Kicking off a UX Research side project with my mentor Meaghan

This post is the first in what will be a series of posts about my UX research about UX Maturity. For all other posts, see my UX Maturity Research page.


I’ve long been obsessed with the concept of UX Maturity. Why do some companies rave about the power of User Experience Research and Design while other companies just don’t seem to get it?

Which is why, for at least the next 2 months, I’ll be conducting research on this topic.

How it began

I’ve had great mentors (and unofficial mentors) in the past, so when a friend tweeted about the Chic Geek mentorship program, I jumped at the opportunity.

The program is incredibly well-run. They match mentors with mentees based on a thorough questionnaire about goals, experience, and interests.

My match is Meaghan Nolan, a co-founder of the digital health company Mikata Health and a former lead designer at New York agency Moment. Needless to say I’m happy with my match!

But what do I want?

After I learned that Meaghan was going to be my mentor, the organizers asked me as the mentee to come up with a SMART goal. I really wasn’t sure what to shoot for, so I set a goal to set a goal. (Huh?!)

goal to set a goal.png
My waffly initial goal: To set a goal

Fast-forward to the first official mentorship meeting: When I sheepishly showed Meaghan my somewhat confusing goal, she immediately jumped into researcher mode. After just a few questions, she proposed a WAY better goal.

If you are interested in tech and UX research, why don’t you do UX-style research on tech?

Yes! Brilliant!

We eventually settled on the following:

  1. In order to learn more about UX maturity and UX research techniques, I will interview at least 5 people from different companies about UX maturity by April 1st, 2018.
  2. At that point, I will decide on a specific direction for future research.
  3. Throughout the process, I will blog at least twice a month about my process and progress.

They aren’t especially specific or measurable, but UX rarely ever is. The April 1st deadline is in place in order for me to get some broad initial research in before drilling down into something interesting or unanswered from that research.

Next steps

After this first meeting, Meaghan sent me some relevant links. One of which was a talk SHE GAVE at the Interaction17 conference on Design at Scale. What!? My mentor not only has worked with everything from startups to Fortune 500 companies, but she’s given a talk on design culture?! Amazing.

After I read through the rest of the materials that Meaghan sent, I’ll put together a rough research plan based on the IDEO Field Guide for Human-Centered Design.

Then of course I’ll actually start talking to people and post about it right here later this month! I can’t wait!

Want to talk?

Care to enlighten me on your personal journey through UX maturity? Let me know!

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