An interview with Johanna Kollmann

About Johanna Kollmann

Johanna Kollmann started her career in UX at Siemens in 2004 and has since gained experience in both in-house and agency-side roles. In London, she worked at Flow Interactive and Vodafone, EMC Consulting, and is now a product manager at Sidekick Studios. Her background is in Information Design and HCI. Passionate about building better things through collaboration, Johanna co-founded Design Jam, organizes the Agile UX meetup London, and is a member of the Balanced Team community. She has presented at the IA Summit, Euro IA, Agile and several barcamps, trying to get better every time. Johanna likes dancing at gigs, hiking up hills, ice cream, and manta rays.

She’s @johannakoll on Twitter.


Main points

  • Agile means collaboration, not a methodology.
  • Move away from reporting research results in documents and PowerPoints.
  • Schedule research every week with five users.
  • Involve stakeholders in research.
  • Meet your stakeholders where they are, not where you are. What are their concerns and questions.
  • Develop empathy to your stakeholders as you do for users.
  • Arm your stakeholders with stories to tell about users.
  • Our terminology as researchers is hard for stakeholders to grasp.
  • Customer development is a concept taken from the lean startup world in which startups evaluate their business models and ideas in the real world.
  • Building relationships with stakeholders, being friendly, and showing interest in people will get you more research projects. Be the go-to person that can help.
  • You know that stakeholders are bought into research when they use the stories you tell them, when they tell other people stories based on what they learned from research.
  • Also, if things that were learned in research find their way into products, that a very good signal for buy-in.