Anthro-Tech

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Effective Research Collaborations: Lessons from Facebook's S.H.I.P. Quarterly UX Speaker Series


Anthro-Tech Founder & CEO, Suzanne Boyd, was invited to join a panel discussion hosted by the Facebook UX Research program. The theme for the discussion was Effective Research Collaborations. Held at the Nordic Museum in Seattle, the event attracted over 150 people.

Other panel members included:

  • Shruti Kataria – Research Manager at Airbnb
  • Shivani Mohan – Director of Research at Facebook
  • Matt Shobe – CXO at Mighty AI
  • Joe Tullio – Research Manager at Facebook

The S.H.I.P. series, Start Here to Inspire Product, focuses on the unique challenges of conducting product-related research. The organizers created an intimate space for industry researchers to discuss questions, challenges, and topics relevant to their area of work. In addition to UX professionals from Facebook’s Seattle and Menlo Park offices, the invited audience included user researchers, managers and designers from various companies around Seattle.

Some of the key questions and problems being discussed were:

  • How do you work with someone who understands only the qualitative side of research?
  • How do you handle situations where you are the only champion of user research?
  • What are some tips for improving collaboration between remote teams?
  • How can we make stakeholders / decision-makers see value in user research?
  • How to explain to a quantitative focused person, like a data scientist, that qualitative research using a small number of participants isn’t less important.

A common theme touched on by each of the panelists was the importance of a shared vision and taking the time to invest in relationships and communication. Panelists stressed the importance of having a shared goal and a shared purpose at the start of a project. Effective collaboration hinges on effective communication and laying the groundwork for that takes time and an investment in getting to know your collaborators.

Dr. Stephen R. Covey touches on this idea in his writing, “Empathy takes time, and efficiency is for things, not people.” Or put another way . . . “with people, fast is slow and slow is fast”.

Relevant quote

“Empathy takes time, and efficiency is for things, not people.”

— Dr. Stephen R. Covey

“. . . with people, fast is slow and slow is fast”

— Dr. Stephen R. Covey

Building a great working relationship often involves finding something in common and investing the time for that to happen – grab a coffee or a beer with someone.

People working together effectively is challenging and hugely rewarding when it happens. It was an honor to be involved with the S.H.I.P. discussion panel and to share insights from Anthro-Tech’s experience in user-centered design consulting and social impact. Many thanks to the Facebook UX Research program for hosting a lovely event with high caliber people.

Event Photos

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