Custom swag for completing the Research Deputy course, including a notebook, pen, mask, and pin.

Phase 1: Course

We began the program with a course consisting of 7 days of lessons, covering a lot of ground for user research. Each session was an interactive presentation with activities sprinkled in. Below is an overview of the content for each session:

  • Intro to User Research
  • Research Planning and Stakeholder Buy-In
  • Evaluative Research 101
  • The Art of Conducting User Research Interviews
  • Strategic Note Taking
  • Qualitative Analysis and Synthesis
  • Storytelling and Presenting

The course also included learning about research resources available to us at Rocket, such as internal templates, and processes for setting up, interviewing, and documenting research. Rocket uses UserTesting for our user research and Condens to document and consolidate all past research.

Phase 2: Research Assistance

After completing the course, we were paired up with the researcher on our team to assist with synthesizing user research that they were working on at that time. I, along with two other future research deputies, assisted with synthesizing research for the B2B team, specifically relating to client nurturing. We were each assigned two user testing videos to watch and take notes for on UserTesting, and then we all met to do some affinity mapping to group our findings into themes.

Summary and Review

Lessons LearnedWhat's Next?

Lessons Learned

This program packed a ton of information into a small number of sessions, and I really enjoyed the mix of classroom and real-world content. The thing that stood out the most to me was that there are many unknown biases that could accidentally render a user testing session worthless. Each phase of the research process, from getting stakeholder buy-in, to writing out a research plan and question structure, not to mention actually conducting the interviews, all need to be done just right in order to achieve accurate and actionable results.

What's Next?

While I have conducted user research prior to this program, I came away with tons of information and strategies for improving my research going forward. I can be a better team player to our researchers, and can provide more useful input before, during, and after we conduct user research.

Now that the program is over, and I have my shiny new deputy pin, I am expected to help shoulder more of the load when it comes to user research. One of the goals of the program was for us to be able to assist our researchers so they have more time to devote to more time consuming or specialized work. As a newly appointed research deputy, I am also expected to help my fellow designers with questions about research or internal tools available to them.

Overall, this program was incredibly valuable and it gave me a whole new appreciation for the researchers at Rocket and across the industry.

Back to Top