An interview with Leah Buley

About Leah Buley

Leah Buley is a principal designer at Intuit. Before joining Intuit, Leah was an experience designer for Adaptive Path and a user interface designer for Barclays Global Investors. Before Barclays Global Investors, Leah worked for New York interactive agencies Flat and Plural, and LA-based BMC, an information services company. Leah started her career in design as an opinionated web developer. Leah has a Master’s degree in Library and Information Science from San Jose State University and Bachelors in American Studies from Barnard College. Leah writes and speaks regularly on tactics for inviting people into the user-centered design process. She is the author of UX Team of One (Rosenfeld Media, 2012).


Main points

  • UX research is a hard sell since many organizations are evidence-based.
  • If you have good user insights, it’s not hard to get stakeholders’ buy-in for research.
  • In some organizations, UX research is only one data point that is sometimes overlooked.
  • Research sometimes does not make very clear implications for the organization, thus, it is sometimes ignored.
  • Qualitative research is about creating empathy for users and their needs, not necessarily to understand the needs of a broad user population. Triangulating this data with qualitative data will give stakeholders the insights they are looking for.
  • Develop empathy to your stakeholders. Take them to lunch.
  • Inter-personal relationships with the team you are working with is where all good ideas come from. Research is no exception.
  • Show people you are willing to do the research they ask for. Figure out ways to do the research you were not asked to do. Socialize what you find.
  • Useful deliverables - short video clips and end-of-research generative workshop.
  • I have not written a report for a long time.