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Episode Info: In this episode of Dollars to Donuts I speak with Juliette Melton, Director of User Insight and Strategy at The New York Times. We talk about updating the old “design research” label, user research in a journalism culture, and the role of coaching. I think that researchers can bring a kind of brightness into a space and a kind of optimism for a team and a sense that we can learn these things together. It’s a bit intangible as a quality, but when we bring on new researchers that’s really something we look for. Like is this person someone who is excited about making connections across an organization? Excited to share what we’re doing? There’s something about bringing energy into research which I think is really important. – Juliette Melton Show Links Freedom From Choice cocktail Blue Apron Sun Basket The BEST Turkey Burger Recipe Saigon Chicken Wings Juliette on LinkedIn Juliette on Twitter New York Times New Products & Ventures NYT Cooking Crosswords Parenting The Daily The Weekly Modern Love IDEO Survey Monkey Reiki Richard Scarry’s Busy, Busy Town The Innovation Strategist Follow Dollars to Donuts on Twitter and help other people find the podcast by leaving a review on Apple Podcasts. Transcript Steve Portigal: Welcome to Dollars to Donuts, the podcast where I talk with the people who lead user research in their organization. There used to be a restaurant in San Francisco called Heaven’s Dog, and one of the items on their cocktail menu was called “freedom from choice.” Rather than choose a specific cocktail, you’d tell the server your preferred spirit, and a bit of direction on the flavor, and they’d make you something to fit those criteria. While once freedom from choice would only have been seen negatively, here outsourcing your choice to an expert became a positive. The menu still had all the cocktail options for people that knew what they wanted, but for patrons who didn’t know what they wanted, there was an option for them as well. A number of years ago we started using a meal kit delivery service, first Blue Apron and then later Sun Basket. In case you aren’t familiar with services like these, they deliver everything you need, once a week, to make some number of meals, in our case three. When Blue Apron started, they offered very little choice, we could opt for vegetarian or not, but otherwise, they just sent us three meals. Eventually we could opt out of pork, or fish, for example, and then they began offering a larger number of meals we could select from about a week before. We immediately loved Blue Apron. It eliminated the planning and deciding, something that we just weren’t good at. Or that we avoided, because we didn’t enjoy it, and so we’d just make the same set of meals based on what we had done before. Using Blue Apron reduced the shopping, but not entirely as we still needed fruit, milk, bread, juice, and so on, for the rest of our meals. More interestingly and most meaningfully, it ...
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