Research – woohoo! You either love it or it makes your eyes glaze over. Personally, I am on the ‘love it’ end of the scale and hopefully am able to make this part interesting for you if you fall on the other end.
The lab-based research that I have done has been global in scope. I have performed (or worked with interpreters to perform) UX studies in England, Canada, France, Mexico, Morocco, Poland, Spain, and around the United States.
The majority of the time I design and write the studies, create prototypes, moderate, contract with vendors, and interpret results. The joy and pain of being on a small UX team!
I have examples of two types of usability studies here – lab based and remote testing. There are pros and cons to each (as the hundreds of articles on the Internet will tell you) but I find them each useful in their own way. There are of course other ways to perform usability testing – such as focus groups and nabbing people in the hallway – but these are the two that I will focus on here. There is also a page on personas.