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.
- UX research activities by product lifecycle - Different kinds of activities user researchers perform and/or support
- Information is abundant; perspective is scarce. - Information is readily available but there's need to develop new ways to look at and interpret it.
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.