Why Attend Advancing Research?

What people are saying about Advancing Research


“I’m super-psyched for this conference because Rosenfeld Media thoughtfully curates its programs to answer the most pressing questions, provides diverse opinions, and coaches speakers so that the presentations are of high quality. I know I will leave with several burning questions that will drive me forward to conducting better research, and I’m aware of no other conferences at this level.”
—Susan Mercer
Senior Manager, Research & Usability, TripAdvisor

“I can’t wait to attend the first-ever Advancing Research conference this spring in NYC! A conference that is focused solely on advancing the field of research is sorely needed. Our industry cannot advance in a vacuum. Researchers of all kinds, working in different capacities, need a place to come together to learn more from one another. If I trust anyone to create this place, it’s Lou Rosenfeld and the Rosenfeld Media team.”
Kyle Soucy
Founding Principal, Usable Interface

“Sponsoring a workshop during a Rosenfeld conference provided us with an excellent opportunity to contribute to the flourishing design community and support the work of designers beyond our own organization. Rosenfeld Media was great to work with in handling the operational details. In the end we received more than we gave.”
Brian Hochhalter
Director of DesignOps, Macmillan Learning


Why we need to advance research

Times have changed for user and customer researchers:

We’ve moved past simply seeking recognition and validation. Now we’re grappling with strategic challenges, like working with the C-suite, professionalizing research, and achieving insight at scale. These trends and new challenges mean it’s time to reconsider research’s great potential.

It’s time to advance research.

Why we need a conference on Advancing Research

In early 2019, a group of us —Abby Covert, Natalie Hanson, Steve Portigal, and Lou Rosenfeld—noticed these trends and began exploring how they’ve impacted researchers’ information and learning needs, especially in terms of conferences. (Rosenfeld Media already produces other UX-related conferences: the DesignOps Summit and the Enterprise Experience conference). We did extensive research, including surveying over 700 researchers, having extensive discussions with research leaders, and analyzing over 200 presentation proposals. (You can check out some of our research here.)

We learned that researchers of all stripes want opportunities to meet and learn together that are:

Advancing Research is the first US-based conference designed to meet the needs and demands of this new generation of researchers.

Who Advancing Research is for

We’ve created Advancing Research for these three personas, which were greatly influenced by our research:

Interested in attending and need help convincing your boss? Download our guide here.

What’s different about Advancing Research 2020

Rosenfeld Media produces some of the design industry’s most beloved books and conferences. Now we’re bringing our industrial-strength curation skills and obsessive focus on attendee and sponsor experience to the research world. We’re painstakingly designing a program that is grounded in both thought leadership and community research. The conference’s themes mirror the community’s most pressing conversations.

Here’s what makes the Advancing Research conference unique:

Who we are

Program curation

abby-covertAbby Covert specializes in delivering a collaborative information architecture process and teaching those that she works with along the way. She speaks and writes under the pseudonym Abby the IA, focusing on sharing information architecture content with those working within the design and technology communities. She is the author of How to Make Sense of Any Mess, a book about information architecture for everybody. She is past president of the Information Architecture Institute, a global non-profit membership organization focused on empowering IA leadership, currently serving members in 73 countries.

natalie hanson headshotNatalie Hanson has been working and researching at the intersection of business strategy, technology, social science, and design for fifteen years. She is currently a Principal at ZS, where she leads the User Experience practice. The UX team at ZS engages in research and human-centered design for enterprise software and custom client solutions. As an anthropologist, Natalie’s research has focused on work practices and work environments. She has a special interest in how institutions respond and transform in response to macro-economic, industry, and regional trends, and how the resulting organizational changes affect the lives of employees. You can learn more about Natalie at http://www.nataliehanson.com, and more about the online community of ethnographers she manages at http://www.anthrodesign.com..

steve portigal headshotSteve Portigal is an experienced user researcher who helps companies harness the strategic power of insights. Steve has interviewed hundreds of people, including families eating breakfast, hotel maintenance staff, probiotic distributors, rock musicians, home-automation enthusiasts, credit-default swap traders, business school professors and radiologists. His clients are leaders in telecommunications, banking, media, energy and eCommerce. He is the author of two books: The classic Interviewing Users: How To Uncover Compelling Insights and new, Doorbells, Danger, and Dead Batteries: User Research War Stories. He’s also the host of the Dollars to Donuts podcast, where he interviews people who lead user research in their organizations.

Lou Rosenfeld is Rosenfeld Media’s founder and publisher. Like many user experience folk, Lou started somewhere (library science), made his way somewhere else (information architecture), and has ended up in an entirely different place (publishing). Lou spent most of his career in information architecture consulting, first as founder of Argus Associates and later as an independent consultant. He co-founded the Information Architecture Institute and the IA Summit, the user experience network. And he does know something about publishing, having edited or co-authored five books, including the IA “bible,” Information Architecture for the World Wide Web, and Search Analytics for Your Site.

Curation support

…all supported by the production team from Rosenfeld Media, publishers of fine UX books and producers of the Enterprise Experience and DesignOps Summit conferences..

We look forward to seeing you at Advancing Research conference 2020!

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