Videoconference: Design Research Strategy & Strategic Design Research

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Advancing Research Community Videoconference, Design Research Strategy & Strategic Design Research with Mike Oren and Janice Wiitala

Thursday, February 3 2021 | 1pm PT/4pm ET

When scaling and democratizing research practices, how can you help ensure higher levels of value are delivered? In this interactive session, we’ll discuss different items we can leverage to ensure design research is providing value to an organization by driving strategic decisions. Areas we’ll cover include:

• Utilizing research repositories as strategic assets;
• Leveraging quant + quo data to track success; and
• Ensuring research can focus on the highest value work.

About our speakers:

Mike Oren built out and leads the Design Research practice at Klaviyo where his team focuses on empowering the organization with stronger research aligned with the company’s customer-first values. Mike holds a PhD in Human-Computer Interaction and Sociology from Iowa State University, and a Bachelor in Computer Science and English Writing from DePauw University. His past employers include Google; United Airlines; Motorola Mobility; and BlueCross BlueShield of Illinois, Texas, New Mexico, Montana, and Oklahoma; as well as time spent consulting with various startups. He also teaches Evidence-Based Design and Data Literacy at Illinois Institute of Technology’s Institute of Design.

Janice Wiitala (she/her) is a UX research leader at Options Clearing Corporation. To better serve the U.S. equity options and futures markets, OCC is comprehensively redeveloping the company’s risk management, clearing and data interface. Prior to her work at OCC, she created the research practice at Healthcare Financial Management Association. She has also consulted with numerous organizations on research and research operations including BCBS of Illinois, Visa, 3M, and Navigant. Her earlier work in CX Research and data analysis allows her to bridge UX Research with insights from diverse listening posts. She is passionate about building on existing insights and leveraging mixed methods to develop deeper understanding and empathy and in order to advance user-centered design solutions.


References from the call

What is strategy?

Porter, M. E. (1998). Competitive strategy: Techniques for analyzing industries and competitors. Free Press.

The five competitive forces that shape strategy. (2008, May 7). Video

Good strategy and Michael porter’s 5 strategy model. (2021, February 22). Wind4Change.

How competitive forces shape strategy. (1979, March 1). Harvard Business Review.

Atomic Insights

Sharon, T. (2021, February 1). The atomic unit of a research insight. Medium.

Sharon, T. (2021, February 1). The three most popular questions about atomic research. Medium.

Sharon, T. (2021, February 1). Foundations of atomic research. Medium.

Sharon, T. (2021, February 1). Democratizing UX. Medium. 


Beers, Robin (January 2022). Research leaders – What are we up to?. LinkedIn. 

Figjam Board