Where - UX Researcher at WATTx
When - September 2016 to April 2017
How - User research, Conceptual Design
WATTx is a company-builder focused on building industrial and consumer Internet of Things solutions. The company consists of 20+ Data Scientists, Hardware and Software Engineers, UX Professionals and Business Developers. The environment is fast-paced; a combination of Design Thinking and UX processes are used to generate and test ideas. At WATTx, topics are diverse, ranging from smart buildings to end-consumer data privacy to the health sector.
As a solo UX Researcher, I joined WATTx to bring user research knowledge to the UX team. At the same time, I applied UX research methodologies to inform the concepting phase of product ideas. Activities and deliverables included:
Conducted 30+ hours of interviews sessions.
Led observations for a guerrilla contextual inquiry study.
Co-led ideation sessions to generate ideas based on user needs, personas and experience maps.
Introduced templates (e.g. interview scripts and observation framework) to structure the company’s user research activities.
Conducted internal workshops to spread knowledge about user research amongst the team and supervised the UX intern.
Being a start-up, the design process at WATTx is often iterated upon. However, the UX team always tried to keep the focus on users by interviewing potential customers, iterating on concept ideas, and gathering user feedback early in the design process.
Projects & Teams
My daily projects were of two types: driven by technology or focused on a topic area. Teams were assembled based on the project needs.
These projects required the identification of use cases based on specific technologies (e.g. an algorithm related to energy consumption). In this case I was part of multidisciplinary teams (tech, business developers, UX). Team members worked individually and regularly regrouped so that UX (design and research) was constantly aligned with tech feasibility.
UX activities included: guerrilla interviews, ideation sessions, concept testing.
These projects required the identification of opportunity areas, based on topics (e.g. Smart Living). In this case the focus was on gathering user insights within the relevant field. The goal was to identify and solve problematics with IoT solutions. For this type of projects, the team was UX driven and regularly met with Business Developers to align on strategic direction.
UX activities included: desk research, contextual inquiry, interviews, workshops.
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