Jen Romano-Bergstrom, Experimental Psychologist; UX Research Lead, Facebook/Instagram; President, UXPA International. Jen has over 12 years of experience planning, conducting and managing user-centered research projects. She is currently a UX Researcher at Facebook/Instagram, where she works to understand the UX of Facebook and Instagram in emerging markets. Jen specializes in efficient applications of empirical methods to ensure quality is not lost while working fast to get actionable results. In addition to being a skilled UX researcher and practitioner, Jen specializes in eye tracking, survey design, experimental design, and cognitive aging. Jen frequently presents research and novel methods at academic and industry conferences, and she publishes in peer-reviewed journals, magazines and blogs. She is co-author of Usability Testing for Survey Research (2017) and co-author/editor of Eye Tracking in User Experience Design (2014). She has served on User Experience Professionals Association (UXPA) boards for several years – currently as the President of the International UXPA, and previously Director of Marketing and Communications, as well as President, Vice President, and Conference Chair for UXPA-DC. Jen received a Ph.D. and M.A. in Applied/Experimental Psychology from The Catholic University of America and a B.A. in Psychology from Central Connecticut State University
Many user experience (UX) researchers and market researchers conduct research in the lab. We conduct interviews and focus groups to understand our users’ opinions and thoughts, and we watch people interact with products to learn about obstacles to completing tasks. We measure subjective data, such as how people report they feel when interacting with a product; we measure observational data, such as time to complete tasks and errors people make; and we measure implicit data, such as where people look and galvanic skin response while people complete tasks. While lab-based studies are well-controlled and can inform product development greatly, we tend to lack a true understanding of how people use the products. To do this, we must go to the users, in their natural environment. In this talk, I will discuss methods we use at Facebook and Instagram to understand users’ perceptions of privacy and privacy settings. I will discuss pros and cons to various research methodologies and share examples from several international markets. While in-the-field methods have the possibility to introduce bias, they provide a rich understanding of the issues people have using products that we simply cannot know from lab-based studies.