User Research is Key to Innovation

Adobe researcher Dr. Samuel Lindsey

Adobe researcher Dr. Samuel Lindsey

One of the keys to innovation is identifying and understanding emerging trends. There’s no better way to do that than thoughtfully observing what your customers are doing. While every enterprise entrepreneur needs to have customer interviewing skills, we’re never going to be as good at it as an experienced market researcher. I’m fortunate to have the support of Adobe’s Market Insights Organization, including Dr. Samuel Lindsey, a talented researcher who is insatiably curious about the creative process. Samuel has worked here at Adobe for three years and during that time he’s helped various Adobe innovators capture some valuable insights.

TwitchCurrently, he’s exploring how creatives are leveraging new live streaming platforms like Twitch and Periscope. Since live artcasters tend to broadcast at all hours, this involves a lot of late nights for Samuel and his intrepid team. They usually make initial contact with streamers through the live chat function to arrange an hour long paid interview where they can learn about the value that live streaming is bringing to the creative process as well as the new challenges it introduces.

Here’s a little bit about what Samuel does in his own words:

periscope“At Adobe, I work with experimental startups within an enterprise environment. I lead research efforts throughout the product development process, with an emphasis on early exploration, deep customer understanding, product definition, and business model strategy. I apply innovative research methods from Lean Startup, Agile, as well as experiment with new research method frameworks.

I draw from my broad experience in research methods, data analysis, and user-centered design to generate actionable insights that shape product creation and create new customer opportunities.”

Successful enterprise innovators work at developing internal networks of talented people with the skills to help them ‘color outside the lines’ when necessary. Organizations wanting to increase innovation need to fund their customer research teams so that there is enough extra bandwidth to occasionally explore uncharted areas with internal innovators.