Talk | Democracy or Tyranny in UX Research… is there a middle ground?

Product teams are increasingly aware of the value in integrating user feedback throughout the product lifecycle. However, despite the increasing demand for ux researchers, the amount of work still far exceeds the bandwidth of most research teams. Additionally, product teams have a genuine desire to build empathy with their users so that they might identify unmet needs and critical pain points that would lead to new product opportunities.

Many organizations have responded to this need by creating formal training programs for non-researchers and supporting the operational aspects of these quasi-research activities. Such a democratization of the role of UX research has led other practitioners to express concern over whether such efforts dilute the unique skillset and value of our profession. Further, the teams who are providing operational support for such expanded efforts run the risk of drowning under their own weight.

Is there a middle ground? In this talk we’ll explore whether it’s possible to develop a user engagement model that allows teams to derive the benefits of both democracy and tyranny. Such a model will consider the necessary skills, expectations, processes, and outputs required to participate at different levels of engagement and provide recommendations for applications within enterprise organizations.

Jeanette Fuccella
Principal User Experience Researcher, LexisNexis