Is your UX research strategic?

Usability Testing Singapore

I just read this Quirk’s article that talked about what qualitative researchers and UX’ers can learn from each other. This is true but it didn’t even mention strategy or delighting clients!

I constantly see very expensive market research reports and usability testing reports that add no value whatsoever!

When I started in usability, the researchers who understood technology did it. Then, as the field morphed into UX, these people started designing interfaces based on an
understanding of human behaviour and decision-making workflow. This became
popular and designers and developers realised that they could engage more
clients by picking up the UX label. I was horrified!

Prior to a job interview, I email a potential staff and ask:

“What research with real people have you done?”

Research skills are always mandatory in my job ads; but I am seriously sick of potential employees telling me they have only done some stakeholder interviews and a couple of focus groups!

My problem with UX’ers is that they should have hours of research under their belt, as well as be able to put pen to paper in a design sense. If they do not, how can they be considered user-centred? How can they possibly empathise with users?

The article suggests that UX’ers should understand qualitative researcher too. In general, qualitative market researchers  are great at finding out what people need and this to clients. UX’ers must know how to do this this; but clients want more! They want strategic action-oriented solutions to their problems. They need prioritised lists of recommendations that may well include re-design suggestions.

The solution here is not to find people who understand both qualitative research and UX or to teach this. Instead, we have to find or teach practitioners to understand the strategic nature of what they are delivering.

If clients are told what they already know, and are not given the next steps to take, then they will be pissed off!

If the research and UX industries do not step up onto a strategic platform then they will fail.

At Objective Asia we understand the importance of Priortised Actionable Recommendations. We tell clients what happened, why it happened and exactly what to do to fix it and improve their business. 

If you want to take a step forward in your business please email me: jbreeze@objectivedigital.com

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