2017 Radical Research Summit | Keynote Speaker – Steve Portigal


RRS Learning from User Research War Stories

Stories make the world go round. As researchers, we love stories, and essentially it’s our job to gather stories and to retell them. War Stories are stories about contextual user research and the inevitable mishaps that ensue are in turn bizarre, comic, tragic, and generally astonishing.

Steve will share some of the best stories from his book Doorbells, Danger, and Dead Batteries, examining the patterns and lessons they reveal. For a practice that isn’t always well understood or trusted, there’s pressure to only speak to the successes. But examining the human messiness of this work can help develop our skills and our community. Steve’s collection of stories fills a longstanding need for the design and research community—sharing what can go wrong in the real world.

Steve Portigal


Portugal Consulting

RRS Introduction

Steve Portigal helps companies to think and act strategically when innovating with user insights. Born in Winnipeg, raised in Burlington, and now based outside of San Francisco, he is principal of Portigal Consulting, and the author of two books: The classic Interviewing Users: How To Uncover Compelling Insights and new, Doorbells, Danger, and Dead Batteries: User Research War Stories.

He’s also the host of the Dollars to Donuts podcast, where he interviews people who lead user research in their organizations.


Event organizers are research practitioners from Niiu Digital, a UX design company based in Vancouver, Canada, and global leaders in technology innovation, Samsung and Facebook. The organizing team members are passionate about inspiring new ideas and thinking around how research can impact product design and business strategy.