Pivoting to UX Research

Planted: Saturday 3/16/2019
Last Tended: Saturday 3/16/2019

May 2019, I graduate from my PhD program. As the date approaches a common question is asked of me: "what are your plans for after graduation?" This used to be a dreaded question because I was unsure. I wasn't sure if I wanted to go into academia or industry. After much soul searching I decided that I am best suited for industry. But what to do in industry? Are my skills transferable? Those were questions I struggled with, but then I stumbled upon user experience research (UX research).

I realized that my qualitative research skills plus education background were well-suited for a career in UX research. Now when people ask me what my plans are for post-graduation. I tell them that I am exploring careers in UX research. That response results in puzzled looks. I tell them that UX research is basically qualitative research. A company wants to know how people are using its products or services so they employ research methods like focus groups, observations, etc to understand behaviors. After I tell my colleagues that, the look of confusion lifts and then we have a conversation about the field. UX research is not qualitative research. However, the techniques and tools used are the same or similar. This is important for me to distinguish as I explain to my colleagues what I am doing after graduation.

After graduation, I am pivoting to UX research. With that pivot, this Listed blog serves as a space where I can document my thoughts on research and data. This blog also serves as a space for me to practice my writing and critical thinking skills.

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