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November 30, 2022
How can we improve collaboration with the blend of hybrid, remote, and in-person meetings? Here’s what Miro’s latest research has to say.
Eduardo Gomez Ruiz is the Lead UX Research Manager at Miro, which develops cutting-edge collaboration software trusted by over forty million users. He has also served as a Design Thinking Associate Professor at IE Business School for nearly eight years. Since Eduardo joined Miro in 2020, he has been instrumental in the growth and development of the company’s UX research department. Prior to joining Miro, he held positions at Uber and several consulting agencies as a Global UX Researcher and UX Consultant.
[00:00:00] Eduardo Gomez Ruiz: The trend that we are seeing, and that is looking at also macro data from the way that users are using the product is that there is an increasing async collaboration. Preparing work ahead of time and then reducing the amount of meetings that we have to do and shortening the duration of meetings to make sure that we make the decisions that we need to make or that we hear the different perspectives that we need to hear, and potentially reconvene after all of that has been put together.
[00:00:37] Erin May: This is Erin May.
[00:00:39] John-Henry Forster: I'm John-Henry Forster and this is Awkward.
[00:00:44] John: Silences
[00:00:44] Erin: Silences.
[00:00:52] Erin: Hello, everybody, and welcome back to Awkward Silences. Today we're here with Eduardo Gomez Ruiz, who is a UX research manager at Miro. We're excited to have you back. We've done a webinar together maybe a year and change ago. So excited to have you on a new topic and a new format. Thanks for joining us.
[00:01:10] Eduardo: No, it's my pleasure. Thank you for having me here.
[00:01:13] Erin: Got JH here too.
[00:01:14] John: I know we're going to be talking about hybrid work, which is fascinating me because I get how doing in-person work is easy and makes sense and then fully remote people have gotten really good at it, but the hybrid actually seems almost harder. Really excited to hear what you've learned.
[00:01:27] Eduardo: Totally, I'll be happy to share some insights we got from our own research, and it's definitely a space that needs constant experimentation. Happy to share with the community.
[00:01:40] Erin: People have been doing hybrid work, in some capacity, for a while, but of course, this really got started with the pandemic when most knowledge workers were able to move remote or had to move remote full time all the time. And then as things began opening back up, it's like, "Okay, everyone back in the office. No, let's do hybrid." Now many companies are in this in-between spectrum of remote, hybrid, and office.
Eduardo, tell us, what led you and the Miro team to look into researching this meaty topic of hybrid work and the future of it, and of course, how does Miro fit into that?
[00:02:23] Eduardo: Let me give you a little bit of context. This study was done in Q3 last year, 2021. At that time, Miro was experiencing this hyper-growth, the pandemic accelerated how people collaborated, and how whiteboarding like Miro was a go-to tool for many, many use cases.
The teams were pretty focused on short-term needs, like how can we cater to this demand? How can we cater to new ways of using Miro? I was already seen from two quarters before, "Hey, the back to office is going to be imminent. I see countries like Israel already going almost full back." The office, are we ready to support a new normal, not a new way of working? Then the answers were, "Well, we guess, but we cannot deviate our focus from this short-term needs."
Then I thought, well, the beauty of being in research is that we can be thrown at the unknown spaces and bring a little bit more clarity, more direction. It was, at that time, a research-led initiative, and that feels really good when we are given that liberty or autonomy to explore, are we ready to stay relevant in this new paradigm? That was one of the biggest questions that I personally had.
Then what I did was finding support as analyzed to make sure that we explore this topic as a joint effort and identify some patterns of behavior, some attitudes, and some new ways of working and thinking that we're going to be well addressed and well met by the capabilities that Miro had. I don't know if I answer completely your question, but that's the idea that we anticipate what the needs are and we start preparing ourselves, especially organization for that.
[00:04:29] Erin: You're building, at the time, to support this rapid growth, like you said, of people just-- there's more people, right? I imagine even just infrastructurely you've got to deal with that, more people using the app and existing obvious use cases, but you're saying, "Hey, this is starting to happen and we need to start understanding it now so we're ready for the next big change in what's coming ahead."
[00:04:51] Eduardo: Exactly. The next waves of cloud experiences and how people want to interact and collaborate with each other.
[00:04:58] John: Nice. That makes a ton of sense. I'm curious, you touched on it a little, when you started to go down this path of trying to understand this hybrid phenomenon that's probably going to start occurring, how broad was it, did you have specific questions you wanted to answer or decisions you were looking to inform?, or was it more like purely generative, like let's just go out and see how people feel about it, and we'll dial it in from there?
[00:05:17] Eduardo: We had a certain hypothesis because we read a lot of reports that were out there. We also started to experience it ourselves. We are a globally distributed company, so we wanted to understand that overlap between devices, environment, and culture, and find the right spot or produce the best practices and best product experiences that can support people at the intersection of these three.
Environment might be on the go, might be at home, might be at the office, might be in a booth in the office, devices, might be your laptop that was normal back then, but they might be an iPad, a mobile device, or simply at the screen in the median room. Then we had different people with different attitudes towards facilitating and participating in the meetings, different concerns about safety.
We needed to be ready to see how all of these pieces come together and what's the best experience that we can offer at the overlap of those.
[00:06:28] John: Would you put, like, going back to analog tools in the devices category? As an outsider thinking of this, it's this digital whiteboarding tool. All of a sudden me and some people are back in the office, everyone's got on the itch to get a marker and sticky notes out. I'm wondering, did that fit into it as well?
[00:06:44] Eduardo: We did, but to a lesser touch, like, because given the time when we conducted this study, there were fewer people at the office. Normally the majority, and I'll share more about what type of sessions I observed. The majority of attendees in hybrid meetings then were joining remotely. It was a consideration and we discussed it with participants, but it wasn't the main focus. The idea is how can we stay relevant.
There are relevant topics in the room like that physical touch, that body language connection, the shared coffee, the smell, the space, the sensing each other. There was less emphasis on analog tools like the pen and paper.
[00:07:36] Erin: You said this was research-led research, which is really cool. I imagine that's what a lot of researchers would love to be part of, given the choice. You had this idea and it sounds like you had some buy-in and support right from the beginning. Correct me if I'm wrong, how did you go from idea, we want to research this, to then getting the right stakeholders involved and really going into planning mode?
[00:07:58] Eduardo: That was, I believe, the process. Planning the research involve first finding the best partner in crime, that was my peer researcher like Bolio. Then, together, it was easier to plan and decide how are we going to fit in all of the pieces and how do we divide and conquer to find the right support. We went, asked different product teams about their needs, about the roadmaps and we were somehow gathering research questions to make them feel included in the process.
Then we came up with this great idea less from the get-go, get leadership involved. We got the CEO and the chief product officer to become part of the research process and join some co-creation sessions with users. That meant that this was going to have high visibility. Then having them in the plan then made others be more interested, be more curious, and also want to be there and join and hear what the other person that they really admire is thinking or doing in this space.
[00:09:12] Erin: How did you get them interested in being part of it? I imagine they're busy and people want them to be involved in their projects a lot. How did you get them to be part of it?
[00:09:22] Eduardo: It was funny. There was one in-person event and I went straight to one of them and say, "Hey, I need to hear two or three weeks from now, this is what I'm cooking." Then he said, "Hell, yes." Then we toasted with the beer. Then was the agreement.
[00:09:42] Erin: Perfect.
[00:09:43] Eduardo: No formal presentation, no formal pitch. I had clear clarity into what I needed from them and what they could get out of it. Then I just wanted them to sponsor the project.
[00:09:58] Erin: Right. You believed in your idea. You were like, "This is going to be good research, and you're going to want to be involved."
[00:10:03] Eduardo: Exactly. From that emotional resonance, they were bought in.
[00:10:09] John: Nice. Then you called out earlier like some of the hypotheses you had and some of these different categories you're exploring. Once you had that core group of who's going to be involved, is that the next step, like framing those hypotheses and stuff like that? When did those get created and how did they fit into the process?
[00:10:23] Eduardo: We started with desk research, complemented that with some questions we gather from different product teams. Then we put them all together into a nice neat research plan within the Miro, saying, "Hey, these are the themes that we are going to explore. These are some of the research questions, and this is how we plan to tackle this in terms of methods." We translated those requests, the hypothesis, and the needs that we anticipated seeing, and we put them there together.
[00:10:58] Erin: How much of your methods and study plan overall did you set up front and stick to versus how much did you iterate along the way?
[00:11:07] Eduardo: We planned everything ahead of time and went through it. Our original plan was, we're going to do recruitment altogether and go through the different phases of the research. At the end, the only iteration we did was that we could only recruit a few people when we were hoping to, and we did in two batches. Batch one would be in participatory observation session where we sat with them to see a hybrid meeting or workshop.
Sometimes we sat physically there with them if they were located in Amsterdam or we would join remotely. We would be one more team member joining there. As you can imagine, that was really hard to get consent to be part of because we are somehow strangers or outsiders in their actual work time. That was the biggest iteration, that we did not recruit all of them at once, but we did one first batch and we continued with a second batch. They were almost running in parallel, but the first batch was, of course, ending earlier.
[00:12:23] John: As user interviews, we think on the participant side of things a lot in the recruitment side. Just thinking through this one, it seems challenging in the sense of you think this future trend is coming and so you want to understand it, then you got to find people who are already ahead on that. The early adopters are going back to hybrid. Were you able to do that through signal you had in your product or how did you go about finding people who were living in the future and already doing this hybrid stuff?
[00:12:45] Eduardo: That was the second hardest part of the project. We initially thought that people were going to be open to it and they were not. We saw that those who were open may not have actual hybrid meeting the way we define it ahead of the project. Even if they wanted to participate, there were not enough people in the office for it to count as a hybrid meeting.
We ultimately resource into our personal networks and people who trust us personally, not as a company, not as part of Miro. And that was the best way to make it happen.
[00:13:26] Erin: Cool. Let's talk about the details. Tell us about the study. You have gathered your A team of collaborators and stakeholders. You have some themes and questions you want to answer from talking to these product teams, and you've got this grand plan in Miro that you largely were able to stick to. What was the plan? What were some of the methods and how long did it take?
[00:13:50] Eduardo: The plan consisted of three phases. Phase one, participatory observation of an actual hybrid meeting. Phase two was follow-up interviews with a participant and a facilitator of that meeting. Phase three was a survey, and actually, I was missing, phase four was a co-creation session. I'll type it all together, but starting from the phase one, we could sit there and observe what the actual challenges are with the hybrid meeting.
Maybe the obvious things like video tech is not straight away working or the sound has echo or something. Then we could see the ergonomy of the rooms and how people were not ready to contribute from the actual meeting room to what it was feeling like a remote meeting. I'll tell you more later. Then we would take a screenshots or actual pictures from different things that were surprising to us.
In phase two, we would do a follow-up, but very connected to the actual meeting that we saw. We understood what the meeting was about because we were there. Then we would confront some of these participants with the observations we had. They would explain, "Hey, this picture, wow. I didn't realize this was happening this way." We got very juicy quotes from users who were explaining or justifying why it was happening that way. Phase three was about validating at scale, what we observe in this world phase.
Phase four was really fun because we invited the same participants, a selection of those participants, to hybrid co-creation. We created some challenges I called tech handicap status. Then I would force some users to simply join from their phone. I would force some users to put their video off to try to emulate some of the realities that certain people go through. I force some users to use an interactive screen, even if they were at the office, even if they had a laptop with them, and middle executives were there. It was a nice way of giving back and closing the loop with the learnings I got from all of the sessions.
They were all learning at the same time as we were learning, and later, we created some early concept solutions or explorations of what could work. The four phases took somewhere like two months and recruitment was a big part of that time.
[00:16:45] John: You teased it a little bit, there's the obvious things that can go wrong of video hiccups or echos or whatever, but you mentioned there were some other things. What were some of the more surprising things that came up?
[00:16:55] Eduardo: To me, the most surprising thing was that people in the room who join a hybrid meeting, they are also experiencing a second-class type of experience because the meeting is hybrid. This is interesting because you may anticipate and expect that those joining remotely might feel excluded from certain things, certain interactions, certain abilities to interrupt the conversation or raise their hands physically and get air time. We actually saw that, especially when the majority of attendees were joined remotely, those in the room were not getting any benefit from being in the room.
They were potentially having to use their laptops on their laps because they were not in a proper meeting room. They were really glued to their screen. I wrote some quotes from there. For example, when I contrasted two of the participants who were in the physical room with a picture, they told me it is sad that we didn't look at each other in the entire meeting.
You are there with someone else, you are talking about the same topic and working on the same topic and it's like, you're not together. You are joining virtually, and if anything, you need to use your actual headphones not to disturb or create echo. There were certain implications that we were not expecting to learn on that part, on that front.
[00:18:29] Erin: Try to visualize, you're in physical space in real life with people who are also together in real life, as people are moving in real life again, for the people who are remote who are at home or wherever they are, were you observing them too while you were in person with these others, or were you focused on that experience as well, or were you mostly focused on the experience of the in person people as part of this hybrid situation?
[00:18:57] biggest challenge
[00:20:49] John: A quick Awkward interruption here. It's fun to talk about user research, but you know what's really fun, is doing user research, and we want to help you with that.
[00:20:58] Erin: We want to help you so much that we have created a special place. It's called userinterviews.com/awkward for you to get your first three participants free.
[00:21:09] John: We all know we should be talking to users more, so we've went ahead and removed as many barriers as possible. It's going to be easy, it's going to be quick. You're going to love it. Get over there and check it out.
[00:21:18] Erin: Then when you're done with that, go on over to your favorite podcasting app and leave us a review, please.
[00:21:27] John: Did you get any signal on why people want to do the hybrid thing? Maybe I'm not phrasing this the right way, but it seems a little silly, but five of the attendees are in an office, they could just sit at their desk and join that way and treat it like a remote meeting in the pandemic times. Is there an obligation or a social norm thing of, like, "The five of us are in the same physical building, like we should get in the same meeting room even if it's going to be a little clunky"? What was the motivating factor in terms of-- or did people think there's going to be some best of both worlds thing that they were hoping to unlock?
[00:21:57] Eduardo: Shockingly, we had one user that, for one of the meetings we attended, he was at the office and he decided not to come to the meeting room because of that reason. He said, "I know these people are glued to their screen. I'm better off doing remotely and getting full control of my experience versus being there on the room."
I think it has to do with personality, it has to do with how much do you get out of being together with others, and what might be the conversations that you miss out if you don't join that in person. One of the considerations we had was, will people do two meetings, one for those joining remote and one for those who are in there in the room? Ultimately, the business needs to keep moving very fast.
There is no time that they can waste or afford to not duplicate the content. At the end, we anticipated that hybrid was going to be a new way of working that was not just a short-term thing. We also validated that in a survey and we keep seeing it that even if you plan for a meeting that will happen in one way, then the reality tends to be that you get a mix of both audiences and it's really hard to cater to both equally.
[00:23:28] John: Did you see it in the other direction? We were mentioning this hybrid model is going to be challenging and so there's some surprising challenges you learned. Did it go in the other way where actually some of it was like surprising how well it just translated things that held up pretty well, even though it was a different format?
[00:23:44] Eduardo: What we saw is that facilitators resource to the easiest way that they could. If they can plan a remote meeting and at the end, some people turn up to show up in the office, then it's a remote meeting adapted for hybrid. In reality, it's in essence it's a remote meeting leading the thing.
It's optimized for remote participants, or we saw the contrary, if you optimize for the pen and paper that you were saying before, and that was some of the comments that we got, then those joining remotely may end up leaving the workshop halfway through.
Especially a design thinking workshop with a lot of ideation and all was hard if the content and the ideas were not put in the digital space, they fell excluded. We also got some testimonials of "I left halfway through the workshop." That feels like a big failure of the system.
[00:24:45] Erin: Maybe obvious question, but I'm finding myself wondering. You're watching all these meetings, how many meetings did you watch? I guess roughly
[00:24:51] Eduardo: Seven or eight meetings.
[00:24:53] Erin: Seven or eight meetings. These are seven or eight different organizations?
[00:24:58] Eduardo: Yes.
[00:24:59] Erin: Are they using Miro in all these meetings or are you just trying to zoom out and get a sense of hybrid meetings at large?
[00:25:07] Eduardo: We got around six of them using Miro and a couple of them not using Miro. It was nice to see the contrast.
[00:25:17] Erin: You're like, "If you use Miro--" [chuckles] Cool. You mentioned earlier you had some themes and some learning objectives. Let's dig into those and what you learned. What did you learn from all this research?
[00:25:29] Eduardo: On the one side, we saw how the devices that support hybrid are not equally served, and that means that you may join, on the go, a meeting, and not be ready to pull out your laptop and open up the Miro Board and contribute. The emphasis on on-the-go or personal devices was something that we made the emphasis on during the research and we identified there is a lot of opportunity here to serve.
[00:26:04] Erin: Was that mobile and iPads or tablets?
[00:26:06] Eduardo: Exactly. Mobile phones, iPads, they seem to be suitable devices to contribute to a meeting, but depending on the actions you need to take from those devices, you may be actually a bit limited to do it. We also confirmed the lack of cultural norms, the lack of good references and best practices.
Think about the period when we did this, teams were just going back to office, maybe there was no expert guiding you with a checklist of things to prep. From there, we work on a few articles to guide Miro users especially, but it's in our website, any users to be more prepared for their next hybrid meeting.
Then the biggest learning was about how to make it more inclusive of both audiences. We tend to see that the person facilitating optimize for one of the two audiences that the remote or the in-room. There was no obvious way to serve equally well both audiences. We also identified that dichotomy and explore different concepts or directions to see how we can serve both audiences, both groups.
[00:27:30] Erin: Are there ways to serve both audiences without making it worse for both? Does it become a least common denominator, where we'll make it least bad for everybody but not great for anybody, or are there actually ways to make it work for everybody or are we still early in that and we're still figuring out what that looks like?
[00:27:52] Eduardo: I think we're all still figuring it out. The common denominator was exactly one of the things I quoted in the report and it feels like a missed opportunity. If you are in the room, you want the energy in the room, you want the activity to spark. Then if you need to keep making pauses and making sure that you hear the other part, then maybe things don't flow as well.
If you are remote, you want to benefit from breakout groups, from simultaneous conversations going on, from keeping a track of everything that is being said, recording what's being said, and then you may not actually see what's happening in the room or hear clearly who said what. There were obvious challenges that we anticipated beforehand, but then by putting it all together and connecting the dots, we could see, "Hey, there is here space that we can try and solve."
[00:28:53] John: You mentioned the facilitator optimizing for in-person or remote, some tendencies there. How much does that correlate with just like where the facilitator's going to be? If I'm going to be in-person, I'm going to optimize for in-person, if I'm going to be remote, I'm going to optimize remote. Did they do it more on how many participants were joining through one way or the other? If the majority of the meeting's going to be remote, they optimize for that, even if they're in-person. Just curious how that comes to be.
[00:29:15] Eduardo: What we saw is that people working from home at that time were optimizing for what they were used to do, which is at
[00:29:25] John: Yes, their situation needs.
[00:29:27] Eduardo: They got a remote meeting and project the screen in the room and did not serve well the people who were sitting in that room because maybe without them having their laptops with them, they could not be able to actually see or contribute or add. We tend to see that that was the case, like remote meetings being just expanded to those who joined in person, but then there was this problem of that second-class experience for those in the room and they were demanding, "What's the benefit for me to actually come to the office?"
At that time, it was all on a voluntary basis, joining to the office or not. There were some safety concerns, so they were questioning and it was an open dialogue, like, should we come to the office at all? Then that correlates a bit with the future of work and some trends that we are seeing into how the workforce may want to have the autonomy to choose where they work from.
That puts everything in influx and you cannot decide how things will turn out to be. One of the features that we really like from Google is the Google calendar, you can actually select if you're planning to join in person or if you're planning to join remotely, and if you do that, you can give heads up to the facilitator to prepare like, do I need call facilitators? Do I need to adapt my timings? Because breaks are also super important. We confirm all of the sun fatigue, et cetera.
Maybe if you are not experiencing the meeting in the same way that participants are, you may be a little far from their reality and maybe they need an energy booster, a break, or something so it's really hard to cater to both audiences if you need to keep all of those balls on the air.
[00:31:30] John: Having lived in this world for a while and been thinking about it so deeply, do you have any like predictions or hot takes of how hybrid meetings are going to evolve if you had to like guess or how you'd hope they would evolve?
[00:31:40] Eduardo: It's hard. Recently, I've used a few new pieces of tech. I think one of them is called Nest, they split the camera in the room into small parts. Another one is Owl, like the bird.
[00:31:55] John: Yes, I've heard of that.
[00:31:57] Eduardo: Then in that way you can give a sense of body language and who is talking to those during remote, but I tend to see that those in the room have a little visibility into what's happening to remote participants so it's really hard to bring their presence. There are solutions like telepresence solutions, but not working really well. I cannot fully anticipate what's happening but I keep saying it is complex. It tends to exclude people from doing their best work. Finding solutions and also working agreements to make it work is an essential piece.
[00:32:40] Erin: Do we get to a better place by throwing technological solutions at these hybrid meetings or by reconfiguring like how we work remotely or in-person to try to mitigate some of the underlying issues? If it's always going to be a challenge to have the minority group and the majority group of the remote or in-person, do you try to lessen that by saying, like, for example, some teams are saying Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday they're in office days, we're going to have our meetings together on those days, where the majority is together; and take advantage of the flexibility and lack of commute and some of those benefits of remote on the other days to try to mitigate the hybridness of the hybrid. How do you see?
[00:33:25] Eduardo: Yes, I see that there is a factor of randomness that we cannot control even if there are official in office. Then that requires us to be over-prepared when we facilitate, be able to compromise if that's necessary. The trend that we are seeing, and that is looking at also macro data from the way that users are using the product, is that there is an increasing async collaboration. Preparing work ahead of time and reducing the amount of meetings that we have to do and shortening the duration of meetings to make sure that we make the decisions that we need to make or that we hear the different perspectives that we need to hear, and potentially reconvene after all of that has been put together.
To give you an example, in a formal workshop that you are diverging and later converging and clustering all in the meeting, we may see that users are splitting it into two. They first diverge, then someone will take the lead asynchronously cluster things as for input and comments, potentially even both asynchronously, and they get together and they prioritize the final decisions or solutions that they will go forward with. That, somehow, answers that this space continues to be underserved and continues to be complex and that maybe tech alone is not going to solve the challenge.
[00:35:01] John: Yes, I was at a UX conference UX Y'all last week in North Carolina, and a couple people presented on facilitator tips for doing this type of thing. It was really interesting, a lot of what you just touched on was some were some of their biggest takeaways, where if you have people across a lot of time zones and in person remote, like try to actually break that out somehow and let the remote people have a session, let in-person people have a session or do it async, and find a way once, like some of the ideation and prep work has been done that maximizes the format that those people are interacting in.
Then get everybody together for the meeting that maybe is a little suboptimal in some ways, but you've maximized the pros we can. I don't think people have that playbook figured out but it seems like there's something to that approach that will probably continue to emerge.
[00:35:41] Eduardo: I would like to quote a friend of mine, David Jenkins, who just got a book called A Collaboration in a Digital World. One of the big threats that he identified in his research and publishes in his book is people are being forced to confront unknowns and they struggle with the new technology, the digital work, fatigue, experience poor relationships, and battle technology failure.
I think that challenge captures really well the dichotomy we're talking about is about compromising because you want to build relationships that are meaningful and then you go to the office. It's about compromising because you may need your autonomy and preference to work from home, and you still want to contribute. Then the people facilitating this collaboration needs to find the best to cater to both audiences and actually move the project forward. It's pretty challenging.
[00:36:43] Erin: I'm thinking about this whole situation does put a lot of pressure on facilitators, people running meetings, and maybe the silver lining is-- because, at the end of the day, it's about inclusion. It's about how do you try your best to make the experience as good as possible for people in these different contexts.
If you can try your best to do that, at least have some empathy for what is it like to be in this scenario or that scenario, you'll probably be imperfect in how you address it but if you're trying, it probably makes better facilitator for easier meetings too, just having that mindset of, "How do I make this meeting not terrible experience for the people in this meeting." That's not necessarily a mindset people are always bringing to meetings. Maybe making it harder to do that, it gives you a better result overall somehow.
[00:37:33] Eduardo: I'm seeing the way that working teams, especially product teams are collaborating and they tend to see the same faces in the meetings. Some good tips and practices that they have put forward is making the responsibility of include everyone in the meeting a shared responsibility, no longer a facilitator's responsibility, but everyone may interject and say, "Hey, let's see what Jay needs to say about this," or, "what are your thoughts on this, Erin?"
Then making sure that everybody gets the chance to share their thoughts. I think that is important to arrive to those working agreements and to constantly ask for feedback after you are doing like important miles or important meetings to ensure that you are not missing out on the perspectives of the entire group.
[00:38:34] John: From doing this researcher-led research where you got to initiate, like, here's a big thing we need to understand, lay out these phases and this mixed methods approach. Any reflections on that? Are there things that you did in that approach that worked really well or are there things you would've done differently, like having gone through it? I guess, advice to researchers maybe who'll find themselves in a similar boat someday?
[00:38:53] Eduardo: Well, the first reflection is to believe in yourself. We tend to have this intuition, this hunch, and often it gets diluted in a conversation. It gets diluted in the day-to-day pressure and stress. When you are convinced about the opportunity or about something not being right, then we are in a privileged position to give space to our curiosity and jump into the unknown and really explore. I think that attitude and mindset is the first advice that I can give. Just don't give up. If you see that something might not be right for your users or in your product or in your company, just persist and keep pushing because maybe that will give some fruits in the short term or in the long term. The second was something that I clearly think that went really well, which is finalize early on and that will ensure that they trust your outcome, that they trust your insights because they have been part of the process. They had already invested in it.
That's a tip now I gave to the researchers I work with because if you do all of the great work on your own and come with the results and just throw it at your stakeholders, they may not buy into it. Just get them early on is really important.
The third piece was a thorough plan and just resilience to go through it. To do that, we had to put on hold some other resist request. I had the support of my manager, the great head of research that we have at Miro, Dalia, to say, "Hey, don't you worry. Now you are on this. You two, Bolio and you, are on this." It was good to have that protection and especially belief now and trust from the head of research to actually accomplish this.
[00:41:01] John: Yes, I think what you said about the bringing in your allies and stakeholders early is we've done a hundred something of these episodes now and that's come up in some flavor through so many conversations of like, you got to bring people on the journey or else it's really tough to get people to support and actually then make use of the research. I love that tip.
[00:41:19] Eduardo: Totally.
[00:41:20] Erin: Also, do research at an organization that believes in research.
[00:41:23] John: [laughs] That also helps.
[00:41:25] Erin: That also helps, yes. Eduardo, any closing thoughts on hybrid research state of the world?
[00:41:33] Eduardo: I believe we are now in a really great position to do, again, in-person autographies. Last year was a bit early, it was a bit challenging but I think this is going to open so many opportunities and not just for Saas and productivity tools but many, many different industries. I think it's a very exciting time to be in the field and to explore the unknown and to shape how different solutions and things will evolve. Very excited about what's to come.
[00:42:07] Erin: Awesome. Eduardo, thanks for joining us.
[00:42:09] John: Thanks for bringing up.
[00:42:10] Eduardo: Fantastic. Thank you for having me here.
[00:42:15] Erin: Thanks for listening to Awkward Silences, brought to you by User Interviews.
[00:42:21] John: Theme music by Fragile Gang.
VP, Growth & Marketing
Left brained, right brained. Customer and user advocate. Writer and editor. Lifelong learner. Strong opinions, weakly held.