Baby duty can't stop me from doing gritty street research on a New York City sidewalk

Where I live, in New York City, a lot of people don't have kids because they're focused on their careers and doing boozy brunch on the weekends with their French bulldog Chad.

I don't blame them—having a kid is tough. I thought I had worked out a time over the weekend to get feedback on the two app concepts I designed. I had it all set up with my buddy Tiago, but I forgot I was on baby duty all weekend.

One thing about having a full time job and a kid and designing and building an app on the side—I'm learning to be more flexible. To roll with the dirty diapers, so to speak. So I went for it. Watch below.

What did I learn?

Despite having an adorable cherub strapped to me like a bomb vest, I had a hard time getting people to talk to me. New Yorkers know better than to engage weirdos on the street. And a NYC sidewalk has to rank as one of the most distracting environments on Earth, even without a fussy baby. It's not an ideal place to get people to focus enough to engage and be thoughtful.

Even under the circumstances, the fake brochure pages worked as provocations. Everybody seemed to grok the idea of the app pretty quickly, and when I asked which one they were more excited about, I received resolute answers, except from those two women (who may have been drunk).

But you only talked to a handful of people!

The goal with design research like this isn't to extrapolate conclusions. It's deeper than graphs and numbers and sample sizes. It's like musicians jamming. I'm trying to build shape around the problem.

I think this mostly concludes the research phase of this project. The next post will be a recap and summary of everything I learned and what's next. Stay tuned.

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