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September 15, 2020

31 User Research and UX Quotes to Inspire You & Your Team

In need of a little boost? We’ve assembled our favorite quotes for UXR advice, inspiration, stakeholder persuasion, and more.

Carrie Boyd

In need of a little extra reminder that user research and UX is amazing and important work? We’ve assembled 31 quotes to get you and your team excited about UXR. There’s quotes for the moments you need a little reminder that research is important work, to help convince stakeholders research is the key to success, and to share the joy behind doing UX research work.

When you need a little reminder of what research and user experience can achieve

1. “There’s a big difference between making a simple product & making a product simple.” Des Traynor, Co-Founder of Intercom

2. “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

The best stories about user research

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

Mark Twain, writer

4. “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 

5. “Usability plays a much wider role in our lives than most people realize. It’s not just about using a website, a piece of software, or the latest technology. 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

When you want some advice from the UX greats

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

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

7. “The best products don’t focus on features, they focus on clarity.”

Jon Bolt, UX Designer and writer

8. “Don’t find customers for your products, find products for your customers.”

Seth Godin, blogger, entrepreneur, and author

9. “People ignore design that ignores people.”

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

10. “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

11. “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

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

Billy Gregory, Co-organizer of #AllyTO

13. “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

14. “People should never feel like a failure when using technology. Like the customer, the user is always right. If software crashes, it is the software designer’s fault. if someone can’t find something on a web site, it is the web designer’s fault… 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

15. “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

16. “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

When you want some warm and fuzzy feelings about why we love user research in the first place

17. “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 be 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  

18. “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

19. “Getting insights about worlds I know nothing about. The best part is seeing how people engage and are passionate to share their stories. I also love making sense of the data, finding patterns that surprise me. Basically - the unexpected about qualitative user research.”

Pernille Holm Rasmussen,

20. “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, UX Designer at Paycom

21. “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, Research Ops Lead at Dashlane

22. “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 Research & Design Strategist at Cantina

23. “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, User Researcher at HOVER Inc.

24. “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. We're on the east coast here. I don't just wanna talk to east coast people. 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. When would I ever, ever get a chance to talk to that guy under other circumstances? 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, when purchasing business insurance for his janitorial supplies company. And then, my job is to take what I've learned from that guy and help him, and help it be, better for him. That to me, is just the best thing.”

Cat Anderson, UX Writer at AP Intego

When you need to convince stakeholders research is the key to success

25. “‘Does it better’ will always beat ‘did it first.’”

Aaron Levie, CEO at Box 

26. “If you think good design is expensive, you should look at the cost of bad design.” 

Ralf Speth, CEO at Jaguar

27. “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

28. “If we want users to like our software we should design it to behave like a likeable person: respectful, generous and helpful.”

Alan Cooper, founder of Cooper

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

Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft

30. “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

31. “If you don’t talk to your customers, how will you know how to talk to your customers?”

Will Evans, Account Lead at LeadingAgile

Carrie Boyd

Content Creator

Carrie Boyd is a Content Creator at User Interviews. She loves writing, traveling, and learning new things. You can typically find her hunched over her computer with a cup of coffee the size of her face.

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