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March 17, 2023
How to involve stakeholders in UX research—a session recap from Rosenfeld’s Advancing Research 2022 conference.
We were thrilled to see that, on the whole, researcher frustration with buy-in has declined in recent years (at least, that’s according to our survey of 562 UXRs and PwDRs (people who do research).
But that doesn’t mean all of your stakeholders and colleagues are suddenly, magically bought into user research, or that they’re always going to engage with insights the way you hope. And really, is there anything more disheartening than spending months on a research project only to have your insights gather dust?
We know from qualitative interviews and discussions within the broader UXR community that getting teammates to engage with user research—both the process and its outcomes—is one of the most common problems user researchers face today.
At Rosenfeld’s Advancing Research 2022 conference, User Interviews’s VP of User Research, Roberta Dombrowski, and Senior Product Manager, Sam Duong Woloszynski, proposed a solution to this problem: Making research a team sport.
Watch the session recording to see their full presentation, view the session slides, or check out the highlights below.
When many people think about user research, they picture of a single researcher, sitting alone, working in a spreadsheet. But in reality, research is most effective when it’s a collaborative activity.
Not only does collaboration help you make sure your research has impact, it also leads to higher quality research insights—because each person has a unique perspective (and bias). Looking at a question or problem from multiple angles will make your research more robust and nuanced.
As a user researcher, you rarely (if ever) do research for the sake of doing research—you do it to inform real decisions.
So how can you set yourself up to inspire action with your research?
Roberta and Sam suggest that you begin with the end in mind, investing time during research planning to consider:
As mentioned before, collaboration between UXR and stakeholders is key for getting buy-in and making sure your research insights impact decision-making.
Whenever you kick off a project, try to involve key partners from different parts of the business, including:
Usually, this kick-off takes the form of stakeholder interviews. Depending on the type and scope of the project, you might involve more or fewer of these partners—but each stakeholder group will have a unique perspective on how to serve customers. By involving others early, you can create a shared context that will enable more creative problem-solving and streamline decision-making in the long run.
🤔 Customer Success Teams: Are they a roadblock or a valuable resource for UX research?
You don’t want to involve stakeholders from the beginning only to have their attention drop off at key moments during the project.
To keep up the momentum:
Finally, once you’ve done all the hard work of conducting, analyzing, and synthesizing your research into key insights, it’s time to share them in a way that drives your team toward action.
Stories are powerful tools for capturing your audience’s attention. As humans, we’re wired to remember and respond to stories, much more than individual pieces of evidence.
Weave your findings into a narrative by structuring your research insights this way:
For example, you might structure your research report like this:
As Steve Jobs said, “Great things in business are never done by one person; they're done by a team of people.” By bringing together stakeholders with diverse perspectives, you can gain better insights and ultimately make a bigger impact with your research.
👉 Learn how to establish a high-functioning UX research practice from scratch.
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Content Marketing Manager
Marketer, writer, poet. Lizzy likes hiking, people-watching, thrift shopping, learning and sharing ideas. Her happiest memory is sitting on the shore of Lake Champlain in the summer of 2020, eating a clementine.