I love challenging myself to research

I have always been curious and fascinated by other peoples’ perspectives. As a kid, I would constantly ask my mother, a busy doctor, about all the patients she interacted with during the day. I loved learning where they came from and their reason for seeking care. This flame of curiosity never dimmed, and later, as an adult, I used my passion of trying to know the ‘how’ and ‘why’ to drive both my academic and professional interests.

My curious behavior never stopped me from learning about other people in the academic setting. I conducted a mixed methods research project for my master’s in political science from the University of Chicago. But now, I was at a crossroads – continue this academic path or venture into something new. I chose the latter thanks to people I was acquainted with during my academic program, I was able to see the opportunities that lay ahead and transfer skills into a role which suits me well.

I am currently a design researcher at Accenture Song in Los Angeles, California. The primary objective of my job is to understand how the general population interact with products and services on a regular basis and provide feedback to clients so they can make them better for their clients. In other words, I bring the voice of people to products designed by some of the largest corporations in the world.

I am thrilled to be a part of a team full of curious and empathetic designers. We help companies design products and services that fully meet the needs of their clients, while making sure they are able to differentiate their offering from their competitors. We also help identify potential issues early on in the development process to streamline the development process and we test early and often to make sure the offerings are reliable. We also conduct research periodically to understand what users are looking for, where they are falling short, and identify opportunities to make the products and services stand out among competition, all the while providing users with the best experience possible.

Users’ experience is not a set of checkboxes on a check list, it is an approach, process, philosophy, and way of thinking about design that involves actually caring about people

Accenture Song is a multinational company that services some of the biggest companies in the world. Our clients include companies that make up the Fortune 500 – the biggest 500 companies in the US by revenue. These companies are the biggest for a reason – they make some of the best products, which means they demand the best from the clients they work with. Our team helps them build products with higher user satisfaction, greater engagement, and ultimately, increased revenue.

I believe the best way to provide value to people is to seek out and prioritize their perspectives and experiences. My natural curiosity, education, and knowledge of research methodologies help me be successful in this regard. We cannot assume what users want; they are the experts of their lives.

Design research involves end-to-end understanding of how people digest and interact with a product, service, or system, and appreciate their needs and preferences that can be affected with our decisions. The best way to do this is to interact with them, empathize with their world views, goals, challenges and values, and advocate for them throughout the process.

Users’ experience is not a set of checkboxes on a check list, it is an approach, process, philosophy, and way of thinking about design that involves actually caring about people. Ultimately, it helps make better decisions, build better relationships, and strengthen our appreciation for other people’s perspectives.

The part that I enjoy the most about being a researcher is the power to uproot assumptions. I love challenging myself to research and learn as much as I can from other people’s perspectives because I often discover things I never expected.