UX research deserves more attention.
Interaction and visual design may enjoy the limelight on blogs and in boardrooms, but recent studies allude that research is the real difference between above-average products and market leaders.
Consider the importance of research to the ideation phase in the Lean Startup Process.
Before you start building something, even an MVP, you should really have some inclination of whether you’re solving a problem anyone cares about.
So you do user research. If you’re good at it, you’ll uncover whether your idea has legs. If you’re really good at it, you might discover an even bigger problem your product can solve for your market.
But you’ll never know without doing the research. Later in the learning phase, you’ll still rely on user research to refine the rough materials of your MVP into a solution that’s truly worthwhile.
Given the critical role research plays in product development, it’s worth investigating how people are operationalizing this discipline.
So we put together a survey and asked UX professionals:
How much time do you typically spend on research?
Are you happy with that amount?
What’s stopping you from doing more?
What techniques do you use most often?
After getting responses from design and research professionals in over 25 industries, we analyzed the results and wrote a report.
The results paint a clear picture of the state of UX research in most organizations. The user-centered design process is relatively mature, but the amount of resources — both time and people — leaves a lot to be desired.
This question becomes even more interesting in the context of design’s collaboration with development. Most of the respondents worked in either the product department or under the umbrella of development.
So, what is the middle ground between adhering to a reasonably Agile process and allocating sufficient resources for uncovering the pain points of the audience? Right now, it remains an open question.
While we contemplate the answer, here are the principle findings of our survey, in visual form for your viewing pleasure.