Since the 3rd Quarter of 2021, I have been officially ‘released’ to do UX research independently. Limited personnel met with abundant products, made this forced to be done. Each UXR holds products with different characteristics. Apart from the crafting interview guidelines stage, it is difficult to validate each other’s product research needs. In that condition, Triangulation becomes a ‘savior’ to help me do UX research projects by myself.
Triangulation is a framework or method commonly used in social or human behavior research with the aim of verifying data while providing broader insight. The basic concept of Triangulation is to use several points of view with the aim of verifying and reducing bias or blind spots in research insights. This triangulation variable can take several forms. In one research, we can use multiple methodologies; theories; data sources; we can take some characteristics of groups of participants; investigators/peers review, etc.
It should be noted that triangulation is not a perfect strategy tool. There are times when triangulation cannot be used to verify. This may be the case, different methods do not necessarily produce a single truth. Moreover, each source may be tied to a different context and different contexts produce different basic ideas. Even though this is the case, Triangulation will still continue to provide complementary data that may be useful for product improvement. Therefore, even the simplest triangulation will not hurt.
Although it seems to require a lot of effort, Triangulation is actually very helpful for a single fighter UXR. When conducting your own end-to-end research, you may be overwhelmed by the process of searching, recruiting, and interviewing users or participants. I once spent more than 2 weeks just finding and interviewing 7 users of the product. With triangulation, I only need to interview 3 or 5 users, then use other data sources or other methodologies to find data that supports the possible insights obtained from the interviews. Only then will I be confident in translating it into the report as an insight that produces recommendations and actionable items.
I first learned about triangulation during my master’s study, then learned from Reza, our previous UX designer, that it can be used for UX research as well. When I decided to try my luck in UX research, my main motivation was a bright future career and the possible financial benefits I could get. In 2020, the number of UX researchers in Jogja at that time was still very limited. I’m not sure what about Indonesia in general, but awareness of the existence of UX Research in digital companies was still very low. I just simply saw it as an opportunity to escape painful academic research. I mean, of course, I enjoyed the research process, but writing 10-15 pages of the research paper was not a fun activity for me. The things I realized later, all those experiences of writing papers, hunting for data, and any form of discussion during my master’s studies were what helped me a lot today in doing UX research. Even though I graduated very late and was standing on the edge of dropping out, I think I did well.