UX Burlington 2015: Don't fear the research!

by Sam Selikoff November 2, 2015


Here are my notes from Eva Kaniasty's talk at UX Burlington 2015.


  • Design is not easy. There's a huge fear of failure.
  • Designers see input from users as bad news
  • There are three fears:
    • Usability testing. The fear here is, you're ultimately testing the people who did the design.
    • Fear of change
    • Fear of wasting time and money
  • Rewards for doing user research:
    • Improved process ("agile"). Linear is easier, but iteration is actually better.
    • Good decisions
    • Fun! (esp when people are involved)
  • Henry Ford quote, users didn't know what they wanted
    • Well, we don't ask people what they want either, but we do ask them about their feelings, their frustrations etc.
    • Is it intuitive?
    • Is it compelling?
    • Empathy helps us get there
  • Research saves time and money
    • 40% of dev time is spent reworking existing designs
    • Fixing an error after development is up to 100 times as expensive as before
  • Case studies
    • Two different companies came to Eva for user research
    • First came through a design agency. The user research had little impact, in large part because the design agency (rather than the actual client) was in control
    • Second client came directly to Eva, and the research had a big impact
    • Lessons learned:
    • Startups tend to not want external research, but an outside perspective can be very valuable
    • Don't rely on others to be your advocate. You know best about the value you can bring
    • Ultimately, communication and collaboration between design and research is crucial for success
    • Trust is also crucial. Don't just let your reports speak for themselves. Use direct contact to convince the client.
  • Overcome fears
    • Connect
    • Collaborate
    • Iterate

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