User Research Teams Should Act as Organizational Multipliers

An effective user research team cannot proceed as though it holds a monopoly on intelligence about the user. In a mature, design-centric organization, customer knowledge is everyone's concern. Therefore, the purpose of user research specialists is to act as a "multiplier" who helps cross-functional teams discover and learn and facilitates what Microsoft's Monty Hammontree calls "co-experienced learning." They enable everyone to hear from and learn about their customers so that they are confident in their understanding and are energized to develop customer-centric solutions.

The tasks and duties of the user research team, then, may include performing research, but should also focus on developing and documenting best practices, expertise, guidance, and templates; delivering training, coaching, and education; and effectively disseminating findings and insights so that they are accessible to the broader organization.

They should develop and communicate processes that clearly delineate the roles and responsibilities of non-researchers, reviewing their methodologies and work, and consulting on frameworks and approaches to ensure research is as effective and valuable as possible.


Related

Citations

Hammontree, Monty. “The Future of UX Research.” Medium (blog), September 26, 2019. https://medium.com/microsoft-design/the-future-of-ux-research-14fe63743c1d.

Usertesting.com. “Scaling Research for Better CX.” Usertesting.com, 2019. https://info.usertesting.com/rs/220-GOX-255/images/scaling-research-for-better-cx-ebook.pdf.


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