September 2009
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Saving Bob Dylan, or How Not To Do User Research

You don’t need a weather man
To know which way the wind blows

You’re not going to believe this. I’ve been getting some criticism. “Your posts are too long”, some people cried. “Lose the Twitterfeed”, shouted someone else. “Your Southpark Avatar is so 15 year old” claimed an anonymous coward. Hey man, I made that avatar myself. That hurts. But seeing as I work for an agency that prides itself on its insight and user research, I decided it was time to do some user research of my own. As the budget I assign to run this blog is three fifths of fuck-all, Survey Monkey was the logical choice. Thanks so much to the 37 people that answered it.

Firstly, let’s talk about the Bob Dylan blog introductions that I’ve been pouring my heart and soul in to. As the chart below shows, more than a third of the respondents don’t read them. And another bunch want a change of theme.


So I thought about this. Granted, some of the quotes are, at best, very tenuously linked to the topic at hand – I need to improve the relevance. But Bob’s got so much more to give. I’m going to try not to repeat songs yet, but again, some tunes have so many classic lyrics that I might have to. If I do a new a brand theme, it’ll be in 2010. After deciding this, I tweeted my new found conviction:

I said

To which someone responded:Chris SaidHe has a ridiculous avatar, and what kind of  name is @golansleepweed? What does that mean, anyway? Nevertheless, this clown also happens to be the Head of LBi Intergalatic Creative Domination so I feel obliged to listen. I know which way the wind is blowing, so Bob is staying on the blog. After all, if he’s good enough for sat-nav, he’s good enough for me. Thanks, Chris, for the vote of confidence.

Some other findings of the so-called “research”:

  • 19% of you actually want links to open in new windows. 64% agree with the no-new-window policy. 19% don’t care. Sweet.
  • Only 13% of you found the survey annoying. 87% of my readers are all round nice guys. The web is about giving, man.
  • This one surprised me. 76% like the automated Twitterfeed announcements.  13% don’t care and only 11% want them dead. So they’re staying, giving me less reason to retweet my own posts and feel like a douchebag.
  • Only 12% think I should tweet with my real name instead of @McBoof. 41% don’t care, and 47%, for some reason, like my dumb-ass name.
  • On the other hand, more people think my beautiful South Park avatar is lame (29%) than like it (24%). Most don’t care
  • 56% don’t care about my WordPress theme, 44% think it rocks, and 0% (yes, zero) think it sucks. Woot.

And the highlights of the comments:

  • Most people want me to swear more. There was a wee bit of concern of kids reading over shoulders and evil corporate firewall traffic snoopers. There was far more swearing on the survey than on my blog.
  • I need a proof reader. Badly.
  • My posts are too long and ramble a bit. This is because it’s quite difficult to write a well-constructed, thought out post that actually has a point.
  • Someone wants me to write more about Kas Thomas.

Finally, I’d like to point out that I’ve been involved in more than a few projects on which the client commissioned my agency to perform high quality user research and then chose to ignore the results. They’re idiots. I guess that makes me an idiot too.

P.S. @Ivanka, I hope you aren’t reading this. See what happens to User Research here after you leave …

Don't worry, Bob. I'm not ditching you just because the crowds are baying for blood

Don't worry, Bob. I'm not ditching you just because the crowds are baying for blood

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1,147 comments to Saving Bob Dylan, or How Not To Do User Research