Sam Ladner is a sociologist, UX researcher, and student of productivity and the nature of work. She specializes in ethnographic research, design thinking, and strategic foresight for product design.  Her research has been published in peer-reviewed journals, has driven innovative online products and smartphone apps, and informed Microsoft’s vision for the future of productivity. She is the author of: Practical Ethnography: A Guide to Doing Ethnography in The Private Sector and Mixed Methods: A Short Guide to Applied Mixed Methods Research. She currently works as a Senior Principal Researcher at Workday, and formerly worked at Microsoft  and Amazon, where she was the first researcher to reach the rank of Principal. She holds a PhD in sociology from York University, served as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Ryerson School of Information Technology Management in Toronto, and has taught at several universities including University of Washington and the Ontario College of ARt and Design University in Toronto.

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3 thoughts on “About Sam Ladner

  1. Hi Sam,

    Greetings! We’ve met very briefly at least once, several years ago at a Toronto IxDA thing and another time at a Critical Mass event.

    Anyway – I’m reaching out because it would seem that you specialize almost entirely in user research, as opposed to design itself. In my current role at Chartbeat I’m trying to figure out how to define the two (we’re a growing startup and hence role definitions, process defintion are becoming more of a focus), and how they work together.

    Ideally I’d love to steal 30 min of your time sometime to bounce some questions off of you.

    Let me know I can come up with a list of focused questions and send them via email before our chat.


    Thanks, Adam

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