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Hey guys I need some of your thoughts here. How do you get user insights in an industry where privacy is critical? I work in an online casino and most of the times user access is very hard due to privacy issues. I would really appreciate your thoughts on this. Thanks

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    Could you explain a little more? Who are your users and what privacy issues are you concerned with? If your users are the public you might be concerned with them ignoring the Non-Disclosure Agreement you have them sign, right? Is that your specific question? – Ken Mohnkern Feb 16 '17 at 14:46
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I can't think of any commercial user research I've been involved in where privacy was NOT a concern. It's the norm rather than the exception, at least for me. I think it is common to have highly restricted access to customers in enterprise UX.

Having all these legal and administrative road blocks between myself and direct contact with customers really forces me to get creative about how to get user insights. But that has been a very useful constraint also because it sharpens the research questions.

Some ideas:

1. Redact your research materials. No names, no faces, no products. Whitewash everything you can so that you can get as close to your research goal as possible without revealing proprietary info.

2. Leverage secondary research. Chances are someone else somewhere has published research that applies to your work.

3. Look for answers within user-generated content. Mining resources like social media (YouTube how-tos, forums, topic blogs) you find users discussing problems person-to-person in their own words, and as you analyze more and more of it some patterns and themes will emerge that you find useful from a user research perspective.

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