The UX Research Reckoning is Here

Lots of nuggets in this article, like:

It’s time for us to lean into the future, to realize the last 15 years was more fools golden than golden age.

fools golden, woof … and:

Middle-range findings [e.g. user interviews] are usually not specific enough. They tend to be too general and descriptive, even when a researcher does an amazing job communicating. They’re hard to turn into specific recommendations and thus easy to poke holes in or ignore. They are most likely to trigger the post-hoc bias, which invokes the stereotype that researchers work for months only to tell us things we already know.

On more micro research:

Low-level, technical UX research isn’t always sexy, but it drives business value. When research makes a product more usable and accessible, engagement goes up and churn rates go down. Companies need that for the bottom line. Users get a better product. Win-win.

And more on macro/strategic research:

Great macro-research is multi-method — desk, quant, and qual combined. It provides priorities and frameworks more than answers or hypotheses. It’s unabashedly business first and future first. And it requires direct collaboration with executives, cutting out the messengers who might dilute the business value of research.

Can’t say I don’t disagree. It’s something a lot of client services UXers have known for a while now. Clients are more willing to pay for macro and micro research.

Bottom line, lots of angst (me included) is being stirred up between lay-offs and AI causing lots of us to reevaluate the direction of our careers.

May 8, 2023