Transmission in Motion


20 October 2021
15:00 - 17:00
Microsoft Teams

“Shifting Grounds: Translating Academic Research on Affect to User Experience Research at Google” – Marta Zarzycka

In this talk, I discuss the applicability and limits of scholarly approaches to emotions in the business oriented environment of UX Research. I will briefly introduce my past academic research on the role emotions play among underserved and under-represented communities, and address the re-adjustment required when shifting focus to enterprise for-profit context. An example of such a pivot is the concept of “empathy,” traditionally understood as a driver of personal and communal ethics. In UX settings of B2B or B2C, this human-subject becomes muddied with corporate and enterprise agendas and is no longer a voice of one. My aim is to highlight how and why I have adjusted my methods, metrics, and deliverables in the narrowed context of product-focused impact. What remains? What gets lost in translation? How to be accountable when talking about emotions knowing fully well that the insights gathered serve to reach business goals and drive revenue?

Suggested reading:

Marta Zarzycka has shared a list of books that have influenced her work as a UX researcher:

  • Design Struggles: Intersecting Histories, Pedagogies, and Perspectives, by Claudia Mareis, Zoy Anastassakis, Cheryl Buckley, Sria Chatterjee, and Nina Paim, 2021.
  • What Works: Gender Equality by Design, by Iris Bohnet, 2018.
  • Mother of Invention: How Good Ideas Get Ignored in an Economy Built for Men, by Katrine Marçal, 2021.
  • White Logic White Methods, edited by Tukufu Zuberi and Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, 2008.

Dr Marta Zarzycka

Dr Marta Zarzycka is a UX researcher at Google, leading projects and programs that inform and transform Google Cloud product and business roadmaps. She tracks sentiment drivers and trust makers and breakers along customers’ journeys on Cloud and uses those insights to design strategies (for UI design, features, communication blueprints) to make Google’s relationships with their enterprise customers stronger and more sustainable.

How to join the meeting

  • If you are a student or employee at Utrecht University, you can join this meeting by becoming a member of the TiM Seminar Team via this link. The meeting is scheduled in the general channel. You can also directly access this meeting: Click here to join the meeting
  • If you are outside of Utrecht University, please send an email to and you will receive an invitation to join the Team!

This seminar is part of the Transmission in Motion seminar (2021-2022): “Practices of Translation”