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Close to a year into the job, Dinda Setiawan, Jiva’s newest addition to the design research team, got acquainted with unique challenges in researching our rural users. When asked if her new journey has led to discovering the number of effective ways to improve our research process, Dinda said yes — the number is infinity.

What does she mean? Below is the excerpt* of Dinda’s conversation with our Sr. Content Specialist, Nea Ningtyas, in this pilot episode of #WorkWonders, our new content rubric. Listen to the full-length conversation on our podcast and read through to get a glimpse of this enticing story.

*Excerpt is edited for clarity.

Link to the podcast
Can you share a bit about your role and research journey with Jiva?

Dinda: “I joined the team as a Senior Design Researcher. So my role is mainly as a mentor [to more junior researchers], I guess, but also doing a bit of streamlining. When I first joined, I talked to fellow design researchers, my manager, and our stakeholders to find an answer to this fundamental question: what is it that we can improve in research?

What did you find from these early conversations?

Dinda: “One thing that stood out that was common across the people that I’ve talked to was actually the speed of our research. We noticed that it’s taking a bit long to complete a research project. Why is that?

So that’s kind of where I started. I began shadowing the other researchers to learn about how they conduct research, how they plan research, and also what the difficulties lie on the ground.

We found from this process that there are these pockets of inefficiencies, where there’s basically nothing you can do as a researcher — it’s just a blocker.

That’s where we start identifying that these are the moments that we need to improve. How can you work around the inefficiencies, right?

What I found interesting is that a lot of these inefficiencies are things that other companies would not normally have, because a lot of these are logistic limitations [that are unique to our rural demographic]. For example, something as simple as there’s no Internet in the area because we have to go to really remote places, or the road is being closed so that our ground team could not reach our participants.

How does being aware of these blockers influence the way you or the team streamline your research workloads?

Dinda: “ I think just bringing that awareness [of the existence of the blockers] itself already helped the team identify the problem and even come up with the solutions themselves. Once we’re a bit more conscious about where our blockers are, we can start mapping out, for example, on a day-to-day basis: what it is that I can get done today for this research project, where are my blockers?

I think that’s helped the team already know what it is that they need to do and what to unblock. So, sometimes just by bringing that awareness itself, the team can already identify the problem and even come up with solutions themselves.

[Managing workloads] — sometimes one just needs a fresh set of eyes, right? And by doing my role… I’m letting the team know there’s a different way to view things, then we could realise: oh, hey, this is how I’ve been doing things, and I can actually try a different way of doing this that may be more efficient.”

It’s interesting what you said about blockers which, in our case, or other companies similar to us, are logistic difficulties that you’ve mentioned before. This can be a really big blocker, especially when almost all of the researchers are in Jakarta and our users are everywhere across Indonesia and they can be all the remote places — How are you finding this? What have you learned from it in terms of, okay, this is the way that I can make work better in these specific scenarios?

Dinda: “I think it’s knowing when you’re defeated. A lot of the problems we have during the interviews is that we keep trying to push our candidate [users] and get answers. But we’re prone to biases, right? This is a fallacy [called the sunk-cost fallacy].

Basically, we tend to put more effort into something that we’ve already put a lot of effort before. So, for example, since it already took a lot of effort to talk to a [user] participant — like, you have to get a car over there, it takes several hours, so during that one hour [where we conduct the user interview], you really try to push to get answers from the user.

But sometimes there are just situations where it’s not even worth it, you know, like the internet connection is bad, or some audio problems are going on, or sometimes it turns out it’s not even the right candidate for the research.

So it’s knowing when to stop and go to another candidate. Yeah, I think that’s what I learned — and I hope what my other colleagues have also learned — like getting a sense of knowing, okay, there’s nothing I can do about this; accept our losses and just move on.

I guess its part of the research, right? Like, finding out that things don’t work out sometimes.

Dinda: “Yeah. And it’s also about giving confidence to my colleagues as well that when you don’t get anything, that’s an insight in itself. Right. So you’re still not leaving empty-handed.

This is probably something what other researchers who study users for a product with more urban demographics would never know the struggle, right? Is it hard to get rid of that mentality in which we sit in our ivory tower and kind of think we know better than our users whom we want to help, we want to solve their problems, but we kind of have all these assumptions about whats better for them?

Dinda: “Yeah, I have to agree with that. That’s also something that I’m learning from my colleagues that, yes, our users are farmers, corn traders. So it’s such a different world that even when we’re talking casually, it’s good to be conscious of our own assumptions when they’re saying one thing, but we are interpreting it as how we interpret it. But then, are we sure that that’s what they mean to convey? You know, it’s just being aware of those things. Some things can get lost in translation even if you’re speaking the same language.”

From all these six months that you’ve been doing research, what do you say is the number of ways is an optimum way to manage workload in our research team?

Dinda: “I want to say actually: infinity — because I totally support experimenting with different ways of doing research. And that’s something that we’re also doing. So as we’re finding out, as I mentioned before, like my colleagues are figuring out, oh, this is where I have a problem? Let’s try this way of doing research, for example, to see if it is better for the next project.

And then if it’s not, try another way. Try another way. So continuously experimenting, going out there, learning from other researchers. Yeah, that’s basically how you can continue improving it. So I would say infinity.”

Infinity — everything is tailor-made.

Dinda: “Yes!”

Read more stories about the people #BehindJiva and get the latest gists on how the #WorkWonders they are striving to achieve each day to reshape the ancient practice of agriculture by following us on LinkedIn, TikTok, Instagram, and Youtube.

Learn about our mission to help 500 million smallholder farmers on our website.

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Close to a year into the job, Dinda Setiawan, Jiva’s newest addition to the design research team, got acquainted with unique challenges in researching our rural users. When asked if her new journey has led to discovering the number of effective ways to improve our research process, Dinda said yes — the number is infinity.

Dinda Setiawan on rural design research challenges and improving ways to do it

April 18, 2024

Dinda Setiawan on rural design research challenges and improving ways to do it

Close to a year into the job, Dinda Setiawan, Jiva’s newest addition to the design research team, got acquainted with unique challenges in researching our rural users. When asked if her new journey has led to discovering the number of effective ways to improve our research process, Dinda said yes — the number is infinity.

What does she mean? Below is the excerpt* of Dinda’s conversation with our Sr. Content Specialist, Nea Ningtyas, in this pilot episode of #WorkWonders, our new content rubric. Listen to the full-length conversation on our podcast and read through to get a glimpse of this enticing story.

*Excerpt is edited for clarity.

Link to the podcast
Can you share a bit about your role and research journey with Jiva?

Dinda: “I joined the team as a Senior Design Researcher. So my role is mainly as a mentor [to more junior researchers], I guess, but also doing a bit of streamlining. When I first joined, I talked to fellow design researchers, my manager, and our stakeholders to find an answer to this fundamental question: what is it that we can improve in research?

What did you find from these early conversations?

Dinda: “One thing that stood out that was common across the people that I’ve talked to was actually the speed of our research. We noticed that it’s taking a bit long to complete a research project. Why is that?

So that’s kind of where I started. I began shadowing the other researchers to learn about how they conduct research, how they plan research, and also what the difficulties lie on the ground.

We found from this process that there are these pockets of inefficiencies, where there’s basically nothing you can do as a researcher — it’s just a blocker.

That’s where we start identifying that these are the moments that we need to improve. How can you work around the inefficiencies, right?

What I found interesting is that a lot of these inefficiencies are things that other companies would not normally have, because a lot of these are logistic limitations [that are unique to our rural demographic]. For example, something as simple as there’s no Internet in the area because we have to go to really remote places, or the road is being closed so that our ground team could not reach our participants.

How does being aware of these blockers influence the way you or the team streamline your research workloads?

Dinda: “ I think just bringing that awareness [of the existence of the blockers] itself already helped the team identify the problem and even come up with the solutions themselves. Once we’re a bit more conscious about where our blockers are, we can start mapping out, for example, on a day-to-day basis: what it is that I can get done today for this research project, where are my blockers?

I think that’s helped the team already know what it is that they need to do and what to unblock. So, sometimes just by bringing that awareness itself, the team can already identify the problem and even come up with solutions themselves.

[Managing workloads] — sometimes one just needs a fresh set of eyes, right? And by doing my role… I’m letting the team know there’s a different way to view things, then we could realise: oh, hey, this is how I’ve been doing things, and I can actually try a different way of doing this that may be more efficient.”

It’s interesting what you said about blockers which, in our case, or other companies similar to us, are logistic difficulties that you’ve mentioned before. This can be a really big blocker, especially when almost all of the researchers are in Jakarta and our users are everywhere across Indonesia and they can be all the remote places — How are you finding this? What have you learned from it in terms of, okay, this is the way that I can make work better in these specific scenarios?

Dinda: “I think it’s knowing when you’re defeated. A lot of the problems we have during the interviews is that we keep trying to push our candidate [users] and get answers. But we’re prone to biases, right? This is a fallacy [called the sunk-cost fallacy].

Basically, we tend to put more effort into something that we’ve already put a lot of effort before. So, for example, since it already took a lot of effort to talk to a [user] participant — like, you have to get a car over there, it takes several hours, so during that one hour [where we conduct the user interview], you really try to push to get answers from the user.

But sometimes there are just situations where it’s not even worth it, you know, like the internet connection is bad, or some audio problems are going on, or sometimes it turns out it’s not even the right candidate for the research.

So it’s knowing when to stop and go to another candidate. Yeah, I think that’s what I learned — and I hope what my other colleagues have also learned — like getting a sense of knowing, okay, there’s nothing I can do about this; accept our losses and just move on.

I guess its part of the research, right? Like, finding out that things don’t work out sometimes.

Dinda: “Yeah. And it’s also about giving confidence to my colleagues as well that when you don’t get anything, that’s an insight in itself. Right. So you’re still not leaving empty-handed.

This is probably something what other researchers who study users for a product with more urban demographics would never know the struggle, right? Is it hard to get rid of that mentality in which we sit in our ivory tower and kind of think we know better than our users whom we want to help, we want to solve their problems, but we kind of have all these assumptions about whats better for them?

Dinda: “Yeah, I have to agree with that. That’s also something that I’m learning from my colleagues that, yes, our users are farmers, corn traders. So it’s such a different world that even when we’re talking casually, it’s good to be conscious of our own assumptions when they’re saying one thing, but we are interpreting it as how we interpret it. But then, are we sure that that’s what they mean to convey? You know, it’s just being aware of those things. Some things can get lost in translation even if you’re speaking the same language.”

From all these six months that you’ve been doing research, what do you say is the number of ways is an optimum way to manage workload in our research team?

Dinda: “I want to say actually: infinity — because I totally support experimenting with different ways of doing research. And that’s something that we’re also doing. So as we’re finding out, as I mentioned before, like my colleagues are figuring out, oh, this is where I have a problem? Let’s try this way of doing research, for example, to see if it is better for the next project.

And then if it’s not, try another way. Try another way. So continuously experimenting, going out there, learning from other researchers. Yeah, that’s basically how you can continue improving it. So I would say infinity.”

Infinity — everything is tailor-made.

Dinda: “Yes!”

Read more stories about the people #BehindJiva and get the latest gists on how the #WorkWonders they are striving to achieve each day to reshape the ancient practice of agriculture by following us on LinkedIn, TikTok, Instagram, and Youtube.

Learn about our mission to help 500 million smallholder farmers on our website.

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