A lovely article in which Lou Rosenfeld tells a few stories and makes a very important point - bring together what you learn from different research techniques for maximum insight.
Lou knows his stuff, tells a good story, and references great work from lots of other experts in the field.
While he's talking mainly about well-resourced, user-focused companies who had "...a series of robust, expensive, well-staffed teams of researchers—many with doctorates—employing just about every imaginable method to study the user experience..." there's still lots to take away even if you're working on your own. The point and the principle is the same.
The article certainly got me thinking (again) about how we can make better use of the fragmented user research happening across the University. Ultimately it's all about the insight.
And elephants. What's that all about? It's that old story of the blind men around the elephant trying to work out what it is. Here, the elephant is your website or product and the blind men are your research techniques.
So the question is, "How well do we know our elephants?"
Seeing the Elephant: Defragmenting User Research - article by Lou Rosenfeld for A List Apart