The Hard Truths Of Not Doing User Research

October 24, 2018

It’s true. User research takes time, effort, and often a bit of money to do well.

It’s also true that not doing user research takes time, effort, and money:

  • Having the team be constantly mired down by opinion wars takes time. When teams aren’t aligned because there’s no foundation for a common truth, they spin their wheels without making forward progress.
  • Building functionality only to have the users complain that it doesn’t work for them is wasted effort. Effort is wasted further when the team builds functions customers do not want or need.
  • Driving users to customer support because the design is too hard to figure out costs the organization money. Support is an expensive alternative to building something that’s easy to use.

When we don’t do smart user research, our teams aren’t aligned around the design our customers and users truly need. Our developers build things without the assurance they’re building the right things, or building those things right. And our organization pushes the costs of good design into the support and sales departments, where they become an ongoing expense to resolve.

It’s true. User research takes time, effort, and often a bit of money to do well.

It’s also true that not doing the research at all can often be more time consuming, take more effort, and be more expensive in the long run. Choosing to spend resources on user research is the better alternative.

There are techniques to get the benefits of user research without needing that much time, effort, or money. Guerilla user research techniques deliver insights that give teams solid alignment.

Because they are quick, guerilla techniques don’t take much effort and can save time and money. They get the job done, often as well as more rigorous methods, without sacrificing the benefits we see from higher cost approaches.

The lower time, effort, and cost of guerilla techniques make them highly advantageous to teams looking to avoid the costs of not doing any research. That’s the truth.

Fortunately, we have an expert in guerilla user research techniques, Cyd Harrell, giving a full-day workshop at UI23. During her workshop, you’ll see first hand how these techniques work, as you’ll be sent out into the city of Boston to research transportation improvements. By the end of the day, you’ll see exactly how to bring these techniques back to your organization to avoid the hard truths and costs of not doing user research.

Learn about Cyd’s workshop, Low Cost Guerilla User Research and sign up today.