7min Product Master Series

E1: Joy Wambui Taracha, User Experience Researcher 🧪 Antara Health

June 09, 2022 Joy Wambui Taracha 🇰🇪 Season 1 Episode 1
7min Product Master Series
E1: Joy Wambui Taracha, User Experience Researcher 🧪 Antara Health
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Our guest today is Joy Wambui Taracha 🇰🇪 who joins Lewis for the short-form interview (6mins). Listen in and enjoy!

Guest: Joy Wambui Taracha, UX Researcher at Antara Health. She enjoys discovering various people's perspectives on how they see the world and consequently how they use products. Antara is the only virtual-first healthcare provider in Kenya. They brings its members' personalized care through health navigation. Members have an assigned healthcare professional and access to numerous specialists through the app that will walk them through every step of their healthcare journey.  You can find Joy on LinkedIn at: linkedin.com/in/joy-wambui/.

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Host:  Lewis Kang'ethe Ngugi, founder and host of 7min Product Master Series, Co-founder of PeopleWho, Senior Product Designer at Lookback, and Content Creator at Design x Us. You can find Lewis on Twitter as (@ngeshlew):  twitter.com/ngeshlew and on Linkedin at: linkedin.com/in/ngeshlew.

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The whole entire show:
Follow us on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/7min-product-master-series/ and Twitter at twitter.com/7minProdSeries to see the latest in episode notes. So let me know what you think!

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Joy shared insights on these compelling questions: 
(1) What's the biggest research mistake you've ever made and what did you learn? 
(2) What's one piece of "common wisdom" you disagree with and why? 
(3) What’s the best research or business advice you’ve ever received? 
(4) What’s working best in your research process right now? 
(5) What's the one thing every researcher should learn? 
(6) What's the one thing you learned about yourself recently that changed the way you work?

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Joy Wambui:

No matter how long I've been in the industry, or how many times I've conducted research, there's never going to be a time where I don't need to prepare.

Lewis Kang'ethe:

Joy Wambui, thank you so much for being available for these exclusive questions in our new podcast called The 7 minute Product Master Series. And what I do is I ask 7 big questions to brilliant product people like you. In the question number 1, give me a brief description or definition of research.

Joy Wambui:

So my definition of research. Research means putting away personal assumptions and perceptions in order to have an open space to learn and discover from people what they need most, and what prevents them from getting it.

Lewis Kang'ethe:

Thank you. Thank you very much. That's very deep and straight to that point. The second question is, what's the biggest research mistake you've ever made and what did you learn?

Joy Wambui:

That's a good one. So going into a user interview unprepared. I've learned that no matter how long I've been in the industry, or how many times I've conducted research, there's never going to be a time where I don't need to prepare, because I can't just get into the interview and just wing it. So it will be a colossal failure. So I'll end up just like collecting the key talking points and generally not getting the information that I wanted at the end of the day. So, yeah.

Lewis Kang'ethe:

yeah, that's true. People need to be prepared before they talk to users. Yes. So question number three. So what's the one piece of "common wisdom" that you disagree with? And why?

Joy Wambui:

This is a tough one. I don't know if I'll get interesting comments on this. The idea that, absolutely anyone can do research, I think for me, I totally disagree with that. Okay, let me let me not say totally, maybe, kind of agree with that. Because I believe that there's a reason why we have user researchers. Because user researchers are dedicated, like they dedicate their careers to learning the ins and outs of doing proper research. So it's not just about talking to people or creating questionnaires. It's a whole discipline. We need to figure out, the right questions to ask, which research methods to use to answer those questions best, when to do research and why we're doing research. So I believe we sort of cheapen the discipline when we think that absolutely anyone can do it. There are aspects that people, other people who are not researchers can get involved with but it shouldn't completely negate the need to have a user researcher because there's a reason why they're there. Yeah.

Lewis Kang'ethe:

Hmm... wow, yes! That's a very heavy one. Expect comments from that. But thank you for being honest about. Yeah, so question number five. So what's working best in your research process right now?

Joy Wambui:

What's working best? I think my research planning has been pretty tight so far. That's what I can say is working best. Thank you.

Lewis Kang'ethe:

And so now what question number, I'm guessing six or five? I think lost because of the point that you mentioned that "not everyone can do research". But this next question. So what's the best research or business advice you've ever received? And why?

Joy Wambui:

Don't believe your hype. It just helps to stay, like grounded and not be too comfortable in where I'm at. So just keep learning and keep going my craft. So yeah, don't believe your hype.

Lewis Kang'ethe:

Nice, thank you. Question number six. What's the one thing every researcher should learn?

Joy Wambui:

How to go with the flow. I think one of the things that I've realized is in this industry is that there's so many changing variables, when it comes to user research. Since we're always dealing with people, both users and stakeholders, we can't afford to stay rigid. We always have to be willing to, you know, change. Change the flow and just go with the flow.

Lewis Kang'ethe:

Wow. Yeah, definitely people should be going with the flow. Thank you for that. And then, now to the last question. What's the one thing you have learned about yourself recently, that changed the way you work?

Joy Wambui:

I learned that I tend to just want to be a perfectionist and it makes me procrastinate sharing, like documentation and findings with stakeholders because I wanted to be presentation-ready. But I've learned that, sometimes it's actually just easier and better to share whatever imperfect work that's still in progress. Knowing that there's room for iteration. It just takes time in case of any changes that need to be made, and it also helps in just communicating those insights without having to wait for a grant meeting or a grand event like just sort of sharing as you go. It just helps get things moving. So, yep.

Lewis Kang'ethe:

Wow. Thank you. That's interesting. Definitely that's also a challenge for me as well, I've been trying to be a perfectionist. Yeah, but the most important thing is just having a first draft. Well, Joyce, thank you very much for answering these exclusive questions. You have really helped us into getting insights. Well, that's the end of the episode. Thank you so much for listening, and see you next time.

Definition of research
Biggest research mistake
Disagree with "common wisdom"
Research process
Best research or business advice
Every researcher should learn
Self-reflection