Whatever your interest in user research, there are other researchers in our large UR community who share it. We come together in groups with shared interests, sometimes as voluntary working groups developing our profession and defining best practice, and sometimes purely for fun and interest, talking about topics with like-minded colleagues.
For civil servant user researchers, actively contributing to one of these groups could form your profession objective.
If you don't see a group formed around your interest, then why not start it yourself? Use our community Slack channels to find people who share the interest, get together, and let the head of user research know if you start a new group, so we can add it to this page.
Community initiative working groups
As well as to allow people with a shared interest to come together, our working groups have been set up to create community-led improvements to our user research practice at DfE. They each have defined goals, and will create outputs.
These groups will be led by, or will have involvement from, a lead user researcher or the head of user research.
Working group for everything related to ethics in user research at DfE.
Ethics Club supports user researchers to meet the DfE UR principles and standards, by helping you make the best ethical decisions in the context of your research, and giving you confidence that your research methods are ethically sound. They do this by:
- developing ethics, safeguarding and other guidance
- improving URs' access to the right support
- sharing and learning practices across government
- making sure we understand user researchers' needs
- iterating the guidance and supporting the development of DfE UR standards
- providing ad-hoc ethics advice to any DfE user researcher, in the #ethicsadvisorygroup channel in DfE Slack (opens in a new tab)
Anybody with an interest in research ethics can join join Ethics Club Contact Will Finn in DfE Slack (opens in a new tab).
If you're from another government department, and are interested in what we're doing in Ethics Club, contact Will in cross-government Slack (opens in a new tab).
Community planning and strategy
This is working group to establish and maintain a strong UR community of practice at DfE, by creating and implementing a strategy to allows URs to meet, share, apply skills and build relationships with other URs across the department, in our community meet-ups and other channels.
Training working group
Set up to develop a training proposition indicating where training material for developing skills can be found and, for creating training materials, for progression for all UR grades.
Interest groups are self-formed and self-directed by user researchers in our community, sometimes alongside colleagues from other professions. They are normally formed around a single topic, and (unlike working groups) they don't necessarily have a defined goal or output (although members may decide that they want to create something, for example a standard or guidance). They exist for us to come together and talk with likeminded friends about the topics that interest us.
A group of user researchers interested in using in-depth, visual, place-based research approaches to capture rich insight about our users' lives and contexts. We reflect on people's experience and discuss how methods could be applied to our practice.
As part of this, we host external speakers and are keen to discuss any examples or plans for ethnographic research within DfE to make it work and build a case for more of it.
The group meets the second Thursday of the month, 2.30-3.30pm.
Junior user researchers
Slack channel for junior user researchers to share their knowledge, learnings and experiences, and to seek and give support to fellow junior user researchers.
Group for anyone interested in codesign methods and approaches.
Starting an interest group
If you don't see a group formed around your interest, then why not start it yourself? Use our community Slack channels to find people who share the interest, and then get together!
Please let Tom Adams, the head of user research, know if you start a new group, so we can add it to this page, and ask Tom if you need any support or advice when setting up your group.