Blog Post

5 ways to convince your organisation to invest in user-research

You’ve secured a job as the first UX researcher in a company with a strong focus on innovation and growth. As the first person conducting user experience research in the organisation, the pressure is on. 

You know the benefits that user-research can bring to a company and how it can act as the bridge between the customer and the product, and you’re chomping at the bit to get going. But there’s a slight hurdle you have to overcome first, and it’s an internal communication one.

After conversations with people in teams across engineering, design and marketing, you’ve learned that while there’s a strong understanding of the value of user-research within the company, and a general desire to do more of it, it’s simply not a priority. The teams are already at maximum capacity and simply don’t have the resource or the budget to add another step into their work. You’ve become used to hearing: “Yes, we want to know using customer insight could improve our work, and we want to do more of it, but we simply don’t have time”.  Sound familiar? Read on. 

This blog post aims to help you better communicate the benefits user-research can have towards moving every team closer to their objectives and ultimately to move the company closer to its North Star. To find out how Ayda can cut 92% of user research tasks and supercharge your user-research,sign-up to start onboarding.

1. Understand what their objectives and motivations are

Before you launch into a BAFTA-worthy speech about the power of user-research, you need to understand the motivations and objectives of the person you’re speaking to so you can better understand the things they need to achieve and what is currently holding them back from achieving those goals.

For example, if you’re speaking to a design lead of an online skincare business, they are likely going to be focused on creating website and app-based design that will be easy and engaging for the user, will increase conversion, i.e. will convince users who land on the website to convert to customers and drive sales and communicate the brand in a memorable way.

2. Find out what is currently holding them back from achieving that objective

Now that you know what they are aiming towards, you need to understand the barriers their teams are currently facing and what is stopping them in achieving their goals. Some common ones we’ve heard from previous clients in this space are:

  1. Time and budget is being wasted on producing work that looks great but is failing to convert. 
  2. Users are missing key information, leading to a backlog for customer support.
  3. People across the team have lots of opinions on how the design should look, but this is rarely based on insight or data. 

Once you highlight what is holding their team back from achieving these goals, you can offer how user-research could help them. In this case user-research could help this design lead test early design concepts before the team spends time and budget producing them. It would also help them to emphasise the importance of real user data in conversations about design with internal stakeholders, helping the team avoid being pulled in too many directions, keeping the team on track and focused. 

3. Make sure you’ve got the right people onboard 

Taking the time to inform people about the benefits of user-research is never a waste of time, but you want to make sure the people you’re spending the most time with are the right people. And by “the right people” we mean the people who have the influence to redistribute time and resources in committing to pursuing user-research. 

Even when you and the leadership team know bringing UX Research into the business will ultimately have a notable impact in the long-term, for many of the teams on the ground it’s going to be viewed in the short-term as another thing pulling resources away from other priorities. So buy-in from the people who have the power to divert resources is essential. 

Once you’ve identified the right people, find out how much time the team could commit to start their journey into user-research discovery and be as helpful as possible to make this a clear process.

Top-tip: Where possible, opt for face-to-face meetings as opposed to over email or Slack/MS Teams.

4. Run open-door workshops for anyone in the company to get involved in.

The beauty of user-research is that it’s all about people and the human experience. And that makes it something which is accessible and has the potential to interest pretty much everyone. So why not try to open up the learning experience and host a workshop for the wider organisation. 

Jennifer Lee was the former Head of Customer Research at Wise. She joined as the sole UX researcher and was tasked with the job of convincing a tech-heavy team who pretty much worked exclusively with quantitative data that qualitative user-focused data was actually going to help them move closer to their objectives

How could she convince a global team of 1000 as one person and still work towards her own objectives to get UX research going in priority areas? She held open door classes on the basics of UX. Genius. 

“The idea behind these classes was to get wider exposure on UX research, get people to understand what it is, what it can do, and why (and where) they should use it. I invited everyone in the company and people from all teams showed up just out of curiosity — our HR/People team, analysts, engineers, PMs, designers, the lot. And many were amazed at how little they knew about UX research and how much their work would be improved if they utilized it.”

You can read about Jennifer’s experience in her medium blog.

5. Have a bank of case studies ready to unleash in your back-pocket

This is possibly one of the most important things you need when attempting to convince people of the value of user research in their teams. Concrete examples of where user research has uncovered a game-changing insight from previous projects you’ve worked on can take what may feel a little abstract and wishy-washy to a numbers-only engineer into something which they deem absolutely essential for the success of their project.

It’s also a good idea to be ready to demo a user-research or short a live recording of a recent user-interview. Most people learn by seeing or doing, not hearing. Drawer has a bank of interesting UX case studies if you’re short of ideas.

User-research is an essential cog in any business, but it’s got a bad rep. In the past, user-research came hand-in-hand with mountains of spreadsheets, flaky users and painful admin-based tasks like paying participants and scheduling interviews. Ayda is a user-research operations platform that has cut 92% of the tasks associated with user-research. 

Through its slick user-friendly platform, a focus on the retention of the user and an automation of the most tedious of tasks, Ayda has streamlined every element of the user-research workflow. To empower your teams to get to insights faster, get onboarded with Ayda now.

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