Hi, I’m Carey!
Research nerd. User ambassador. Writer. Facilitator extraordinaire. Scrum Master. Coffee and tea snob. Adventurer. Illustrator. Bookworm. Perpetual student.
INFJ – “The Advocate”
- Creative – Advocate personalities enjoy finding the perfect solution for the people they care about. To do this, they draw on their vivid imagination and their strong sense of compassion. This can make them excellent counselors and advisors.
- Insightful – Advocates typically strive to move past appearances and get to the heart of things. This can give them an almost uncanny ability to understand people’s true motivations, feelings, and needs.
- Principled – People with the Advocate personality type tend to have deeply held beliefs, and their conviction often shines through when they speak or write about subjects that matter to them. Advocates can be compelling and inspiring communicators, with their idealism persuading even the hardest of skeptics.
- Passionate – Advocates can pursue their ideals with a single-mindedness that may catch others off guard. These personalities rarely settle for “good enough,” and their willingness to disrupt the status quo may not please everyone. That said, Advocates’ passion for their chosen cause is a key aspect of their personality.
- Altruistic – Advocates generally aim to use their strengths for the greater good – they rarely enjoy succeeding at other people’s expense. They tend to think about how their actions affect others, and their goal is to behave in a way that will help the people around them and make the world a better place.
Advocates (INFJs) have some specific needs when it comes to a satisfying work environment. People with this personality type want to know that their work helps people and promotes their own personal growth. This means that their work must be in line with their values, principles, and beliefs.
In the workplace, Advocates tend to thrive when they have opportunities to express their creativity and insight, and they’re especially motivated when they know that what they’re doing has meaning. They also tend to do best when they can ignore workplace politics and hierarchies and simply do what matters to them. Most people with this personality type prefer not to think of themselves as above or below anyone else – no matter where they are on the job ladder.
Fortunately, Advocates are resourceful and creative, and they can find ways to make nearly any position work for them.
What is your research process?
My first priority going into a project is to fully understand the scope. This includes everything from understanding stakeholders and their departments to the company’s “vibe.” I like to lay a good background foundation before diving in.
Secondly, I want to collaborate with my team members to determine next steps. What methods should be used? Would this project be better served with collecting data through user interviews? Surveys? Diary studies? Are we looking at product validation? A/B testing? Even if I’m the only researcher on my product team, it’s important to have a big picture overview from the product designers, developers, or marketing specialists that I’m working with.
Once we’ve got the project scope and chosen research method(s), it’s time to get to work! I’ve learned that it’s important to not only pace myself to maximize efficiency, but also to keep a clear line of communication open with my team members to manage timeline expectations.
The presentation of research findings is probably my favorite part. I’m excited to share information and I like to make sure it is engaging for the stakeholders/team members with a balance of wit and professionalism. Depending on the project and time window, the findings might be presented as a brief Google Slides presentation with graphs, or my personal favorite, a narrated video that I put together with clips of user interviews to put a more human touch to the research. As an added bonus, there is always a detailed document to peruse later or refer back to during the next stages of product development.
How do you sell the value of usability research?
Who doesn’t like saving money? The difference between unsystematic product development and proper, thorough research could be millions of dollars and countless months of wasted time. Proper research foundations = saved time and money. It’s that simple.
How do you communicate your findings to different stakeholders?
I learned through trial and error the importance of creating a stakeholder map and truly understanding not only the hopes and fears of each individual, but also their viewpoint of the company. Stakeholder interviews can be a very important tool when it comes to understanding how research findings will be perceived and ultimately used. As a researcher and writer, it is important that I know my “audience.” This doesn’t change the data, but rather the way I communicate it.
What role do you play on a team?
I almost always play the role of “work mom.” I like to get to know my team members and create a safe and open work environment where everyone feels included and valued. Over the past two years, I’ve learned how to still maintain that atmosphere remotely with co-worker “remote coffee,” online game nights, virtual lunch & learns, or even surveys to learn more about the people I work with. A solid team is a productive team and approachability is key.
How do you handle conflict?
I have often noticed that conflict arises due to lack of communication or miscommunication. I like to approach conflict with a calm attitude in order to establish healthy personal boundaries. How can I better manage expectations? How can I better understand this person? A favorite activity that I learned is a one-minute exercise where each person takes turns communicating their feelings before the other tries to repeat back as much as they can verbatim. Knowing that you have to repeat back what you hear adds extra importance to listening.
Want to ask me more questions?