CONNOR IN 10 SECONDS
I was born with three passports, plant clams and oysters once a year with my mom, and recently began learning a fourth language, music, at age 28! I’ll listen to any idea seriously, believe in incredible outcomes, and am closely watching how progress in neuroscience will change the world. After travelling extensively, I developed an unrelenting determination to understand how humans, all from the same species, can behave so differently.
I’m transitioning from a career in engineering to a career in user experience research (UXr), from analyzing mechanical systems to analyzing the ever more complicated (and fascinating) human system.
I am engaged by projects related to socio-economic and socio-environmental issues, technology, personal development, and health & wellness- especially in the international context. Identifying valuable questions is key in UXr and these domains are full of them. One of my major motivations for learning to speak both French and Spanish fluently was to enable research in developing countries. I’m very attentive to cultural influences and social norms.
While I often apply industry methods like Personas, Interviews, and Usability Testing- Ethnography is probably my favorite method! I also leverage academic tools from my masters program in Switzerland such as Limbic System Mapping and Incongruity Analysis. Finally, I’m always following research developments in the Behavioral Sciences with the aim of applying the amazing knowledge being generated.
My UX research Journey
I unconsciously began human research and ethnography while Couchsurfing in over 60 homes around the world. There is nothing I enjoy more than being inserted into the heart of a new culture and observing how things are done; with couchsurfing, I had the opportunity to ask my hosts “why?”.This curiosity naturally led to my first UXr project focused on exporting Idaho bean seeds to farmers in Costa Rica. After diving into the values, pains, and perspectives of these farmers, my team and I spent two weeks in-country conducting interviews and qualifying our initial research. The process was incredibly engaging and the results of our analysis had a major impact on sales- since than I’ve been hooked on UXr.
I’ve also held various research positions both inside and outside of academia- always enjoying a collaborative team atmosphere. Of course, my methods were both less refined and littered with bias in the beginning. I eventually enrolled in a Master’s program to study Behavioral Science and familiarize myself with the scientific method. I agree with Charlie Munger in that the more complex a subject is, the more angles we should look at it from. Because of this, I followed classes from all of the major behavioral fields and developed a multidisciplinary perspective. My previous experiences outside research have been extremely adaptive to the UXr process, especially the organization required to manage complex engineering projects and the public speaking skills that drive audience engagement- even for the most boring of topics!