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Unlocking Insights: 3 Inspiring Highlights from the Advancing Research 2024 Conference

04/08/2024

Rosenfeld Media’s Advancing Research 2024 conference was a gathering of minds and a celebration of innovation in the field of UX research and design—in-person for the first time since its inception! From captivating keynote sessions to thought-provoking panel discussions, attendees left the conference feeling invigorated and inspired.

Our carefully curated program showcased the best and brightest in UXR, providing valuable insights into the latest trends and challenges in the field. The program consisted of two themes: Excellence in Strategic Influence, and Excellence in Our Craft. Both days were crafted around these central ideas, and pushed the envelope in regards of what UX researchers have the power to do, through elevating their research practice, and executing influence outside of it!

Plus, an in-person conference all meant ample opportunities for attendees to connect their fellow UX research peers. Through facilitated networking sessions and informal discussions, participants were able to share experiences, exchange ideas, and build valuable connections. We also had book signings taking place throughout both days; dedicated fans were able to get copies of their favorite Rosenfeld books (and sometimes more than just books!) signed by Maria Giudice, Rebecca Evanhoe, Tomer Sharon, and Steve Portigal!

Advancing Research 2024 showcased cutting-edge research projects from leading organizations and research teams in over a dozen talks. These presentations highlighted innovative methodologies, groundbreaking findings, and best practices in UX research, inspiring attendees to push the boundaries of their own research endeavors.

Panel discussions at the conference explored emerging trends and future directions in UX research and design. Our amazing speakers shared their perspectives on topics such as AI-driven research, inclusive design, ethical considerations, and the evolving role of researchers in product development.

Now, while we can’t recap the entire two-day conference experience in one blog post, we can give you the highlights.

So, here are three key takeaways we haven’t stopped thinking about since March:

The importance of culture beyond diversity

According to Victor, colonial ways of being and extractive research methods do not produce liberatory knowledge. By leveraging a diverse toolkit of research methodologies, researchers can gain a more comprehensive understanding of user needs and behaviors. It’s all about going beyond cultivating awareness and how we can actually embrace diversity in research—and dismantle the oppressive systems around us.

Researchers have the power to change the status quo

On the #AR2024 stage in New York City, Robin Beers said, “The impact you can have is much bigger than this quarter’s results, or a feature launch. You have an opportunity to make the organization visible to itself, and help it understand where it is in and out of alignment with what customers need.” Robin’s talk highlighted tools such as Jay Galbraith’s star model and Chris Argyris’ double loop learning as ways to reflect organizations’ underlying assumptions. In instances such uncovering biases in AI, researchers have the power to create meaningful change. When using research insights to disrupt an organization’s culture, be explicit, anticipate resistance, build support, play the long game, and trust your gut.

When it comes to AI, take the user out of UX

Tricia Wang closed out day 1 with an enlightening talk about AI. By advocating for a shift from “user researchers” to skilled navigators of human-tech interactions, she sees us as key players in shaping the future with AI. By transitioning from being mere users to becoming shapers of AI, we shift from solely relying on digital tools to actively shaping them.

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We’re so happy with the way Advancing Research 2024 turned out! It was a non-stop program filled with valuable insights and actionable strategies for how we can advance our research practices. From embracing diversity in research methods to harnessing the potential of AI and making an impact within an organization, the conference underscored the importance of innovation, empathy, and ethics in the field of UX research and design.

Missed out on #AR2024? Purchase the conference recordings to watch two days of talks and gain access to sketchnotes, session notes, resource lists, and more for 90 days!