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USERPALOOZA! I wrote a book.

Yes, an actual book. Spine. Cover. Pages. Ok, it’s a draft in the photo, but …Somebody pinch me!

USERPALOOZA is a how-to for planning and conducting field research – to connect with customers in their context – to understand how they think and behave around your product, service or category.

…Because it’s easier to design for a customer you understand.

It started two years ago, when I wrote this sticky note and slapped it on my monitor:

This sticky note travelled with me during fieldwork. I couldn't escape it's call to arms. It won a two year battle of wills.

This sticky note travelled with me during fieldwork. I couldn’t escape it’s call to arms. It won a two year battle of wills.

The sticky note soon became a companion, a travelling and motivating call to action as I squeezed writing time into my working days.

Friends asked:

‘Isn’t that shooting yourself in the foot?’

‘Won’t people buy the book instead of hiring you?’

They may prove to be right, but as clients had increasingly been asking for help ‘walking the talk’ of being customer centred, I seemed to have been writing parts of the book anyway.

As my clients sought ways to include customer insights in the way they worked – to inform and inspire the way they decide on, design and communicate products and services – I’d been writing ‘one-pager’ manuals to prime them for the experience of fieldwork; the mindset, tools and approaches needed to become useful partners in the field. Initially with me, then without.

Before long I had most of a practical manual covering the key aspects of design research projects.

…And a lot of gaps.

Now, a couple of years later, USERPALOOZA fills these gaps.

If, as the popular maxim goes, you’d like to ‘put the customer at the centre of what you do’, the first thing you need to do is the opposite – putting yourself into their world.

Find out more about USERPALOOZA – A Field Researcher’s Guide, and sign up to be notified when it’s shipping. (Which is a frightening – if not locked – date in the next few weeks).

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