Global UXR Interview series – Ece, Turkey

Paul Blunden: Hello and welcome to another interview in my series, where I’m talking to one of our many global senior Ux researchers from around the world.

My name is Paul Blunden, and I’m founder of UX24/7, and we help global brands develop products and services. The work better by being more customer-centric.

So let’s find out who I’m going to be speaking with today.

So hello, and thank you for giving your time up to speak with me today. Can I ask you to stop by introducing yourself? What is your name. And where else do you come from?

Ekiray: Hello, I’m. A. J. I’m from Turkey.

ekiray: I beg about it, and in it’s done all right. Okay?

Paul Blunden: Well, I’ve I’ve obviously we’ve spoken before. Aj: so it’s great to talk to you again. And I hope if you’ve got friends or family that have been affected by the recent problems in in Turkey that they’re all okay.

ekiray: Yes, but it’s it’s hard to witness all all about that, because it’s really disaster, and it’s really hard to be witnesses, but I will talk about it a little bit later.

Paul Blunden: Yeah. No problem, no problem at all. Well, I I I think everybody’s thoughts with people who live in Turkey. The pictures from around, you know on the news have been absolutely horrendous.

But anyway, let’s let’s move on to to happier things. How how long have you lived in Turkey

ekiray: since I’ve worked here as towards 6 years? But I live in an ensemble in last 15 years?

Paul Blunden: All right. Okay. And have you lived in other countries as well at all?

ekiray: I I moved to London for 9 months, 2 years before then I return back to Turkey

Paul Blunden: Gotcha. Okay, and obviously you speak English. A lot of our research is a multilingual. Do you? Do you speak any other languages?

ekiray: No, I just as studied Spanish is by on the Spanish a little bit when I did the master in a bar. So now, but after that I August. Well, that’s a that’s still a pretty impressive lots of languages. And to study in a foreign country as well as

Paul Blunden: yeah. Yeah, that’s pretty amazing.

So Ece tell me, how did you get into research?

ekiray: I actually after I did marketing, resort marketing master, I I decided to make my a career in a market to search quality to marked. So so I start my career as a to research. But and when I freelance I I learned about the X’s, and I really get the excited about it, because there are also quest to search in in target markets, and I want to as some differentiation points in that period of my time. It’s about 5 years ago. So I started to make a research about it, and I saw that it’s the trending and in Turkey, and also in Europe, so I thought it’s a can be also a. As a. I also see it as a opportunity to live in Europe, and maybe in the next period of my time. Also I see as a differentiation point. So I I did some online training about Thex search, and also not only the excel also customer experience. And so after that I yeah, I decided to be a your exchange

At that point. I I know a lot of Terry because yes, I was also because it’s research, and I know how to a conduct interviews. But I also learn design, thinking, and other tools that I want to implement it before starts as a career career. So with my friend, we did our first Vx projects for a start up a websites. It it is our France website. Actually, so I if i’m implement all of my knowledge there, then I I define my staff as the Ux Serger

Paul Blunden: Fantastic. Okay? Well, that’s that’s a a roots. Quite a lot of people take these days from sort of market research into your ex research. And obviously the qualitative research skills really transfer perfectly particularly around discovery and research and things like that. And do you have sort of favorite methodologies that you’ve? You’ve sort of adopted or used as part of your Ux research.

ekiray: Yeah, actually, I like usability. That’s metal because it. I found it there. The ethnographic observation, but and not also focused group discussions can be, but I all. I I think I like designing in metados because it is in. For example, when you gain insights and you write a report by. You are a good resource. It’s like you. You done your job, but in design thinking you can also find a solutions for this in size, and I think it’s. I don’t know. I like that part of design thinking. I think it’s also add value to my work.

Paul Blunden: Yeah, I agree. And to the customer as well. I think I love the fact that in in Ux research, because of that kind of design, part of it we’re helping the customer by providing solid recommendations rather than just a commentary on what happened in the research.

ekiray: Yeah, if this you can give this a results and a solution, how you can touch people’s life.

Paul Blunden: Yes, indeed! And what market sectors have you had experiencing as you and mostly e-commerce but also for example, we worked. I I also defined myself as a Cx consultant. So also we did insurance Products Journey, for example, I did also finance in different sectors. I worked, for example. I’ll even work for marine experience. And so yeah, in different sectors, but mostly e-commerce, I can say

Paul Blunden: right. Yeah. A lot of our researchers have a lot of experience in e-commerce and financial services because they are sectors. It seems the world over that spend the most money on this kind of this kind of work.

I’m really interested to ask about the sort of maturity of the different markets our researchers work in. So I wonder if you could tell me a bit about what you, what your understanding is of Turkey’s maturity, and particularly how customer centric. Do you think the brands are in Turkey?

ekiray: I think one that we compare to Europe. People, for example, in Turkey’s companies and just realized Youx and Cx in last year’s. So they just tried to. For example, okay, we need to create a customer journey. But I don’t. I don’t think they only they really get it. It’s like their job to be done, and so I think there are a things to go, but I I also see there is really.

And how can I say it? But there is also. and they really try to some, some brands really try to be more human, Something, For example, they start to do ux search, and they try to and change their product. According to these results. They are yeah things like that. But not very much. I can say

Paul Blunden: right. And what do you think the the sort of challenges are then facing researchers in organizations in Turkey.

ekiray: Actually, I think, for example, they don’t get what what the results they will get after this Ux source, for example. and one of my clients, I I said, okay, I give you our research. We understand your journey. But now you need to do, for example, human design thinking, because you need to find the solutions for these pain points, and they didn’t get.  It’s also, for example, they get it. Okay, we need to find pain points. But I also said, For example, you need to maybe create your a journey to be done because it is a new website, and you need to design your a user experience before you launch this website. They didn’t get it, for example, I think they need it, but they it’s very hard to tell them. Yes, you need that. But they don’t understand why sometimes, and it will be a problem.

Paul Blunden: Yeah, it’s a challenge. It’s Still, it’s one of the the tools I still use the most is a bias and Mayhew graph from the late nineties of the number of design alternatives diminishing, and the cost of change rising as we go through the program, and I still share that so often. And it it’s it’s where every time I bring it out i’m slightly die a little inside, because after 20 years we’re still educating around that that that problem. anyway, in interesting, Perhaps the maturity will will change over time.

And Have you got any flagship projects that you could talk about, something that you’re sort of really proud of or the feel made? It had a big impact.


ekiray: Yeah, for example, one of my project is about a hardware store. They want to. They want to become a market space. So they they try to understand. What is that? They? What is the current?

A journey of people, and how? What is their P. With how they can solve these problems when they become a market space. And I like this project because we analyze decoration journey and separately, and also modification journey because this website, bound to be a market space, that they only focus a house products. and it’s it will be the I don’t know unique market space man. We think about Turkish market, so I like it because I try to understand these these journeys separately, and I I pinpoint pain points in all in each process. I’m done. And I said, okay in a each journey. I have different pain points, but also they have common pain points, and you need to focus on. And in the end of the project we get? How, how might we question? And it was very

I don’t know. I think it was a it’s also a help them to solve their problems, because it’s like a. We found out that people really have station one day online shopping for their home. For example, when it’s about multiplication, because it’s a a huge amount of money, and they want to go to a store to buy these kind of products, and we try to find the solution how we can it and gain their trust and and make them a per a pay from a online. So we find a solutions for each process, and we did a design to thinking methodology. We workshop actually bits stakeholders, and we find out a lot of solutions. After that I I like this project. They are still ever on it. But they will. I launch this website, I think, in in a 6 months. and it was like that.

Paul Blunden: But that’s really interesting. Ece how did the research affect the product or the website?


ekiray:Yeah, actually, they are still trying to do it because they didn’t launch that side. Yes, but I think, with this research, I I think I show the barriers of the users, and they really try to find solutions because I try to say that okay, now, even a very big e-commerce companies that people try my current to a currently purchase products cannot and can call me people to a a purchase online for this product. So you need to do something and to a commons people. So after I write wrote this report, Bambi, when I present it, they really find this at the stakeholders find it very important, and they took a lot of notes, and then we did. I I also comm is done to make a design thinking workshop actually, and after they work on it they find out that this we need to find our differentiation for points on also what is our value for this customers. What is what will be our differentiation points. and from other companies, or what can be to different? And I think it was important.

Paul Blunden: very important, that’s enormously valuable. And that kind of research. They’ll be pulling that out and referring to it for for many years to come about all that business decisions they take, which is, yeah, I mean the roi on it’s amazing isn’t it.

And i’m really on interested to ask our researchers about their home market, and and what they sort of believe the behaviors that they discover through research that are unique to their market. I wonder if you could speak to those for me

ekiray: Yeah, actually, for example, I also live in London for 9 months, and when I compare behaviors I I realize in Turkey I think we are more. I don’t know how to say, but we want to get, for example, online shopping A in immediately. For example, a, you know, Get to get it. Is it one of start up company from Turkey? Actually a for example, Here I get it. Also have get to bazar, and they also bring you different kind of products, like stationary grocery in your neighbors. So I think, as a Turkish people be like this? You don’t want to go out and buy something. We want everything with a courier.

Paul Blunden: Really, that’s I. I I interviewed her colleague last week. He lives in Spain, and the story is the exact reverse. Everybody in Spain likes to go out and visit shops. They shops on every street in every corner, and he said, the biggest problem they have in Spain is convincing people to buy online where it sounds like in Turkey. It’s the entire reverse. It’s all about the fulfillment.


ekiray: and this is after a pandemic. I think we get used to it. And now there, for example, for for example, ecommerce markets also trying to bring food to you. They expand their service. So I think there is a trend about it in Turkey.

Paul Blunden: And do you think that for the sort of online adoption of. As for people generally is quite high in Turkey then.

ekiray: Yes, I think so. Also, I think we use social media a lot when we compare to other. We all have Instagram so, and we really use it. Maybe it’s because of that. Maybe we don’t go out. I don’t know maybe political reasons.

Paul Blunden: Right? Okay? Well, we won’t get into that. But I I do. I’ve only got a couple of questions left, and I always ask everybody. What’s inspiring you at the moment, and I I think I can guess. But please tell me

ekiray: I actually i’m thinking about that meeting about this earth cake. We really we really question our life. What are, what are we doing? What what are we living for? And this period of time I realized. I want to meet make things more meaningful with my profession. For example, I I I think, Bland also. I can collaborate with nonprofit organization and try to make more meaningful at things like human something, and we they can use design thinking tools, and they try to help people touch people lives. For example, there are millions of people, and lost their home now, and their families and things like that, and I think Brands should do more. and I think I can do more than, for example, I I think we can use design teaming tools more to a create solutions for these people, and this I I try to figure out. What can I do more to be more active in this time like that?

Paul Blunden: Well, I think that’s a really I felt thought, and i’m not surprised after such a tragedy in your your country, I think we should probably all think about our role in and what we’re trying to achieve in our lives.

And finally, as i’d like to ask you what’s the biggest learning for you since you became a researcher.

ekiray: I think my yeah as a researcher, because it’s like my last 10 years. I think I learn. I really try to understand people at the the things, the motivations behind their answer, and it’s not only there and offered I I’ll also learn observation, and I really understand there, out of different emotional motivators, and I try to get this in size, and it is the biggest learning for me.

Paul Blunden: Fascinating. Yeah, I think. trying to understand what what people save us is what they do and how they act and behave is, is a part of the researcher’s job. Isn’t: it. So yeah, really interesting point. Thank you. And thank you. Ece. For for joining me. That’s been fascinating to hear about your career into research, and what you’ve been doing, and also your use of design thinking, as well as sort of the conducting of research. You’ve really made a transition from market research to wholeheartedly into Ux. So well done on that.

ekiray: and thank you very much. Thank you for this in charge. Thank you.

Paul Blunden: I hope you enjoyed finding out about Ece how she got into research, and how she applies design, thinking as well as part of her sort of approach to consultancy and Ux. That was really interesting, and also to hear about the Turkish behaviors of wanting everything now on line. Such a contrast to what I heard about in Spain just a week ago.

Thank you for joining me. My name is Paul Blunden, and I’m, founder of UX24/7. We help global brands improve their products and services by being more customer centric.

If you want to find out more about what we do, you can visit our website, or find me on Linkedin, and feel free to message me there. And of course please subscribe to this channel, and there’ll be another interview coming along soon.

Thanks for watching.