John Dirks

Chief Research Officer & Partner

John Dirks is a UX research leader and user researcher with over over 20 years of experience. Joining Blink shortly after it was founded in 2000, John continues to be instrumental in growing the company's research practice to the highly capable team it is today. John specializes in complex research engagements including multiphase field studies involving consumer electronics, auto technology, andmore recently, VR/AR systems. Over the years, John has managed numerous international research studies;through which he has developed partnerships with top UX research firms in other countries. John’s diverse list of clients includes: Microsoft, the Allen Institute for Brain Science, Nike, Google, Amazon, Starbucks, the Seattle Seahawks, Arc'teryx, and F5 Networks.

As Blink's Chief Research Officer, John is excited about expanding Blink’s research practice to other locations. He sees boundless opportunities to empower organizations with foundational and evaluative research insights so they can make better, evidence-based decisions about their products and services.

John holds Master of Science from the University of Washington and a graduate certificate in human-centered design. When not at work, John enjoys reading, sea kayaking, playing saxophone in a big band, and embarking on outdoor activities and adventures with his wife and two daughters.

Related Content

7 Reasons to Conduct Hardware UX Research Right Now

John Dirks

Chief Research Officer John Dirks explains why you should conduct hardware UX research early and often.

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Tips for Success in Complex Field Research Projects

John Dirks

We user researchers often find ourselves in unusual places doing unusual things: in homes watching strangers set up media equipment, in passenger seats noting how drivers use in-car technology, in manufacturing settings observing CAD/CAM fabrication, in hospitals interviewing medical staff, just to name a few.

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Personal Health Metrics and Good UX: Partners in Healthcare

John Dirks

When coupled with a good user experience, personal health apps and data can inspire positive behavioral or lifestyle changes.

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Why UberX is Blowing My UX Mind

John Dirks

Which brings me to UberX. I’ve been using this service a lot lately, both for work and personal transportation, and it’s blowing me away from a UX standpoint.

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In-Home User Research: Building Rapport Before & After Stepping Through the Door

John Dirks

I was asked recently what steps we take to make participants feel more comfortable with in-home interviews or observations. This article contains some practical tips about ways to build trust and rapport prior to and while interacting with participants in their homes. Why bother? Because raising comfort levels leads to better research observations, which is why we go out to people’s houses, condos, or apartments in the first place!

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Usability Highlights: 2008 and Beyond

John Dirks

Just in time for spring, we’re posting our annual round-up of usability highlights. Blink usability specialists evaluated a host of technologies and applications in ‘08, from online games to web-based classroom tools to healthcare portals.

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Turning Usability Findings into Design Changes

John Dirks

You’re coming up for air after an intense usability study. Your usability consultant has delivered actionable findings and recommendations to your team that you know would really improve the user experience. Now what?

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Eye Tracking Usability Studies

John Dirks

To determine what usability study participants look at and take in while viewing online media, we used to watch their mouse cursors, interactions with links and controls, and body language. We also listened carefully to their think-aloud narratives and comments. These traditional testing techniques, however, could never tell us definitively what users notice and what they don’t. Eye tracking usability studies open up a new frontier.

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Staff Picks: Usability Highlights from 2007

John Dirks

Last year was a busy one for the Blink usability testing staff. It’s once again time to reflect and report some of our favorite themes based on studies we completed in 2007.

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Staff Picks: 10 Usability Favorites for 2006

John Dirks

Throughout 2006, Blink conducted usability studies almost weekly in our downtown Seattle labs, at client sites, and in the field. While observing hundreds of participants, we noted some interesting behaviors and themes that we’d like to share…

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