My Growth – Dispelling the AI myths about research with Joanna Kawińska, UX Research Leader

Hi! I'm Joanna.

I'm a UX Research Leader. Before Tidio, I worked as a UX Researcher in digital & UX agencies for 3 years. Prior to my “IT times,” I worked as a PR Specialist in show business, art & culture for 8 years. It may sound strange, but I see these roles as surprisingly similar to each other, as they are about to serve the final user by delivering the best experience & providing the most reliable and useful information to match their needs. 

What does "Grow with Tidio" mean to you?  

Firstly, to give your best, in terms of expertise and approach to work. Secondly, be honest with yourself & your colleagues and be open to feedback. And finally, to be supported by a company during all the stages of your career path to improve in your role. 

What's a common myth or misconception about your professional field that you'd like to bust? 

In 2023, UX Researchers were challenged by the new “Chat GPT now” reality. There were people around, esp. in IT, who got excited about advanced Large Language Model (LLM)  possibilities. They were convinced they no longer needed researchers, and many of us lost our jobs. 

I’ve heard about ideas of conducting research by using synthetic respondents and collecting insights for business development (or even ideas to create a strategy for a company!) based on general LLM information. But I feel these people didn’t understand the actual value of UX Research. In my opinion, companies can only waste their time & money while delivering products based on synthesis prepared by a model without a company context, or based on “feedback” from non-real people, especially from non-real product users. What if the recommendations served would be generalized for all our competitors? Then we’d all be the same and serve identical products. If we don’t propose a USP, it’s not the real growth, right? So for me, research isn’t about feedback collecting & synthesis only, but it’s tightly connected to strategy forming.

I agree that AI may be helpful in general - for example, we can use predictive models for researching basic simple problems with the usability of a design. But we need to be aware, that it still tells us nothing about users’ deep needs & problems with the specific product. 

I believe that a good UX Researcher can’t be replaced completely by AI. You need a touch of madness and chaos sometimes to create something unique. This requires people’s involvement. So to develop your company to serve real users, with real problems, you need to hire real people, who know the company’s context, which is specific and hidden from the general models (luckily for us!). Sometimes, only a human can “connect the dots”. And this is how I see the role of UX Researchers nowadays – as a proxy between real users, and business stakeholders in cooperation with other specialists in a company – analysts, designers, product managers & others.

Now, I feel that this idea of replacing UX Research with AI is fading. In Tidio we came out on top and showed our real value, and now we can think about AI as a support to work more effectively, not a threat.  The whole experience makes me believe, that we need to support specialists more and create a safe space for sharing insights. Trust the specialists’ expertise to help them grow within a company, enabling the creation of an inimitable and coherent value proposition for a product. 

What has been your most important moment working at Tidio so far?

My most disruptive moment was when I became a leader, but I didn’t feel prepared for the new role. In my observations, becoming a leader without proper preparation is a slippery road to disaster.

But Tidio doesn’t allow it and gives all managers access to “Leaders Labs” - a full 40-hour training, where we prepare ourselves for everyday leaders’ work and practice on how to answer all possible challenges.

Thanks to this training and tests (like Insight Discovery, Gallup etc.) everyone is adequately prepared. Additionally, I can always count on our HRBPs and their advice, which makes me feel supported.

Name one important thing you've learned as a manager.

What I’ll share with you sounds trivial, but it doesn’t work until you experience it as a leader, and deeply feel it. So… we are all different, driven, and triggered by odd motivators. So to manage a team effectively, you as a leader should discover, what motivates each of your teammates. You need to apply different methods to manage every single person from your team differently - even if you are all working as a team for the same goal, there are no simple answers or methods that work for all. But there are various methods. Based on my experience, I’d recommend you start with the Insight Discovery workshop, which you could use to communicate with your team more effectively. But you must remember that this is only the beginning of the journey and requires the whole team's commitment to maximize the benefits.

What are your hobbies? What do you love to do after work?

Outside of work, I’m interested in decorative art. I’m fascinated especially with gemstones & pietre dure technique. I like combining traveling with music and art. Usually, I buy tickets for a concert in a new place and visit new stages, museums, or nature monuments from my wishlist simultaneously.

Has this article triggered any thoughts with you? Feel free to reach out to the author and start a conversation! Connect and message Joanna on LinkedIn 💌

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