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We’ve made it to the end of Season 1 of the People Nerds Podcast! To celebrate, we’re turning the spotlight on one of our own.That’s right—this week we’re talking to the one and only Ben from People Nerds. You might know Dr. Ben Wiedmaier from your People Nerds Newsletter each week, or as your dulcet co-host of this very podcast. But what you might now know is that Ben, in addition to being our most public (and popular) People Nerd, is also dscout’s Lead Content Strategist and an Assistant Professor of Communications at DePaul University.This week Karen talks with Ben all about his career, from academia to the head voice of People Nerds. We also talk all about communications and building connections, whether it’s an interview or a new potential date. Ben also shares his unique point of view on research, cultivated from his position at the center of our community, and predicts where he thinks the industry is headed next.Join us behind the People Nerds scenes with this special Season 1 finale.Show NotesRegister for the upcoming People Nerds 2022 conferenceRead Ben's original research on hookups, flirting, and dating People Nerds <> HmntyCntrd on organizational playbooks for trauma Research leaders on trends in the space and the effects on their teamsGetting smarter about democratization, a framework
Language undergirds so much of the experience research process: The designs we're evaluating (e.g., button text, UI, a chatbot's mannerisms), the studies we're creating (e.g., survey questions, interview guides), and certainly the data we collect (e.g., verbatims, video). We might "know" that our language use can bias results, but in what ways and to what effects?In this episode, we chatted with Dr. Nicole Holliday, a sociolinguist from Pomona College, who investigates the ways social identities are formed, communicated, and interpreted via language. She's also interested in technology's role in this process, from automated speech recognition (ASR) software to live text in video software. In addition to unpacking her work and methods as a sociolinguist, Dr. Holliday shares the ways biases can materially impact the experience of users. In addition, she outlines strategies we can use to think more critically about the role and impact of language in our work.Show Notes:Follow Dr. Holliday on Twitter Check out Dr. Holliday on the Spectacular Vernacular podcastRead some of Dr. Holliday's work: When auto-captions failBlack college students' experience on campus "How Black does Obama sound now?" 
Storytelling is a superpower of human-centered practitioners (among many others!). Capturing the richness of another's experience and the process of rendering it in an empathic, honest, and actionable way is core to our work. Core, and also complex.Our guest for this episode is Dr. Umi Hsu, who works at the intersections of story, strategy, and culture. Umi is the Director of Content Strategy for the ONE Archives Foundation,  which is the largest collection of LGBTQ history. Umi discusses their approach to curating stories that foreground lesser-heard voices, and doing so in an information-rich, attention-low world.Get ready for a deep dive into history, story, and ways we can become more ethical interlocutors of experience, especially for driving change. Show NotesCheck out ONE Archives Foundation's new podcast, Periodically Queer.Put some of Umi's storytelling strategies into practice by checking out ONE Archives' AIDS history exhibition, Metanoia.Read our profile of Umi to learn more about their digital strategy work for the city of LA.Learn more about dscout Express, which we use to create our scout sound offs each week.Register for People Nerds 2022—happening October 19—featuring Samin Nosrat!
When we started People Nerds, it was with the ethos that lots and lots of people—from artists and activists to authors—might leverage design, research, and human-centered principles to inform their work. But what about food? And specifically, those who spend their life creating culinary experiences both big and small?To guide us, we're joined by Samin Nosrat—author of Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat and a contributor to New York Times Cooking and the New York Times Magazine. We discuss how she thinks of herself as a researcher, her method for finding and sharing stories carefully, and what she's nerdy about when not in the kitchen.Be sure to check out Samin at our People Nerds event later this fall, a one-day digital gathering to explore how human-centered practitioners from all industries are adapting to our new normal.Show NotesExplore recipes and her Netflix showDiscover Samin's Book: Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking
Big sample, big impact...right? It's not so simple...Large samples don't automatically produce more valid, useful outcomes. Survey design, sample representativeness, participant incentive structures, and analysis plan all impact the results. What can mixed-method, qual-leaning researchers learn from this fact?On this episode, we're joined by Dr. Peter K. Enns, a professor of Government and Public Policy at Cornell University (where he also serves as Director for the Center for Public Opinion and the Center for Social Sciences). Dr. Enns spends a lot of his time thinking about the impact of his conclusions, because of their political, material, and policy implications. In addition to his work at Cornell, he is a cofounder of Verasight, a consumer insights firm.He outlines the ways we can collect more representative data that's also less likely to produce spurious conclusions. Experience pros will leave a sharper sense of data hygiene and ways to foster a relationship with the users who make their practices possible. Show Notes:Dr. Enns' work, including his books Hijacking the Agenda and Representation NationDr. Katherine Cramer discusses listening in her political science research
What isn't designed? Can design's ubiquity harm its educational and storytelling potential? What might a space dedicated to design look like? How might it be experienced?To begin unpacking some of these questions, we're joined by Tanner Woodford, the founder of the Design Museum Chicago, whose mission is to share stories of the community and drive engagement through the power of design (in its many forms).In addition to the idea of a "design museum," we discuss the importance of community-led design, what a democratized design practice might entail, and the implications for brands who do not consider design in its strategic and tactical planning processes.To become a member of the Design Museum or contribute to its mission, click here.
Time on task. Cart abandonment.MAU and DAU.What about..."fun?"Experiences from fin-tech to mobility use a select, core set of metrics and outcomes. The gaming space does, too, but they also have unique characteristics and opportunities, especially for user researchers.Veronica Zammitto has been working, thinking, and researching in this space long enough to see its maturity in real time. She spent nearly a decade growing the UX practice at Electronic Arts, one of the largest game studios. Now, she's consulting for the wider industry, helping to level up the ways this fast-moving space can stay user-centered and nimble.Veronica reflects on the maturity of the gaming industry, where UX fits, and how the wider experience community can learn from the fun, play, and action elements symbolic of games. Show Notes:Overview of Flow Theory, used by Veronica when testing a game's UXMacadamian's UX Maturity Framework, which helps Veronica benchmarkVeronica's IxDA Keynote is a deeper look into the maturity opportunities facing gamingNew to playtesting? Here's a primer to get you started and going.
What are you a fan of? A band? Sports team? Show?Fans, fandoms, and their creative engagement and output are ubiquitous...not just in popular culture. Experiences and brands also want to stoke fan-feelings among their users. But how, and does that even work?To help us begin tackling these (and other) questions, we're joined by Cinema and Media Studies professor Dr. Paul Booth, who has written over a dozen books on fans and studying fandom, including his most recent, The Fan Studies Primer.Dr. Booth dissects the differences between the "average consumer" and a fan, why subjectivity is critical to his work, and what we as user experience researchers can learn from studying fandoms.
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