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Doorbells, Danger, and Dead Batteries: User Research War Stories

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4.01  ·  Rating details ·  79 ratings  ·  11 reviews
Paperback, 248 pages
Published December 2016 by Rosenfeld Media
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carla
Dec 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I really wish this book had existed when I first started doing user research. The stories are super insightful and present the real range of things you will encounter in the field. They range from the obvious (let's make some checklists) to the not-so-obvious ethnical dilemmas that may arise when someone tries to convert you to their religion or asking you to help them clean something up in the house.

Many times you get a work-related book like this, read it, and think "that was great" and never
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Michael
Dec 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
Many of us involved in User Experience Research are control freaks.We try and keep our studies scientifically rigorous to obtain unbiased, measurable and comparable data. We rely on scripts, checklists and controlled schedules to achieve these goals.

All that goes out the window when you step into the field. You learn to expect the unexpected.

This book is a collection of tales from many of the top UX field researchers on the planet. It’s a lovely mix of interesting anecdotes and practical insight
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Jess
Jan 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book was really enlightening for me. It helped me realize there are many opportunities for things to go awry in field research.

Most of my UX research experience is with remote sessions or in-person sessions. I haven't experienced many of the situations in this book because I haven't done much work in the field.

I look forward to applying what I've learned from this book to the field research I do in the future!
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Vicky
Sep 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: work
Compilations of stories often run the risk of being nothing more than just talking heads. However this book gets around this by carefully theming the sections, and digging into very real problematic situations - the stories that are worn likes badges of honor. It's a must read for user researchers if only to hopefully help them head off their own stories by learning from others. ...more
Ananda Nadya
Mar 24, 2021 rated it liked it
“Great stories happen to those who can tell them.” - Ira Glass

Majoring in Psychology, I used to dream of being a Psychologist due to my interest in learning human behavior. Little did I know, I ended up being a Researcher, and I absolutely like being one. My profession allows me to have close interaction with other human beings, and through the experience, I too, learned more about what it means to be a human. Therefore, I am very surprised upon knowing that there’s a book consisting of research
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Lindsey
May 07, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: abandoned
I was expecting a collection of research stories that were a bit more in-depth. Although some of the stories were funny to read, I was looking for a book that would teach me more about conducting UX research. Instead, I got a collection of short antidotes that ranged from humorous to somewhat redundant.
Stephanie
Jan 22, 2021 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this book. But, I expected it to focus more on HCI than market research.
Lisa
Dec 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Insightful, Fun, and Extremely Important for Product Development!

DoorBells, Danger and Dead Batteries: User Research War Stories was an absolute delight to read. The book starts a new type of conversation beyond typical readings related to this industry (e.g. the “hero story” of providing insights that inspired a successful product or design; and “tips and tricks” for researchers). Doctors, lawyers, accountants, electricians -- some professions you grow up being told about over and over. They pe
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Corina
Jan 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Firsthand stories from intrepid user researchers about the wide range of challenges and unexpected situations they find themselves in. An "on-the-ground" look that people usually aren't exposed to, and a good reminder of what real, quality user research entails--the skills, courage, and enormous empathy required. It's a nice companion book to Steve Portigal's Interviewing Users: How to Uncover Compelling Insights, which is a must-read for anyone building, designing, or thinking about products. ...more
Marvin Vista
Jan 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
If you want to learn how real-life user research is done, the highs and the lows, the successes and failures, go get this book.
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Steve Portigal is an experienced user researcher who helps organizations to build more mature user research practices. Based outside of San Francisco, he is principal of Portigal Consulting, and the author of two books: The classic Interviewing Users: How To Uncover Compelling Insights and Doorbells, Danger, and Dead Batteries: User Research War Stories.

He’s also the host of the Dollars to Donuts
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