After the believer and the open-minded leaders, let’s meet the incognizant leader in context of their knowledge levels and outlook towards user research. There are leaders who do not take design strategy seriously. They usually leave it to the product lead and team to figure out the nuts and bolts (not giving them autonomy enough to innovate or look at problems differently) as the leaders themselves are busy obsessing over the bottom lines. …


In the previous article, we cast light on the believer (our favourite!) leader. In part 2 of the trilogy (reminds me of LOTR!), I would like to introduce the open-minded leader (drum rolls please).

The open-minded

The open-minded leaders are transformative in nature. They value possibilities, are bold and believe in learning new things. They back a culture of innovation and have various ideas on how to creatively solve problems.

When it comes to conducting user research, these leaders fall into two categories:

  • Bold explorer
  • Cautious explorer

The bold explorer is an intensely curious leader who loves jumping into the water rather…


The proverb “necessity is the mother of invention” could not have been more apt for these trying times. Individuals, groups, and organizations — everyone is trying to battle against the demon of a virus that has thrown spanner in the works. In India, teachers in the villages, tier 2 and 3 cities are coming up with innovative ways to continue their endeavour to teach. There are teachers who have pooled in money to pay to recharge the mobile phones of the students’ parents, and in smaller villages teachers are working with the gram pradhans (village heads) to arrange for loudspeakers…


Before you begin reading this article, please remember to not take whatever I have shared as a replacement to the doctor’s advice. Please do not hesitate to reach out to a doctor (preferably a family doctor) to seek medical advice and if you or your loved one are experiencing any COVID-19 related symptoms, please get tested immediately.

What we have been doing to stay safe

When 3 generations live together, it becomes vital to protect the vulnerable age groups — the seniors and the children. We coped with the mandate to stay at home, work from home, lived a maid-free…


That good design has an immensely positive impact on the society at large is undebatable. Great designs can empower, inspire and illuminate people towards responsible action. In India, we saw the design community spring into action through various interventions and innovations during the global crisis of COVID-19. …


These are undeniably difficult, uncertain and unpredictable times, and for some of you, launching a product during these times may seem counter-intuitive. But when you are a start-up that’s worked day and night investing joules of energy, experiencing possibly all kinds of change, engaging in high-risk decision-making every day and then dishing out your pièce de résistance, you would not want the pandemic to come in the way to launching your product. Like a true Design Thinker, you start looking at problems as opportunities.

We bring to you a story of resilience of a business app that helps small businesses…


Designed by Freepik

How many times have we associated ourselves with people or a brand because we trust and the opposite? How does it feel to be in a low-trust relationship? Do you go near brands that don’t infuse trust or refuse to touch them with a barge-pole? For a brand, the higher it features on the trust barometer of its consumers, the higher are the returns.

My user research work has always given me the wonderful opportunity to immerse myself in the user’s world, know the real they, and learn about their aspirations, motivations and their needs. Often, my ethnographic research makes…


The mammoth catastrophe in Kerala state and Kodagu district had several capeless heroes come to provide rescue and relief. We saw (and continue to see) help pouring in from all across the country. On one end of the spectrum people offered financial assistance and the other end saw laypeople and experts be on the ground and facilitate varied kinds of operations.

We swiftly moved from need for rescuers to essential materials that would help the denizens of the affected areas get back to their feet and start living a “normal” life. The latest (and highly impressive) initiative that I came…


When I was 12 years old, I had visited my uncle’s farm near Hyderabad. His farm was a beautiful, lush haven symbiotically flourishing with farm animals. I used to enjoy spending my time there and every morning, along with my aunt, I’d pick up the eggs laid by the hens. A few days after returning from the farm, I developed tiny red dots all over my skin. The doctor diagnosed it to be chicken pox. I started associating the chicken pox with the “chickens” at the farm believing that they were the cause of my misery.

One day, after I…


I’ve been designing and executing Research projects for a decade now, and through the journey, I have learned and realized
one most important rule that

‘NOTHING IS OBVIOUS.’

This is true in all phases of the research. To begin with, when you receive a requirement to plan a research, you’ve got to be extremely clear about the scope and goal of the research. If this goes wrong, the foundation of the project can go weak and can mislead you to brilliant solutions, that may not be useful, as you have just solved a wrong problem!

Ask as many questions as…

Shipra Bhutada

Shipra is the Founder & User Research Director at User Connect Consultancy.

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