Many times, organizations don’t see value in doing user research. So, how do you make the case that UX research is impactful? Here are some of the ways I make the case for UX research
Start Somewhere, Show Results
This may seem like a no-brainer, but no matter how much you speak to the value of research, it doesn’t compare to showing results. Talk to users, do a paper prototype usability test, do a usability test with internal employees. Note: There is no substitute to testing on actual users, but if there is resistance to research, testing on internal employees can be a good way to get your foot in the door.
Tell Everyone That Will Listen
Once you get some results, tell everyone that will listen. Change doesn’t come overnight. In my experience at Herbalife, the HNconnect product team took over 2 years of UX saying the same thing before they transitioned in to a design thinking centric team. Showing results and evangalizing how research can help identify the right problem, to build the right solution the right way takes commitment to the cause.
Know Where to Fly
Knowing where you can have the most impact for the most teams is tricky. Sometimes, you need to start small. Knowing where to start and where you are going is important. I pick a project where I can show improvements, and then paint a larger picture of how we can be more strategic. How we can impact the most teams.
Don’t wait for people to buy in. Doing research and testing is all about helping the business answer the right questions. If you identify something you can answer with research, do it. There is nothing better than hearing something surface and already having insights.
Making the case for UX research doesn’t happen overnight. It happens through persistence, demonstrated results, and anticipation of need. It is challenging, frustrating, and ultimately satisfying when you see an organization transform from a feature factory to one committed to providing value to the users.