My company thinks UX Research is only about validating ideas, what can I do?



My company thinks UX Research is only about validating ideas, what can I do?

Welcome to NextGen UX, where we explore the benefits of Strategic UX Research and help you ride the wave to better innovation.

I’m Karyn Zuidinga founder and CEO of NextWAVE Innovation.

Here’s a question I hear a lot. My company thinks UX research is only about validating ideas and usability testing. What can I do? I hear this a lot from both UX designers and researchers. They want to level up the conversation to be more strategic, but don’t have the opportunity to do so.

To do this, you might need to break a few rules.

One of the things I like to do when asked to validate an idea is to mix it up to blend in some strategic UX research along with whatever usability testing or validative inquiry they want me to do.

Here’s an example. While I was at Copperleaf, I was asked to do some validative research on a stage two idea.

Instead of just saying yes, I’ll validate that idea, I said yes and. I suggested a layered, concurrent approach that would take about the same duration as validating, but give us the opportunity to better understand the problem space.

And we did uncover some unmet needs and that led to a new product pillar.

But some cautions. It’s pretty cool doing all this strategic UX research and coming back with real insights the business can use.

But if you’re going to do this kind of deep dive, you better make sure you come back with real insights and not just anecdata. Because you can be sure that when you show up with your insight, someone’s going to ask you, how do you know this is true?

Caution number two, do the strategic UX research in close to the amount of time that you would have to do the tactical UX research. Your people are time pressured. Don’t break the rule of velocity.

I’m Karyn Zuidinga. I’m an innovation researcher and designer with a passion for exploring the periphery. I specialize in leading UX strategic research to drive innovation. Moving from insight to action, I work with my clients to bring those ideas to life.

Thank you for listening.