UX360 Presentation Highlight: Conducting Foundational Research at Udemy

The record breaking UX360 virtual summit saw a flurry of discussion and many great presentations. One of the excellent presentations that resolved in a long Q&A session and discussion amongst participants was given by Jun Kukukura Helzer at Udemy.

Conducting foundational research at Udemy

  • Jun Helzer discusses the challenges of conducting foundational research in organizations, which includes customer or market segmentation, job to be done mapping, and research questions that investigate unmet needs or unknown opportunities.
  • How can researchers advocate for foundational research in product development, emphasizing its importance, building cross-functional relationships, and highlighting risks and missed opportunities when overlooked?
  • How can stakeholder collaboration shape research questions and scope, contributing to a robust business case for foundational research that drives both customer and financial success for companies?
  • Jun Helzer emphasizes engaging with research agencies early on in the research process and refers to tactics such as benchmarking and case studies.


foundational research Jun Fukukura Helzer, Ph.D. Head of Research atUdemy

Conducting foundational research at Udemy


Video transcript below (This is an AI generated summary. There may be inaccuracies.)

Jun Helzer, the head of research at Udemy, discusses the challenges of conducting foundational research in organizations. Foundational research refers to research that investigates problems or opportunities that have not been fully defined or understood yet. Examples of foundational research include customer or market segmentation, job to be done mapping, and research questions such as what are the unmet needs of the current experience or how is the company or brand perceived compared to the competition.

The challenges that prevent foundational work from happening include a lack of resources, the way initiatives are evaluated in an organization, and stakeholders prioritizing time-sensitive work over less time-sensitive work. To overcome these challenges, researchers need to communicate and persuade the importance of foundational research and highlight the risks and missed opportunities if it is not done.

We learn how to build a case for foundational research in a product development team. The speaker emphasizes the importance of connecting stakeholders’ goals and initiatives with the research, and encourages building relationships with colleagues from different functions. The research proposal for foundational work should provide context on the business problem and research goals, and use persuasion tactics and visual elements to make it more understandable and exciting. The speaker also recommends using case studies of impactful foundational research to build confidence in the initiative’s success.

She emphasizes the importance of foundational research and its role in driving customer and financial success for companies. They suggest that researchers should advocate for a “people first” culture, which prioritizes employee happiness and connects research to company growth. The speaker highlights the challenges faced by employees in the recent mass layoffs, and the importance of research in addressing these challenges and building a more proactive and strategic culture.

The speaker calls for collaboration and feedback from stakeholders to shape research questions and scope and to develop the business case for foundational research. The speaker emphasizes the importance of engaging with research agencies early on in the research process and refers to tactics such as benchmarking and case studies. The speaker concludes by highlighting the value of research, including the potential to influence the culture and contribute to long-term success for companies.

Explore the UX360 2024 Virtual Summit presenting the vision for the future of UX Research! Discover the latest trends with leaders from Microsoft, Google, Amazon, Facebook, LinkedIn, IBM, SAP, Indeed, U.S. Bank, Asana, Salesforce, Walmart, Airbnb and more. Key topics include the State of UX Research Ops in 2024, Measuring UX, Service Design, Navigating the AI Revolution and the famous Failure Panel where seasoned industry experts share their learnings from past mistakes – and their most hilarious failures.

UX360 virtual takes place on January 30 & 31st 2024. Don’t miss out – secure your spot now!

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Elaine Tham

Elaine Tham brings a decade of experience in the Event Management and Digital Marketing industry. Throughout her career, Elaine has held marketing roles in various sectors including Marketplace, FMCG and Services. Presently, Elaine serves as the Marketing Manager at Merlien Institute, overseeing all marketing activities and media partnerships.

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