I can’t believe I’m writing this post. This has come up so many times lately that I feel like I need to put this out into the pixels and try to find out if this is a shared experience.

This week, I have heard the following:

“We don’t need to find out what users want because this is just an internal tool”

“You don’t need to build empathy or rapport with users during usability sessions, just ask each question then move on”

“We’re never just going to build what some one says they want because there are business needs and they come first”


In 2018, working in digital design I’m still having to explain repeatedly that whatever you’re making, building, coding there will be users and their experience counts. Their ability to successfully engage with the product you’re creating counts. Whether engagement means simply booking their annual leave via an online tool, or buying something, or watching live content.

Users count.

I pretty much define my role as a Researcher thusly:

I am the messenger. I find the best way to communicate with users to allow them to accurately convey to me their experience of a product or service. (Through various means and methods of testing, both implicit and explicit.) Then, I find a way to interpret the insight I gather from this exchange. Finally, I select a sharing method for my recommendations to the people who can make changes within the product or service.

That’s all of you; devs, designers, IA’s, strategists, creative directors, everyone.

I’m the middle-man (person) and much of my time is spent on understanding what’s going on and share that in the right direction. The other part of my role though, which is also very tightly bound up in language and communication; is to defend the user. Defend their right to be heard during usability testing, defend what they say to whomever won’t listen.

That’s all of you; devs, designers, IA’s, strategists, creative directors, everyone.

So when any of the above feel it’s appropriate not to listen, to argue or worse, to invalidate research findings on what users said and did — I expect there to be a bloody good, evidence-based reason for this. Challenge me, challenge the findings, let’s have a discussion, but don’t be a roadblock. This week, I have heard the following:

“We’re not doing that, because this is how we’ve always done it”

“I’ve already done the code for that section so I’m not going to make any changes now”

“We’ve got 5 users for you to speak to but you can only ask them these questions which I’ve already written for you”

Your user researcher is not there to threaten your job. Your user researcher is not trying to tell you you’re doing everything wrong, that they know better or that you shouldn’t be doing x,y or z. But, if they feel that any of the above could risk the integrity of the user experience on your product, then a good user researcher will find a way to communicate this to you. It’s your job to listen and be open.

Why does any product or service exist if not for the user? How can we make digital things for them without listening to what they want, need and feel about the stuff we’re expecting them to use?

User researchers support you in making the best possible thing for the people you’re making it for.

Forget your ego and accept the help.

Source link https://blog..io/in--of-ux-research-30e836fe0768?source=rss—-eb297ea1161a—4


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