User Research and Psychology by Mona Patel

Mona Patel is the customer experience expert behind the UX-led innovation and design company Motivate Design. She uses her knowledge of design research and ergonomics to deliver “mind-spinning” solutions to companies with customer-related research problems.

But how does she spin their minds? How does she find the insights inside their data? She naturalises the research contexts. In this ProductTank London talk, Mona shares how she puts relevant research methodologies into real-life situations to examine customers properly. Her practices and strategies expose the “truths” of the customer experience; then, her clients find the insights for themselves.

Mona knows that customers have true opinions and actions around businesses, but she also knows that these are difficult to access and are easily obscured. People erect walls when they are put in unnatural contexts – they give five-star reviews to researchers when their real experience tells a different story. To understand the customer experience, you have to understand the customer – anticipating what they might think, want, and need from your business or brand. Mona uses methods to investigate these needs in real life contexts. She teaches businesses to:

  1. Get a question people want to talk about, regarding a product, a brand, or a service.
  2. Activate people in a network to talk to their friends. Let it be natural. Let them talk, and listen to what they are saying.
  3. Seek solutions through the framework of their experiences.

This new way of gathering insights is not meant to replace traditional user research; it is meant to supplement it. When businesses reframe their research, they observe new aspects of their customer’s perceptions. Research focus can be enlightening, and Mona gains true findings from real people in real life. Which businesses don’t want to have that?

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