What do you do?

I study how people work and work together, currently as a Senior Researcher at Slack.

My primary goals are to help the people I work with make better decisions, develop more accurate intuition, and recognize and then correct their own biases about how people behave (and use our products). 

While research, especially in an industry setting, can take many forms, most of my time is spent using qualitative research methods (i.e. observation, interviews, etc) with the people I want to better understand and partnering with quantitative researchers and data scientists to contextualize what I'm seeing at a larger scale. 

    How do you work?

    I think the best researchers are teachers, not oracles. It's our job to travel the road ahead and come back to guide our colleagues. While there are complex topics that come up often, if someone asks me the same question twice, it's a good signal I'm not doing my job well enough. 

    I orient my research with the following structure:

    DECISION -> EVIDENCE -> DATA -> APPROACH

    I start by understanding what decision is being made, then identify the kind of evidence that is necessary to inform that decision. From there, I can determine the kind of data that we need to create a compelling case, which in turn shapes the approach and methods I use to conduct my work. 

    What have you worked on?

    My work has generally been focused on how people and businesses use tools to accomplish specific goals.

    I currently spend time in this space at Slack, where I'm focused on understanding how to help people and teams work together better, as well as how to enable developers to integrate critical workflows in Slack. Prior to this, I worked on business tools, personal hardware devices, and video strategy at Facebook. 

    Tell me more!

    I'd love to! Use the form at the bottom of the page to start the conversation. 

     

    WORK EXPERIENCE

    • Senior Researcher, Slack (August 2017 - Present)
    • Senior User Experience Researcher, Facebook (November 2013 - August 2017)
    • Support Lecturer, University of Washington (September 2013 - December 2013) 
    • Social Media & Community Management, Chasing Ice (August 2012 - September 2013)
    • User Experience Research Intern, Microsoft Research (June 2012 - September 2012)

     

    EDUCATION

    • MS, Human Centered Design & Engineering University of Washington, Seattle, WA (September 2010 – June 2012)
    • BA (Cum Laude), Rhetoric & Media Studies Willamette University, Salem, OR (August 2007 – May 2010

     

    PUBLICATIONS

    1. Thayer, A., Sirjani, B., Lee, C. “Recalibrating the Ratio: Enacting Accountability in Intimate Relationships Using Shared Calendars.” In Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW), February 2013.
    2. Kolko, B., Hope, A., Sattler, B., MacCorkle, K., and Sirjani, B. “Hackademia: Building Functional Rather Than Accredited Engineers.” In Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Participatory Design (PDC), August 2012.

     

    AWARDS

    • Finalist in the Fast Company Innovation by Design awards (Web Design) for Facebook’s Conversion Lift, 2015 [LINK]

    Want to learn more? Work together? Grab coffee? Start a conversation! 

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