Getting a buy-in for UX research is often remarkably difficult. Here’s how to flag assumptions, manage objections and explain the value of UX research.
So you want to conduct UX research, yet you find yourself constrained — by wrong assumptions and wrong expectations about what UX research actually entails. Research doesn’t have to be time-consuming. It doesn’t have to be expensive. And it doesn’t have to be disruptive. Let’s see how we can address reluctance and make a strong case for UX research.
When you face reluctance from stakeholders, try to understand where it’s coming from. Study their KPIs, goals, constraints, priorities — and try to align your research with stakeholders’ objectives. As Erika Hall famously suggested, build a strong relationship with a person before trying to change their mind.
Most importantly, study their previous experiences with research initiatives. Try to find specific reasons for reluctance. Chances are high that the outcome of research stirred conflicts or problems that they’d like to avoid. In fact, they might not be against research, but the consequences that come along with it.
There is never enough research. Yet most successful products come from continuous research that informs and guides design and business decisions. Start slowly, get small but steady commitments and progress from there.
It might not take too long for research initiatives to be noticed, appreciated, supported — and perhaps even initiated by top-level management.