Tips for Seeking Stakeholder Participation in UX Research Studies
Collaboration between all stakeholders is essential to develop engaging UX designs. A Norman Group survey suggests that over 82% of UX professionals collaborate with other members to produce UX deliverables. Collaboration not only provides deeper insights but also generates diverse opinions and UX design ideas. UX research is a preliminary UX design activity where collaboration between researchers, stakeholders, and designers plays a critical role.
That being said, convincing a project’s stakeholders to buy-in the idea of UX research is a major challenge. The conflict between stakeholder goals and user research goals disrupt UX research services and lead to bad UX designs.
This blog post provides some proven tips to bridge the gap between UX research and stakeholders to create effective digital products.
1) Overcome Excuses, Sell UX Research
Tomer Sharon is the head of User Research and Metrics at Goldman Sachs and author of the renowned book “It’s Our Research”. In one of his tweets, the UX expert posted some most common excuses that stakeholders make to abscond UX research.
In his book, Tomer discusses the challenge of synchronizing the requirements of different types of stakeholders such as product managers, engineers, designers, and researchers. To combat these challenges, Tomer suggests the idea of “Selling UX research” by evangelizing the advantages of UX research.
2) Evangelize UX research
User research consultants can mediate between designers and stakeholders. It is essential for them to convey how a project saves unnecessary iterations and rework with early-stage UX research techniques.
Moreover, they can organize workshops to discuss UX concepts, terms, user needs, and challenges with the entire team including all stakeholders. Customer-site visits and participatory design sessions are one more way to collaborate with stakeholders. It is the onus of user research consultants to explain how UX research minimizes product failure and contributes to business expansion.
3) Accommodate stakeholder goals and user research goals
Full-scale UX UI consulting services encompass the requirements of a project’s target audience as well as its stakeholders. It is, therefore, important for UX practitioners to conduct strategy meetings with stakeholders to understand their objectives and vision. Thereafter, establish UX benchmarks and formulate effective design strategies to balance usability with stakeholder requirements.
4) Involve Stakeholders in UX activities
Jared Spool, a renowned American researcher and software usability expert, explains the importance of team involvement in UX research by quoting,
“Outsourcing your research is like outsourcing your vacation. It gets the activity done, but it doesn’t realize the value. If only your researchers are doing the research, you’re doing it wrong.”
Spool suggests that in order to conduct valuable UX research, the participation of every team member in planning and brainstorming is indispensable. Also, every member should observe the research process as closely as UX researchers themselves. Ideas, opinions, challenges, and potential solutions should be open from all members. It ensures that designers receive constant exposure to the people they are designing for and deliver quality user experience.
5) Conduct Early-stage Usability Tests
It is a misconception that usability tests demand product redesign and delay its launch indefinitely. Leading providers of UI UX design services attest that early-stage usability tests significantly save time, money, and efforts. It not only provides a clear design direction but also streamlines UX activities for efficient delivery. Therefore, user research consultants must initiate usability testing at every stage of the design process and rethink design strategies before development begins.
Paper prototyping is one of the best testing techniques to draw meaningful feedback about the required design. The team can easily build paper prototypes using office supplies. The challenges and loopholes observed while designing should be constantly shared with stakeholders and developers to make an informed decision.
You may also like to read- A/B Testing in Digital Designs | Benefits, Risks, and Steps
Landing on a design consensus is critical for great user experience. UX research is the first and most crucial checkpoint in the design process. However, its importance is best demonstrated than stated. User research consultants must present precise and accurate data points to measure the value of UX research for a certain project. The resulting facts should hold meaning for every team member from developers to designers to managers.
The following quote by Spool is the best way to conclude the impact of UX research,
“Intuitive design happens when current knowledge is the same as the target knowledge.”
UX Research Services for Global Businesses
Our UX research consultants at Oodles Studio conduct in-depth research to fulfill the digital requirements of a variety of businesses across the globe. Our UX research service deliverables include User Persona Generation, Competitive Analysis Reports, Information Architecture Diagrams, and other UX reports. Talk to our UX/UI design team to know more about our design processes and projects.