3 Ways to Convince Your Team to Invest in UX Research

1/ Clearly articulate the problem and frame researching users as a solution for your team

Start by communicating your context, constraints, and goals.

For example, you’re unsure why a specific feature isn’t being used. And your team needs to decide whether to keep it in the product. The team speculates why this is happening, but no one can say for sure.

Your team has ten days to decide. Which means you need to figure this out quickly.

So you think about your options. One obvious solution would be to talk to the people who are and aren’t using the feature to find out what’s happening.

  • What do they think it does?

  • Why are they using it? Why are they not using it?

  • What is it helping them do?

Goal = Learning why people are not using this feature so you can decide whether to keep it.

Context = Pressure from the team. Uncertainty around low/no usage.

Constraints = Need to decide in 10 days. Haven’t researched users before. Some members are skeptical about researching users.

People on your team need to understand the connection between the “problem” (ignorance around why people aren’t using a feature) and the “solution” (researching users) in order to buy-in.

2/ Answer the “so what?” question by tying user research outcomes to your team’s goals

For example, If your team aims to improve onboarding so that at least 25% of new users make a “valuable first action,” ground all discussions about researching users in that context.

Communicate outcomes of the research process that can help reach this goal.

“When we research we’ll learn what our users goals, pains, and needs are while onboarding which we can then use to make decisions about the current flow.“

This way, people understand that researching users is a tool that supports the team’s goals and not a intellectual exercise.

3/ Offer multiple options, clearly explain the trade-offs, and let your team pick one

Make the decision to research users easy.

All you need to do is give them four options:

  1. Do nothing

    1. Pros

      1. It’s free!

      2. You don’t need to change anything

      3. A low energy/time commitment

    2. Cons

      1. You continue to build on risky assumptions that can eventually sink your business

      2. You’re forced to make decisions without reliable information

      3. You can’t figure out the “why” behind user behavior.

  2. Do research yourself (Do-it-yourself)

    1. Pros

      1. The upfront cost is lower.

      2. You can control the research process

    2. Cons

      1. You can do it wrong

      2. High energy/time commitment with a potential for little return if the process is not executed correctly

      3. If you don’t have the relevant skills/experience, you risk not getting the answers you need.

  3. Do research with the help of a research coach (Done-with-you)

    1. Pros

      1. Get coached by an expert (like our coaches at OpenUX)

      2. Get access to all the tools/expertise you need to execute research end-2-end

      3. Learn how to do the process yourself

    2. Cons

      1. There is an initial $ investment.

      2. High energy/time commitment

      3. You need to trust the coach

  4. Hire/contract a researcher to do it for you (Done-for-you)

    1. Pros

      1. Very low time/energy commitment

      2. Get an expert researcher to do everything

      3. Get answers in the shortest amount of time

    2. Cons

      1. The highest investment

      2. You won’t learn how to do it yourself

If your team is still unconvinced, book a complementary OpenUX Office Hour session to walk through your situation and get guidance here.

UX Research isn't about understanding users. It's about minimizing risk.

The risks include building:

  1. The wrong thing (market risk)

  2. The thing wrong (execution risk)

  3. Something nobody can use (usability risk)

If these risks aren’t minimized, if they aren’t dealt with. You put yourself, your company, and your vision at risk as well.

So research your potential users, customers, and stakeholders. It’s worth the investment.

Reach out to OpenUX to learn you can protect your biggest downside by researching users.

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