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70+ Memorable UX Research Quotes to Inspire Your Team

A roundup of our favorite quotes for UX research advice, stakeholder persuasion, motivation, and more.

In need of an extra reminder that user research and UX is amazing and important work? We’ve assembled over 70 of our favorite user research quotes that cover everything from the joys of research to convincing stakeholders about the importance of UX research.

This list includes UX quotes about:

  • User research in a nutshell
  • The benefits of user research and insights
  • Advice from UXR industry leaders and experts
  • The joys of doing research
  • Convincing stakeholders that research is the key to success

Quotes about user research in a nutshell 

User research is complex, and it’s difficult to summarize this field of work in just a few words. Here are some quotes to help you describe what doing research is like.👇 

1. “You do research because you want to have impact. […] If you don’t have high-quality participants, that’s kind of a non-starter […] If you're not talking to the right people, it's really hard to make the right decisions.”

JH Forster, SVP of Product at User Interviews on the UXpeditious podcast 

GIF of a UX research quote about talking to the right participants
2. “Researchers are secretly journalists, [...] kind of in denial because a huge part of your job as a researcher is to get comfortable with figuring out the lead and the headline.”

Nate Bolt, Founder and CEO of Ethnio, in Remote Research, Impact & Social Responsibility 

A GIF of a UX research quote about researchers as journalists
3. “Research is formalized curiosity. It is poking and prying with a purpose.” 

Zora Neale Hurston, American author

Gif of a UX research quote from Zora Neale Hurston
4. “Research has been called good business, a necessity, a gamble, a game. It is none of these – it’s a state of mind.”

 – Martin H. Fischer, American physician and author

UX research quote from Martin H. Fischer
5. "No research without action, no action without research." 

Kurt Lewin, German-American psychologist

UX research quote from Kurt Lewin
6. “A problem well stated is a problem half solved.”

Charles Kettering, American inventor

UX research quote from Charles Kettering
7. “It’s the process of UX research that matters, not the beauty of the final artifact.”

David Travis, Managing Director of Userfocus in Think Like a UX Researcher

Quote about the process of UX research
8. “Never go into user research to prove a point, and never create goals that seek to justify a position or reinforce a perspective.”

Mike Kuniavsky, Technology R&D Senior Principal at Accenture Labs in Observing the User Experience: A Practitioner's Guide to User Research

Quote about user research from Mike Kuniavsky
9. “How do I explain what I do at a party? The short version is that I say I humanize technology.”

Fred Beecher, Sr. Director of Design Operations at Rock Central 

10. “If we knew what we were doing it wouldn’t be research.”

 Albert Einstein, Theoretical physicist

11. “By seeking and blundering we learn.” 

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, German poet

12. “Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.” 

Carl Sagan, American astronomer

13. “What we find changes who we become.” 

Peter Morville, Information Architect and President of Semantic Studios 

14. “Research is the process of going up alleys to see if they are blind.” 

Marston Bates, American zoologist and environmental author

15. "You'd be amazed how much research you can get done when you have no life whatsoever."

Ernest Cline, American science fiction novelist

16. "Highly organized research is guaranteed to produce nothing new."

Frank Herbert, American author

Research quotes that communicate the benefits of user research and insights

When you’re feeling lost in the weeds of doing user research, it’s helpful to remember the end goals and benefits of the work you’re doing. Here are some quotes for when you need an extra boost of motivation.👇

17. “Usability is like love. You have to care, you have to listen, and you have to be willing to change. You’ll make mistakes along the way, but that’s where growth and forgiveness come in.”

Jeffrey Zeldman, Principal Designer at Automattic

A GIF of a user research quote that compares usability to love
18. “Usability is about setting up a tent, relighting a furnace to heat a home, trying to figure out a tax form, or driving an unfamiliar rental car. Usability impacts everyone, every day. It cuts across cultures, age, gender, and economic class.”

Thomas Tullis, author of Measuring the User Experience and Beyond the Usability Lab, UXR consultant and speaker

A GIF of a UX research quote about usability and its impact
19. “In an increasingly technological world, designing products with real people in mind helps us make sure that technology integrates in our lives in a human way. It’s a voice of reason, arguing that products and technology can support and even enrich our fundamental humanity.”

Leah Buley, Sr. Director of Consumer Insights and User Research at Lovevery in The User Experience Team of One: A Research and Design Survival Guide

Quote about UXR humanizing products
20. “There’s a big difference between making a simple product & making a product simple.”

Des Traynor, Co-Founder of Intercom

21. “Supposing is good, but finding out is better.”

Mark Twain, Writer

22. “Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex. It takes a touch of genius—and a lot of courage—to move in the opposite direction.”

E. F. Schumacher, Economist 

Research advice quotes from the UX “greats”

There are some lessons you can only learn through experience. And if you’re just starting out with UX research, the best thing to do is to get advice from the experts. Here are some wise words and advice from top UX research industry leaders. 👇

23. “Pay attention to what users do, not what they say.”

Jakob Nielsen, Usability Pioneer and Co-founder of Nielsen Norman Group

A GIF of a user research quote from Jakob Nielsen
24. “The best products don’t focus on features, they focus on clarity.”

Jon Bolt, UX Designer and writer

A GIF of a quote from UX designer Jon Bolt
25. “People ignore design that ignores people.”

Frank Chimero, co-founder of Abstract, designer and writer

A GIF of a UX design quote
26. “To find ideas, find problems. To find problems, talk to people.”

Julie Zhou, former VP of Product Design at Facebook, author of The Making of a Manager

A quote about talking to people for user research
27. “Usability is about people and how they understand and use things, not about technology.” 

Steve Krug, author of Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability

A UXR quote about usability and its relation to people
28. “Design isn’t finished until somebody is using it.”

Brenda Laurel, PhD, Independent Scholar

A UX quote about design by Brenda Laurel
29. “If we want users to like our software, we should design it to behave like a likeable person: respectful, generous and helpful.”

Alan Cooper, Software Designer and Programmer

A UX quote by Alan Cooper
30. “Conducting a good interview is actually about shutting up.”

Erika Hall, Co-founder of Mule Design in Just Enough Research

A UX research quote about good interviews by Erika Hall
31. “A user interview is like going to the zoo whereas field research is like going on safari.”

David Travis, Managing Director of Userfocus in Think Like a UX Researcher

A user research quote about user interviews and field studies by David Travis
32. “Don’t find customers for your products, find products for your customers.”

Seth Godin, blogger, entrepreneur, and author

33. “The best kind of design isn’t necessarily an object, a space or a structure: it’s a process – dynamic and adaptable.”

Don Norman, co-founder and principal of Nielsen Norman Group, author of The Design of Everyday Things

34. “When UX doesn’t consider ALL users, shouldn’t it be known as ‘SOME User Experience’ or… SUX?”

Billy Gregory, Co-organizer of #AllyTO‍

35. “Want your users to fall in love with your designs? Fall in love with your users.”

Dana Chisnell, Senior Fellow, Project Redesign @ and Design Lead at California Office of Digital Innovation

36. “The big difference between good and bad designers is how they handle people struggling with their design. Technology serves humans. Humans do not serve technology.” 

Joshua Porter, co-founder of Rocket Insights

37. “When we do a lot of user research, it's easy to feel confident… But if you do user research well, you will always find something that is surprising. No matter how much research we do, no matter how much time we spend with our customers, we can't completely know them. And I feel like the goal of user research should be to find those moments.” 

Teresa Torres, Product Discovery Coach and Founder of

38. “When we’re doing research for business, we don’t have to have the rigor of academic research. We’re not trying to publish academic papers on this. We’re trying to make a good business decision.” 

Holly Hester-Reilly, CEO and Founder of H2R Product Science 

39. “The next big thing is the one that makes the last big thing usable.”

Blake Ross, Co-creator of Mozilla Firefox

40. “Rule of thumb for UX: More options, more problems.”

Scott Belsky, Chief Strategy Officer and Executive VP of Design and Emerging Products at Adobe

41. “Design used to be the seasoning you’d sprinkle on for taste; now it’s the flour you need at the start of the recipe.”

John Maeda, VP of Design and AI at Microsoft

42. “Your target customers have to love you more than they hate change.”

Erika Hall, Co-founder of Mule Design in Just Enough Research

Research quotes about what it takes to be a successful UX researcher

Not everyone has the skills to be a great UX researcher. So what does it take to successfully do research and thrive in this career?

Here’s what some experienced UXR leaders have to say about that.👇

43. “Conflict is critical to moving things forward. If you don’t have healthy conflict, then you’re not able to explore different ideas.”

Mike Oren, Head of Design Research at Klaviyo in 🎙 Building a Healthy Research Culture

A GIF of a quote about why conflict is important for UX research
44. “As a user researcher, you will often be looked upon to explain why and also how to fix [users’ problems]. The best researchers understand how to make recommendations based on data.”

Sinlee Loh, Research Manager at Meta

A quote from a Meta research manager about what it takes to be a great user researcher
45. “To do successful research, you don’t need to know everything, you just need to know one thing that isn’t known.” 

Arthur L. Schawlow, American physicist

A quote about how to do successful research
46. “Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you, spend a lot of time with them, and it will change your life.”

Jeff Gothelf, Author of Lean UX: Applying Lean Principles to Improve User Experience

A quote about finding people to challenge you in user research
47. “As you navigate through the rest of your life, be open to collaboration. Other people and other people's ideas are often better than your own.”

Amy Poehler, Comedian

A quote about collaboration in UX research
48. “But an attentive researcher – like you – might be able to see something that all the experts can’t see, if she asks the right questions.” 

Katherine Howe, #1 New York Times bestselling author

49. “The way to do research is to attack the facts at the point of greatest astonishment.” 

Celia Green, British writer and research pioneer on philosophical skepticism and psychology

50. “A user interface is like a joke. If you have to explain it, it’s not that good.”

 Martin LeBlanc, Founder of IconFinder

51. “You get inside your users’ heads by doing good UX research: research that provides actionable and testable insights into users’ needs.”

David Travis, Managing Director of Userfocus in Think Like a UX Researcher

Uplifting research quotes about the joys of doing research

Research is complicated, but so rewarding. See what other researchers have to say about why doing user research is fulfilling for them.👇

52. “Those little moments, when participants express a sense of relief, joy and even excitement. There is nothing more rewarding in our field than seeing work improve the lives of others.”

Lo Wheelwright, Senior User Experience Designer at Amazon

A quote about how user research improves others' lives
53. “I get to discover what no one else in the company knows. I get to learn something new every day and build something to help them achieve their goals.”

Grant Baker, Senior Product Designer at Kohl’s

A GIF of a quote about the joy of doing user research
54. “I love giving people the opportunity to share their life story, especially in a process in which their story can make a real difference.”

Marielle Velander, Former Research Ops Lead at Dashlane

A UX quote about users sharing their life stories
55. “User research turns a work problem into a personal problem. It’s one thing to think your work might make a difference, and it’s another to see the impact it can have on another person’s life. User research puts people to the center of attention where they’ve always belonged.”

Randolph Duke II, Senior User Experience Researcher at Toast

A user research quote about turning work problems into personal problems
56. The power of statistics and the clean lines of quantitative research appealed to me, but I fell in love with the richness and depth of qualitative research.”

Brené Brown, American professor and researcher

A quote about quantitative and qualitative research
57. “At the end of the day I feel like we're really just lucky to be in this field. It's fun, it's dynamic, you get to work with people and really learn all the time, every day. You just can't ever assume you know all the things because you just never do. That's just the human factor, it’s real. Learning from our customers and being able to serve them, it really is meaningful, so I love being in this industry.”

‍Susan Rice, Head of Product Design and Research at Toast  

58. “At the end of the day I feel like we're really just lucky to be in this field. It's fun, it's dynamic, you get to work with people and really learn all the time, every day. You just can't ever assume you know all the things because you just never do. That's just the human factor, it’s real. Learning from our customers and being able to serve them, it really is meaningful, so I love being in this industry.”

‍Susan Rice, Head of Product Design and Research at Toast  

59. “Listening to people talk about super techie stuff that we build in such simple everyday language. Very humbling. Puts things in perspective and keeps you grounded.”

Archana Vaidyanathan, Senior UX Researcher at Meta

60. “I wanna throw down and say two enthusiastic thumbs up for remote user testing. I think that it is a fantastic, super useful way to access populations that you would never have access to… When I have a day where I can talk to Mark, the guy who sells janitorial supplies in the Ozarks, that is my best day… Only because of this awesome job, that I get to talk to that guy and learn about his life and learn about his pain points… That to me, is just the best thing.”

Cat Anderson, UX Writer at AP Intego

61. “The universe is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.”

Eden Phillpots, English author

UX research quotes to convince stakeholders about the value of research

Need help convincing stakeholders that UX research insights are valuable? Here are some quotes to help you articulate that argument.👇

62. "Without data, you're just another person with an opinion.”

W. Edwards Deming, American engineer

A UX research quote to convince stakeholders with data
63. “If you think good design is expensive, you should look at the cost of bad design.” 

Ralf Speth, former CEO of Jaguar

A GIF of a UX quote about the cost of bad design
64. “If you don’t talk to your customers, how will you know how to talk to your customers?”

Will Evans, Head of Product Strategy Practice at Kuroshio Consulting

A user research quote about talking to your customers
65. “[Experimentation is] not about delivering outcomes— it's about generating learnings that the organization can leverage effectively to deliver outcomes.”

Ben Williams, VP of Product at Snyk, in How Snyk built a product-led growth juggernaut

A UX quote about how user insights help deliver outcomes
66. “Does it better’ will always beat ‘did it first.” 

Aaron Levie, CEO at Box 

67. “If you want a great site, you’ve got to test. After you’ve worked on a site for even a few weeks, you can’t see it freshly anymore. You know too much. The only way to find out if it really works is to test it.” 

Steve Krug, author of Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability

68.“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.”

Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft

69. “A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.”

Douglas Adams, author, essayist, satirist

70. “Understand your company’s rituals.”

Benson Low, Research Design leader at REA Group, in Making Research Ops Visible

71. “What if we turned our empathy chops onto our teammates, producing reports that take their experience into account, just like we do for the people using our products?”

Ali Horowitz, Content Designer at Meta, in Empathy: It’s Not Just for Users Anymore

72. “The cost of making changes increases over time — it’s much cheaper to change an ‘idea’ than an almost completed app.” 

Steve Bromley, Author of “How to Be A Games User Researcher”

73. “When I present to thousand people or hundreds of people, it's really important for me to keep it even more engaging. I don't go into detail. I don't go into granularity, but I make sure that the narrative resonates with people.”

—Andrea M. Amorós, Associate Principal Researcher at ADP

74. “It isn’t that the ingredients of the dish (i.e. data) are bad; the team is interested in what the researcher is trying to cook up. The meal just isn’t cooked or plated very well…I’ve learned the importance of making insights more consumable… I find the nugget (the amuse bouche, the appetizer, the nibble, the tasty treat) is great for whetting my stakeholders’ appetites and getting them to invite me to the table more often.”

—Ki Aguero, UX Support Services Manager at Ford Motor Company

📕 Want to know more about the ROI of user research? Read this: The ROI of User Research and Recruiting Tools: A Comparative Analysis

Deepen your understanding of user research with User Interviews

We can learn valuable lessons and advice from these UX research quotes, but sometimes, the hardest lessons are best learned through firsthand experience. 

The first step to deepening your personal understanding of user research is to start talking to real participants. With User Interviews, you can recruit high-quality, niche participants in a matter of hours. 

Get started with a free account today and start talking to the right participants to do high-quality user research. 

Rachell Lee
Copywriter at Seamless.AI

Rachell is a SEO Copywriter at Seamless.AI and former Content Marketing Manager at User Interviews. Content writer. Marketing enthusiast. INFJ. Inspired by humans and their stories. She spends ridiculous amounts of time on Duolingo and cooking new recipes.

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