Experience Research as two different disciplines? What about when we add Product Research and Market Research into the mix? 
We are overcomplicating this. 
The distinction for me is clear; UX Research, User Research, and Product Research all focus on the "micro” level, i.e. how a person interacts with a product or service. Conversely, Market Research focused on how people (aggregate) interact with a product or service. 
While market research is oriented around selling customers’ products, UX focuses on the interaction between customers and products.
Making a more granular distinction between User Research, Product Research, and UX Research doesn’t make sense. These terms should be used synonymously. 
User Research = Product Research = UX Research
There is precisely no benefit to differentiating them.
As researchers, united we stand, divided we fall.
~fin~
There are striking similarities between good detective work and good UX research.
There are striking similarities between good detective work and good UX research.
Prepare for your next UX research job interview.
Prepare for your next UX research job interview.
Ari Zelmanow 🇺🇦
Insights are a precursor to change.

But you have to be willing and able to action on them.
Ari Zelmanow 🇺🇦
Just because an insight is interesting, doesn't mean it is valuable.
Ari Zelmanow 🇺🇦
Love this👇

I’m gonna change it though…

Research is about understanding people.

It’s that simple.

And that hard. https://t.co/9naIblVRsv
How a Cycling Team Turned the Falcons Into NFC Champions
What You Can Learn from Fighter Pilots About Making Fast and Accurate Decisions
Confirmation Bias: Why You Make Terrible Life Choices
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Ari Zelmanow
Ari Zelmanow @zelmanow

Elevating UX research and insights teams to their rightful place as trusted advisors to business leadership.

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