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Jan. 6, 2022

E230 - Did COVID Change the Way We Study Human Behavior?

This week on the show, we talk about how COVID has changed the study of human behavior and answer questions from the community about taking a part time contracts on top of your full time job, writing interview questions for two different user groups, and discussing what’s up with the anti-academic sentiment in UX.

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This week on the show, we talk about how COVID has changed the study of human behavior stions from the community about taking a part time contracts on top of your full time job, writing interview questions for two different user groups, and discussing what’s up with the anti-academic sentiment in UX.

Recorded live on January 6th, 2022, hosted by Nick Roome, &  Barry Kirby.

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Welcome to human factors yeah your weekly podcast for human factors psychology and design. Hello everybody it is episode 230 we're recording this live on 1/6/2022 and this is human factors cast and host Nick Roman joined today by Mister berry Kirby hello and happy new year to you hello and happy new year to you were starting this great new year off we're trying to do your upgrade we got a great show for you tonight we're gonna be talking about how cold it has changed the study of human behavior the way we study human behavior rather than later we're gonna answer some questions from the community about taking a part time contract on type of on top of your full time job writing interview questions for 2 different user groups and we'll be discussing what's up with the anti academic sentiment in U. acts but first there's a couple programming notes our community updates that I like to tackle at the top of the show here for all of you following along with our team sees coverage we have produced a series of 77 standalone human factors minute episodes with some fun cameos from folks around the lab and around the world if anyone listen to our Saint Nick kept us out. That is out now and quick team sees update we get it we were able to raise $30000000 to move 30000000 pounds from the ocean on January 1 happened on that day so well congratulations everyone that donated we did it yay good job Hey it's a new year and if you want to be you make your new year's resolutions new year new you all that stuff we do have a human factors digital media lab if that is something that you're interested in we are always looking at new ways to communicate human factors concepts. With a larger community so if that's something that you want to do or get involved with we usually use it as an opportunity to help people build their portfolio and get content out there just so that way other people can consume it and enjoy human factors like we do if that interests you please reach out to us on any of our social channels or you know we have a discord as well feel free to reach out on our website we have a voice mail opportunity you can do there. We reach out to us anywhere we're we're kind of everywhere and and we'll look at all those but we have gone on long enough we know why you're all here it's a new year it's a news here so let's go ahead and get into the news. That's right the big question tonight is did cove it changed the way that we study human behavior what is our story tonight. So yes it does the same how to cook from Cody's changed Mr be human behavior initially the pandemic many researchers were keen to see see how to best predict support for measures will be put in place to combat coded 19 psychologist at New York University decide to see to see if they could do things a bit differently and posted about their research on Twitter with an invite for people to get involved they thought doing this they might be able to get a couple couple a few more people I thank you that meant 10 maybe 11 mall but in the end they got dates on 46000 people. The birthday together which covered over 67 countries has given a much deeper into insight into the role and impact of social and cultural impact as well as connections between things like national identity and support for public health policies. Well this is how much it was things like that in countries where people are most in favor of costly measures tended to be those of foster the sense of public unity and cohesion this is the idea of we will need to gather initially that seemed very counterintuitive but the broad nature of the group allowed for the interrogation because it was found that right wing political ideology correlated with missus with resistance to public health measures among many survey prompted participants put on the whole a strong national identity predicted more support for such measures they should it might be possible to leverage national identity by promoting public health policies. The article goes on to highlight things like the value behind the messenger if the person is giving the message is light respected interested then the message will be more effective. He also studied your tracking data from 15000000000 smartphones today took a correlation between US voting patterns that humans to public health recommendations people in the counties that voted for Republican in the 2016 president presidential election for example practiced 14 percent less physical distancing between March and 5/20/20 the people did in areas that voted for Democrats. This article is full to the brim of amazing social science from influencing a nurturing food culture behavior there's been realized through the through the use of the internet but inspiring kickstarted because the pandemic. So I think what your thoughts on this new approach to social research. My initial thoughts on the article and in general are that this is filled to the brim like you said I think with with lots of information and lots of different ways in which we're collecting data lots of different insights on to sort of how the pandemic has changed our behavior as well and that's something that I was actually thankful that they brought some of that in I think this is a good recap of kind of what we all know or or have come to know over the last couple years being in this extended global pandemic. And I think it brings up a lot of great points. On how we sort of understand. Human behavior through these new methods are not necessarily new methods but the way in which we collect analyze and disseminate information has changed because of the way in which our world works today so overall I think this is a great springboard for a larger discussion but what did you think. Yeah I think you pretty much nailed that mean we are in a position that we've never been in before with the way that we are connected you know the internet has just provided so many new communication channels that just weren't available 1520 years ago if we have this pandemic band we've been away with very very different situation in for everything from mental health all the way through to be able to talk to people I mean as we are now talking on like literally 2 couldn't couldn't add to countries thousands of miles apart we want to be able to do that and for them to have almost taken that this is the catalyst and saying right well we can use this to get more people involved it's almost the well the wife needed already. A lot of these things you know innovation is. You know what innovation is always a product of necessity rather than M. and the else and so they've gone out they've had a problem and they've said right well let's try to get comparable put participants by this whole Twitter thing. Will it work and then suddenly everybody gets a bold and all the things that they found about how to influence people how to look at read the read the large data sets and bring out some really interesting information I think they will need scratching the surface it's been a long while since I've read an article that has made me want to talk about every single paragraph in it and its war in inotes it's about 7 pages long of what you go through every single bit of it because there's just no good all the way through yeah I I think it's pretty cool yeah that's a great point and and I echo that sentiment bury this article is. Packed literally packed with interesting fact over interesting fact. Over kind of recap and you're right every single every single paragraph here is full of interesting little tidbits so why don't we get into some of those interesting today you wanna go back and forth and just kind of talk about kind of things that resonated with us to begin with and then maybe we go from there discuss further each of those plans yeah I mean we just cut that off I think it's the most interesting article we read this year. See what did the yes yes I I I will agree with you I think I think you're 2022 this is the year. Yeah the. Sorry just random British humor thrown in the the I mean if the first bit that that it really brings out is he talks a lot about influencing behavior so to get through to some nuts and bolts about influencing behavior is all about how do we encourage the people to act in a way that we want them to act and this is you know we see we do see this in everyday behavior so when you you know there's loads and loads of management books out there around how to influence it influencing all persuasive behavior but we see a lot more that now with the internet about how do you actually in influence people on the internet do you have this what things you want to do I'm one of the big plays and in this field is child any they came out with all you can eat with. The 6 main areas old of influence and that is that B. C. 6 main actions that you can take we should lose reciprocity commitment to consistency social proof authority liking and scarcity so reciprocity is it gives you reciprocating a view all your reciprocating something around what will the messages so people feel like they've that we get for that a commitment or consistency is to is you echoing the message forward I'm showing that you'll you'll you're committing to doing something around whatever that topic is social proof is basically kind of going along with the crowd and showing that what you've got batteries is something that the entire crime should be going along with authority you're speaking with authority and so you can fill out facts and figures and and get that message across what with it with it with the sense of you've got a position around you that say that you know what you're talking about I'm getting people to like you the whole liking thing an SKS cities is where you when you try to show something that not many of the people will have and so your given so so it's right when when he said that it's only 6 left or something like that then you'll do you know that it's a sketch product whatever it is the giving an the new one is around that's still coming in a more current research. Hello to me by a professor of the login to the diner with his own curiosity engaging people's curiosity get them to find out more about things Dickey on on social media now is quite a big it's quite a big thing so that whole inference in absorbs behavior is really highlighted within this article quite a lot. Yeah that's a that's a great observation I think that's a good primer like human factors 101 or even even like when I when I feel like that's the last time I heard child Jeannie talked about but that's that's a great kind of primer for. Talking about this article through a human factors are psychology lens because. You're right there are so many different factors at play here that influence the way in which we received a message and messaging is incredibly important and it's something that I as the leader of a human factors communication lab. The focus on and something that is really important to me as a science communicator because if we can't communicate these concepts to people who are listening to the show or consuming our content then we're failing in our job and so I guess maybe I should brush up on child the Anne and. Implement some of these persuasive arctic persuasive attributes into into the way we do things here but let's talk about a couple points here I want to bring up the one about in terms of persuasion. Who delivers that message right and and sort of their credibility and one thing that this article brings up is that who is delivering that message is actually it read it's really important. So when you compare somebody like Tom Hanks or Kim Kardashian to somebody like Anthony Fauci there are certain attributes about those people that make them more or less credible to relay that information right if a message is coming from a celebrity or some sort of I don't know social influencer. Even though they might be an influencer that message will not be. Take in at the same credibility as it would be if it was coming from somebody else who's a government official from the U. S. National Institute of allergy and infectious diseases right like that that is the difference and so having. Sort of the pedigree and. V. credentials behind what you're saying is really important right I I would not trust. I'm. What's that I mean I would not trust a mom on Facebook to relay information that is a I don't know less than that that's questionable let's let's say that when I would want to go to the source and say well where's this from you know and and if it came from about you then I would be more likely to believe that. And then. I I almost hesitate to even say this but there have been decisions made in the last couple weeks where like do what do we. Now what does the credibility of some of these institutions like the CDC. I'm into question when they are giving recommendations without reason I don't wanna play into that I think. There are motives for giving. Recommendations but again it's like. There's an incredible power that comes with authority to communicate a message and it's something that's really important and can't be taken lightly. The people at these institutions the people who are the face of these institutions need to and I think they do understand that there is an incredible responsibility that comes with communicating these things and and that's it admittedly that's a lesson learned by these people throughout the course of this they have said things and gone back on it and the messaging has been. Contradictory at times were like Hey we don't know anything quarantine for 14 days okay now we know some more information quarantine for 10 days but last week you said 14 what yeah that's how science works we figure out more information as we go one and I think there's been sort of a. Public. Mrs fundamental misunderstanding about how science works but then that's also an opportunity for us educators to come in and say no this is exactly how it works we kind of go with a conservative estimate to begin with and then we refine based on new data and I think a lot of people just want answers now. And. Anyway I've been I've been going off on a rant I'm sure there's things that you want to jump in with notes I nothing actually won it this is for me one almost a critical thing that that that the pandemic is shown is that what we're going through with with cover 19 is as you quite rightly say before we got we were before the the term influencer well I'm came around east cold vectors so social vectors on social media about you you too could you get a message to that if they get the message out then will provide what you're talking about and and yes the the back to the vector the the the better value director the best to reach your gonna have been a message but what we've also found through the through the through the pandemic is. Social media influences he was didn't realize the the power of what they have. And they was they were putting out messaging we found this in the UK there was. We we have our the the people everything out on the on the news the the the the the the chief scientist in this under the name of briefing out and then you have some pop styles he was saying actually no the. The the injections don't work hand there was it was a famous folks the pop star who was okay mountains and said that he had only by consequences against a friend of her cousin's boyfriend's what either we continuously because they do and they didn't realize that actually they well all that maybe they did that actually then messaging would almost be seen with the same value as this eminent scientist and and so wait you know we are as as general public of we don't necessarily WHYY the people up in the in the in the way that we anticipate it actually did this article does go into a into some of that about how how different people perceive the maybe not in the ways that we we get we anticipated without. I'm. Ms you know you you so look at some of these these are becoming this whole bit about the geo tracking I just thought was a pretty fascinating because now we've got a mobile phone everybody's got that piece of hardware I rolled them the ease GPS GPS enabled that allows you it is not you know what with all the the right tactics in place to understand the almost I'm I'm. B. to detail what they believe in salad on a day to day I would I would I would minute to minute basis and be able to correlate that between their activities actions and opinions it's just the the possibilities of understanding human behavior at this point. Hey really really exciting if your L. side of the the Social Research I'm thinking about that we read about social research we look the vile listening more about how people like gauging and and this ideal but it's also terrifying D. that is you know this type of thing could get him into the wrong hands of these is abused just much you know what the what what M. so possibilities which this this article doesn't going to a told nothing is certainly something of a the the future optical move this over besides all around around the eighties run the ethical issues around this type of work can be such a large community because because it's online it is quite self selecting we know that the the social media is full of anonymous profiles well what's to stop that happening on it how do we deal with that and you know that the IDF I. profiles and ski M. skewing data. Some in a large scale way which I'm pretty sure would happen with this today because the nature of what it was doing but as soon as more people get. With the student to what's going on then I can see that be to be a factor in the future. Mmhm but I've also done enough what we'll DO am what did what did you think was another big thing to come out the article for you yeah before I get into my next big thing I want I want to piggyback off of what you just said I think in our 2021 recap we talked about a story where there's this tick tock or who actually shared scientific studies and they got inflated to. Knocking over cans over here. You got inflated to demographics at the the scientists were looking for and they were spread widely because of this tech talkers influence and I think that is a huge change in which we're seeing from the way in which we're collecting scientific information before and thinking about collecting data on people you brought up the G. O.. The geo data there's also sort of this trend now obviously with everybody working from home and being confined to certain spaces being unable to interact with people in the physical environment there's this sort of this increased reliance on these internet based surveys. And. Basically if you look at sort of these daily activities that people are doing during the pandemic like going to work visiting family dining at restaurants. These. Types of things have received more than 6700 responses the article sites per day on average. That's a lot of data per day. And so what when you look at this combined with political partisanship which is appropriate I guess or inappropriate to talk about on January 6 I don't know if you look at that right and you look at the role that that plays on. Safe behaviors for working in or interacting in covert environments right. Republicans were nearly 28 percent more likely to be mobile than Democrats were. And this gap was widened over the study period from April to September of last year and so. It's interesting to see a partisan breakdown and the fact that this this pandemic and behavior human behavior has become polarized. Because of political affiliation or other reasons. And I I find that fascinating I think the longtime listeners of the show no my political leanings. And it's like. I'm frustrated by it I think a lot of people are frustrated by. People not following the rules and a lot of that comes down to communication if let's say. Certain. Public figures. Identify on that side right if if they were to come out and and sort of reinforce or if they did this early on if they were to reinforce these behaviors and say we need to do this in order to stop the spread I think that's gonna play out very differently than it did. And it's just it's fascinating to see that there's such a huge divide. Not only in ideology but also in behavior itself I don't know that's that's another fascinating point to me. Do you have any other fascinating points that you want to discuss here I guess just to follow up on what you're saying I mean it's quite interesting that I'm here in the U. K. we do have more of a right wing government and but one of the call one of the remember the early discussion that with those had right at the so before the lockdown was cold here in the U. K. about just how early or late to cold it because they need you and because the work that they do it around the the social science social studies and the experts who knew what the telling I think we've learned a lot but it said the the belief then was this was always going to be time limited capability that. M. if you if you have the right messaging it would be everyone will get behind it which I think the study is actually borne out that some the if you if you give a clear messaging about why it's needed what is needed time bound it jobs are good and people stick to that that was really really good but then after a period of time the people get fed up you get bold and so it was always going to be how do you then manage the big the coming out of the the part of the the lock downs and things like that there's always going to be more of a also be more of an issue. And that's when now we see huge partisan divide do you want I'm politics and itself people are playing politics and using it as a as a political tool which again is old of human behavior it's all about now trying to maximize what is it they want out of the situation because they now feel safe that they can that they can do that yeah it's it's just I just find the whole thing noticed Oakley fascinating I mean you think that we've that they pushed a lot on now is not so much large behavior of the mountains but actually just needing people in the right direction so actually when that you know make sure so but when you go into a store now rather than telling people to move always sanitized before the walk in the store to make sure the sanitized is right to the front of the store the first thing you see when you go in so you automatically put you on that one sanitized because you know you've been nudged in that way rather than simply say you can't come in unless unless you've sanitized your hands. We know the people in the right behaviors is still a relatively new brunch brunch behavior science I think it's been really true richly developed through that they've discovered.. Yeah I agree I think I think the nudging is fascinating to me as well. Providing making reducing those barriers making those bare smaller to these pro social row. Pros pandemic safe behaviors is is interesting and. The the lower those barriers are the easier it is for people to do let's say it like you said the the I think the. The hand sanitizer examples a good one another one is also. Kind of. Sort of reminders everywhere that your mask should be above your nose so it's not only saying that you need to wear a mask it saying how to wear it properly and I think those those subtle nudges are going to be effective in some cases maybe not in extreme cases but I think certainly they will be effective to some. I think one other point for me and maybe this will be my last point here with this article for me is is sort of what this is done for research that is typically done in physical environments and you know I think there's sort of the article points out here that there's technical workarounds that a lot of people have been implementing and could actually end up strengthening science so there's a there's a researcher Alexander hold home I'm in a mess that up anyway psychologist at the university of Sydney Australia who studies virtual our visual perception and it's a very narrow area of science or people weren't doing online studies before the pandemic because you have visual perception you know there's there's very specific controls that you need in place in order for that to happen and so because of the social distances distancing practices. These kind of forced him and his team to learn computer programming that was necessary in order to make their experiments work online and one sort of benefit to being able to do these types of studies online is that you get this. Massive sample sizes we talked before you get much bigger sample sizes then you were able to do in a lab and so sort of forcing using the pandemic as a forcing function and pandemic requirements as a forcing function to modify your materials in a way that gets access to more people is going to strengthen science in the long run because then you have a larger sample size to generalize too and it just overall kind of. Helps with data collection I don't know I I find this one. Really fascinating because this has a lot of parallels to like usability studies in in industry right. A lot of us do usability studies an industry where we'll go out to a location and actually watch over the shoulder and record a user performing a task especially if it's an ergonomic task where they're interacting with physical elements and so. To be able to sort of set things up online and get all that information remotely is usually beneficial. Do you have any experience with with the modifying your in person stuff for online stuff. Well yeah I mean that that's what I spend most upon them during it was the uncertainty at the right the beginning there was a whole lot of stuff that we have to do no there was no the way we have to do it physically there was security implications was also so we know we're doing it we're gonna do it this is a Democrat everything changed I'm I'm not reading I think bolts. A real sense of right what is truly important he had to do some stuff that we just couldn't do and we can get around there's no way we could do what does a lot of the stuff that we actually could. And I think really you know going in with the whole message of what this whole article is saying the pandemic is really given those adoption due to almost step change the way we think it's allow distance to sit there and say right we can do things in a different way. Do everything from working as well as conducting studies know your day to day tasks can now be done you can make value choices between what do I need to be in person to do something all connected remotely and then click on nothing we this allows us now to value that face to face interaction so I didn't you know we were back in Wales here in the U. K. we will back into almost a look at what we have to work from home unless we really have to be in the office and he made us think right well what is it that we value about being together as a team. And be the running a and in the pride prides itself on innovation innovative thinking yeah we do a lot of white boarding and he's also been a well actually yes we can do with a certain amount of white boarding through you know teens a new button whatever the platform is you want to use what is that of the same value as an in person went boating experience and we conclusion of actually it's it's not a bad second but it's still a second place and so we've still put in into of justification into a covered risk assessment that if you need to be able to if we need to do when an innovation workshop. The wind up is to be in a you know that needs to be face to face because we don't value so much more we can't take it for granted that face to face interaction and so I think this this article is is all over them I think it's the fundamental thing of let's just value. His interaction. This could be so high on the list of what we do now going forward yeah that face to face interaction we talk a lot about that in our episode on innovation and working remotely and that's a good conversation if you wanna listen to that did you have any other points in this article you wanna make before we head out. No I think it's just I just think it's fantastic article are related yeah it's a absolutely fantastic article please go read it if you can huge thank you to our patrons and everyone on Twitter who selected the topic this weekend thank you to our friends over at the Scientific American for news story this week if you want to follow along we do post a link to the original articles in our weekly round ups on our blog you can also join us in our slack or discord for more discussion on these topics we're gonna take a quick break and then we'll be back to see what's going on in human factors community right after this human factors cast brings you the best in human factors news interviews conference coverage and overall fun conversations into each and every episode we produce but we can't do it without you. The human factors cast network is 100 percent listener supported all the funds are going to running the show come from our listeners our patrons are our priority and we want to ensure we're giving back to you for supporting us pledges start at just $1 per month and include rewards like access to our weekly Q. and A.'s with the hosts personalized professional reviews and human factors minute patrie on only weekly podcast where the host breakdown unique obscure and interesting human factors topics in just one minute patron rewards are always evolving so stop by Petri slash human factors cast to see what support level may be right for you thank you and remember it depends. Yes you too thank you as always to our patrons and we especially want to thank our honorary human factors cast staff patron Michelle Tripp. There's something you may not know about our patrons we do have a tear for sponsorship we really do like to keep the show ad free. And so this is the one opportunity like only one person entity company can do this and and we will be selective about who can do this but basically. In this tier of sponsorship for the show instead of that patrie on commercial that you just heard it will be whatever they they want us to read they'll get up 150 words approximately 60 seconds our time for us to read their pitch and whatever it is for a show sponsor now this is look like we're not gonna just pick anyone and we we do we do wanna be selective about the show sponsor wanna make sure it's relevant to you all it's just something that I'm not sure how many people know about first off but like this could be a human factors company looking for human factors are you axe practitioners that. They need to hire for work and so that might be a good way to get that out to an audience is very targeted at human factors people and if you're not looking for a job great you don't have to listen to it just get through it if you are listening to a job that could benefit you this could also be for a product Mike for usability researcher user testing or anything like that that might actually benefit you that you didn't know about we don't have any sponsors right now like I said we do like to keep the show ad free if we did have a sponsor it would open us up to do a lot more fun things this could be I don't know like actually going to conferences physically I could pay for things like our our flight tickets and our hotel reservations and all that stuff. And so I don't know I just I I think it's something that I struggle with in terms of we want to keep the show ad free and that's something that I've been very passionate about but it is also something that I want everyone to be aware of that. Very selective about this and it's not just gonna be. Trash anyway so so that's what I'm saying. The treasurer says I can't push patrie on every week I just push patrie on with the show sponsored maybe that's a different way they said like yeah they said I can't do it what is it I can't put all my eggs in one basket with. With promoting patriotic every week. But this is a tier that we don't normally promote so I'm okay with it treasurer listen to that all right you too thank you to all of our patrons you guys really keep the show running. Really we can do this without you so thank you all so much for your continued support everyone listening just in general we wouldn't do this if no one listened so thank you for listening right now. I I think we just get into the next where the show. And that is. That's right it's Nick messing up it is it came from this is the part of the show research all over the internet to bring you topics the community is talking about you find any of these answers useful wherever you're at just give us a like to help other people find this content so it might be able to help them to we have 3 up tonight and they're all from right it looks like they're all from the user experience sub reddit just great let's talk about this first one here this is by throwaway person to to to they clearly don't want to be mentioned on the show that's right. Or mention on reddit anyway so this is a full time job contract part time job for 10:00 hours a week. Okay they go under right I have a full time product design job at a tech company and my friend who I work with previously reached out to me about a possible contract side gig at her company a design agency mostly designing marketing materials from my marketing collaterals for 10:00 hours a week I was a graphic designer first prior to being a product designer all right only be able to work weekends and she's fine with it she knows how I work and knows I'm dependable just curious if this would be a conflict of interest my full time employer. Berry let's talk about this because have you ever taken a full time job with a part time gig and has it been successful what do you know. I know people of different islands I'm so done it my self because you know when you take on noticeably the the full time job you take nana a large contract and then another contract on the signed that's definitely boast yolo I was in it means you're working long hours and this January might be just a really good example of that because you know the Midnight Oil is being burned I'm. It's interesting that the question here that they that they pose actually is around would cause a conflict of interest the full time employee L. the ends of the eighties daily well it depends depends on the on if it's in the same if it's in the same domain if it's in the same parking space. Mmhm and we needed the best person to ask actually is your full time employer because sometimes depending on on how on how would they written you might have closed in your contract that says you can't do it so from a purely legal perspective check your contract first your your full time contract because there's a number of things that could catch you out not least of all being that you might get to do that side gig but any monies Ole you know if you anything else that you earn from the the company might be able to. Get back to me which is an unpleasant way to find it I do know some new laws to Peyton that way I'm. So I would say you know from the professional side of things from the compass on things Checchi contract I have a child it's best to in most cases to be open and up front depending on that unless you have an employee book there is another side to this that I would really push the field working 30 7:00 hours a week 40 hours a week would have your contract is and then you do another 10:00 hours a week for something else there are only so many hours in the day literally and you do you the road to burnout is right but so just be very careful with your own. Richly with your mental health and about how how much effort and time you're putting into it and think about whether you should be doing quite so many hours in what you're doing he said from very personal experience yeah. Hubbard knew has been in that situation. Have you. So what what you think what do you think. Yeah I think it depends at the button because I. I think look like this is the full transparency I do this this is something that I do something that I have my employer knows about. I I work part time and I I set very clear boundaries right like my full time job is my priority and the other employer knows this. And it's it's one of those things where. Yes you need to read your clauses to read he read the job offer read all the new higher material check with HR like check with HR make sure that they know what's going on in that you're fully transparent don't try to play it off on the side I think there was an article. In the middle of last year that was talking about 2 people who like worked at the same 2 companies and they just kind of. Hired each other and just said they were doing all the work and they were full time at both places. And so but they would only do work at one of the places and the other would cover the other work it was so it was it was interesting article and they were B. basically getting by with double salaries don't do that that's that's my word of advice don't do that I think. I'm. It's. To me it there's only like you said there's so many hours in the day and so that's something we'll need to take a hit whether that's one of your hobbies that you do in your free time just be prepared for that you know and and do communicate with both parties write the book the part time and full time about. Your commitment and and I think the biggest part of this is to build in flexibility with that part time and say look like I don't know if I'll be able to commit to 10:00 hours a week I can commit to 5 with maybe a flex to 10 and I think giving a range will give you the opportunity to not get burned out right one extra hour a day spent on this thing might not burn you out. It may burn you out you don't know and so just kind of you know what's best for you just do it I don't know. I'm gonna move on to the next one here. I was a lot we'll talk about mental health later but anyway how do you write interview questions for 2 different user groups of one product this is by julen derail on the user experience sub reddit they go under right right now I am doing Google you extra to get and I am preparing for the first user interviews the product I am doing research for is and al remote psychotherapy. Okay and the problem I have right now is that there are 2 user groups. With a different pain points and needs how would I write interview questions for that product since everybody should be asked the same questions can I pull this off do I need to narrow down the project scope and have it for one user group only like an app just for patients. Thank you in advance for your feedback so how how do you how do you handle. Asking 2 different user groups 2 different sets of questions. Exactly like that and not the way that they suggesting it it's interesting whether say that do you the I mean that the biggest contract is it everybody should be asked the same questions why. They actually shouldn't if you go to different user groups that you're coming from from 2 different perspectives the nice to different question as right there because you'll be setting yourself up to Fischel boundaries that your do you the insights that you'd get just gonna suffer for it. So fundamentally yes you either need to narrow down the scope and just look at one of the use groups and they thought you know if the if that's part of what you do is put you out of your certificate so look at the just the patients based all of the practices based. And in the end just do one bit didn't do that well if this if it was for a an actual an actual product could you do this for as part of your day job I be saying it's to question as you look at to facilitating groups and I'm pushing it that way you can you come do we told you one question I would not do it all. It was simple. Have a good evening I know I agree and I am not gonna waste my time talking about this because I think you're right do you have a question or 2 that's it that's that's the answer Taylor Taylor your products for the people that you're talking to the user group that you're talking to and look at it one user group at a time or if you do multiple user groups build that in. That that's you need to be able to collect feedback from them there's no one size fits all and it is interesting actually that this is not the first question we've had around a. A studio based. Wary and it's almost like the lotus I know I know I do not because he's at the service but we don't seem to push tailoring. As much as I think we need to it's also the first question one of the first skills that a manager position needs is how to really you know take a step back and look at the question and Taylor you know make sure that your you've got the scope to Talia around so. To the output rather trying to just answer questions right away. Yeah I was designed you know that's that's a skill set you need to be able to do that that's that's the skill set. All right I'm gonna get into this last question here this is a what's up with the anti academic sentiment in user experience lately this is by luxury you acts again on the user experience sub reddit gone right I just wanted to get a temperature check on something I've been noticing lately on social media and many self published you X. articles I'm seeing a lot of U. S. professionals bashing the idea of people going down the route of college or university to get into you a user experience user experience research I'm seeing more and more people working in industry touting the degrees don't matter rhetoric and to be honest while there is some validity. For things like skyrocketing tuition or admission scandals I'm finding this type of advice becoming more and more common and troubling. Personally I know many folks that took a more formal route via academia to build a solid foundation of knowledge and are great at what they do and credit higher education for building that foundation I've been seeing many U. acts gurus on Twitter YouTube and Facebook giving advice to folks not to quote waste time and money on university to launch a U. acts and just take a short online course our boot camp why as an industry our people steering folks away from pursuing knowledge in an academic setting as well as openly trashing folks who do pursue higher education. And to be candid I'm finding the sentiment alarming I don't know any other industry that openly trashes people for pursuing higher education as much as you X. or design roles what is the motivation behind this now bury that that that is a lot to unpack and I want to ask you your opinion on this because you are not. Academically trained right you are self taught yep and so I'm sure you have some very. Interesting thoughts on this. Yeah I mean certainly needs so taking effect as a new user experiences like the same thing when some which I'm sure that because not good already. We see that we see a lot is all the time and I think largely just down to you X. still being a comparatively new discipline so it's still it's it's trendy it's it's new we got a lot of self made experts in the field old self styled experts in the field giving their opinion and it's quite easy to give your opinion of. To be a big personality to small in in in a in a small pond so yeah but it kind of works the problem and many people will be successful for a period of time in doing that but weak but we use it is discipline will only actually become better and stronger by sharing knowledge by showing the way we do things sharing the best practice sharing. Between ourselves just how would you know what's worked what hasn't. I'm the place we do that is through academia so when you so get to the point of. From you know you've learned a new technique that's great might work for you please accept the me that will take take that rigorously tested and put into a into a into a full let's has it some scientific backing that can say yes so the people should go and use it like this might not be exactly the way that you did it because Elizabeth and other things as well I have seen I do I do to give a presentation and and also do a futures presentation every now and again a couple universities and I sold you know quite a happy points out that my background my degrees actually,nd control engineering it's no in in in human factors and so somebody turned around and said oh do you don't think your cooks I do research do you think your your type research better than academic research why do we bowled with academic research and you kind of have to get into the fight that yes I do research and we do what I loosely coke we conducted research but that can't exist on its own account exist in a vacuum it sits on the ice this is done on the shoulders of giants that I have to take academic research in that pot is going what we do is take some of that and make it in a practical and applicable so I think I've always believed that academia industry have to have a. Strong relationship we could be in a comfortable relationship. Because the rays the personalities and both failed to raise people trying to you know eagle comes into both feels very strongly I just think that I don't think you X. and I can hear the first people to have this problem I think it happens in both domains it's just the U. S. is the is is the is that the new boy in the class her very much and so it's it's the latest it's the latest topics but it happens yeah so so for me I am I am trained in academia right that's that's my background. I. From that background in many cases. And I think. I hate the both sides argument in politics but I think it's actually valid here I think there's some things going on on both sides of this spectrum of U. acts and industry and. Academia that plays a role here I think academics tend to look down on those in in some cases that have risen up from doing. Work as experience in U. acts are human factors and said well you don't have the same training I have I went to school to do it and therefore you are lesser than me and I think this whole you don't need to grease as a kind of push back to that gate keep B. attitude and I think one thing that I'm really passionate about is sort of breaking down those barriers don't make it gatekeeping make things available to everyone. Mmhm because industry is using like you said there is this there's this relationship between industry and academia where academia test set and an industry uses it and so they need to be able to trust that research and it's like you know if you have people coming from academia and industry then they inherently trust that because they've been through those records they know what it's like I do want to comment on 11 little line here there's a line that says I've been seeing many U. acts gurus on Twitter YouTube and Facebook giving advice to folks not to waste time and money on university to launch a U. acts and just take a short online course or boot camp you wanna know why that is they want you to take their short U. acts online course or boot camp and waste your time and money on that. Instead of academic academia and. It will be very short and focused and you'll learn a lot but. Again it's it's how you value your time and how you value any pieces of paper that go in hand with you know what you learn so I don't know at I think there's a larger disconnect on on from from both industry and academia that needs to be bridged and that's something that I hit the human factors gas lab like we I'm I'm focused on that because it's we need to communicate the science out to industry and that's something that I'm really passionate about as somebody who works in industries so anyway. Let's just get into this last part of the show it's one more thing it needs no introduction so let's go ahead and get into a very what is your one more thing this week. Well the many ways it's a bit M.. M. things that we wells a backing to look down so that we kind of built into the new year with the bombs that we back to working from home and it was it'll be one of these ones now that he's already hit. I really really want to be worked in the office of the the first looked down it was very much of the yes it's it's it's it's a new experience we you know we you get that what was that the thrill of a change of the Holocaust affairs now it's I think we are very much into that I just want to get over this and get back to normal whatever does look like but I am. One of things at the time today which I thought was really quite cool days as well as as a majority of my background is actually in control engineering and are you get involved in some engineering community so the issue of engineering technology I've done the thing that's the tide swear I wouldn't do which is take on too many things I've told another committee I've done the local committee around the engineering team to try and promote engineering so and encouraging people to become charts engineers and and all that sort of stuff so that was where I wills this evening just before we we joined here we have the another hour long well 2:00 hours long meeting around how to promote good engineering and good engineering practice without with a local community center. Just without the better time than I thought of going to have 3 of them I've now managed to sell it so. Yeah I can go back to being friends like all the time. What are you able to go. Yeah for being frantic are this is gonna take a little bit of a serious note here I so look like if you if you long time listener to the show I'm usually pretty chipper on the show and I tend to I guess put forward a public facing persona that's that's not a persona it's it's who I am it's just turned on to an additional level I guess I'm over the over the. The holiday break I am. I don't even know how to talk about this this is this is so hard so over the holiday break I kind of. Read some experiences online that kind of mirrored my own I was struggling with getting the motivation to even do basic household chores like cleaning up the dishes or cleaning kitchen. Sweeping or even just getting off the couch it was it's. It was a lot and so. I also found myself in patterns of of sort of these behaviors where I knew I was doing something wrong I couldn't necessarily correct it and found myself either hyper fixating on something that I I wouldn't be able to put down until it was complete and it often detracted from other higher priority things around the house and. I. The end it was. Again this is really hard to talk about but this was causing problems in in my own interpersonal relationships with friends and family and. So I I seeing a psychiatrist and I clearly have depression and suspected ADHD N. you know this is it's a new year and I encourage you if you're listening to this and maybe find yourself with similar experiences maybe read up on a little bit I'm more than happy to talk to anybody who might be going through something like I I get it like please reach out to me on on discord or slack I I am happy to talk about my experiences and what they were like for me and how they manifested. But I I am now on medication and you know I'm one of a half weeks in so we'll see how it impacts me in the long term but the first week has been pretty great you know a first date was on bills I went and clean the whole kitchen like spotless it was amazing. But anyway well I'll I'll keep you all up to date with that it's just a new year and I encourage you all to check in on your mental health or friends that you know you may have not heard from in a minute because. Yeah I yep yeah might just not know until. It's. That's my one more thing and that's gonna be it for today every. We'll end on that note we do that just really well done full being able to address it and and talk about it we don't talk about mental health enough and it's stigmatized and it takes people to have the courage that you just showed just that to be able to show other people think we can talk about this like any other injury because it is it your your brain is. It's another part of the body it's another muscle ache aid needs tender loving care and that's what you're showing it so thank you for sharing that with us. Thanks for the encouragement yes seriously if anyone if anyone needs to reach out please do I know I know I may be just somebody that you listen to in your ear holes on a weekly basis but please do I really just I am happy to talk. Anyway that is going to be it for today everyone if you liked this episode and enjoy hearing about what some of the pan what pandemic might be doing to some of our other behaviors we invite you to check out episode 224 we look at how remote work Mike foster innovation we brought that up earlier comment wherever you're listening with what you think of a story this week for more in depth discussion you can always join us on our slack or discord communities and you can always visit our official website sign up for our newsletter stay up to date on the latest factors news you like it to hear one of support to show things you can do it was 5 star review tell your friends about us no support us on Patreon as well it's always links all over social in our website or give me in the description of this episode and I want to thank Mr Perry Kirby for being on the show today we're gonna listeners going find you if they want to find out more about the engineering stuff. The engineers to can be found on Twitter at Basel disco okay old listen to mine 5 spoke US travel to Cuba fox broadcast political cast adult cold as for me I've been in his neck road you can find the streaming sometimes on twitch when I do office hours across social media at Nick _ row there's that mental health things don't do too much that you can't handle thanks again for tuning into human factors cast until next time. It depends.

Barry KirbyProfile Photo

Barry Kirby

Managing Director

A human factors practitioner, based in Wales, UK. MD of K Sharp, Fellow of the CIEHF and a bit of a gadget geek.