Recognizing the Need for UX Research
Identifying the Problem
If your business is struggling to understand the needs of prospective customers and users, you might be at risk of developing products or features that miss the mark. This disconnect can lead to high costs and inefficiency. Recognizing that you need help with UX research is the first crucial step towards improvement.
Who Usually Conducts UX Research?
Initially, founders, heads of product, and product managers (PMs) may take on the task of UX research. As the business grows, the complexity of user experience demands may increase.
When to Hire a UX Researcher?
Deciding at what headcount UX Researchers (UXRs) should be hired depends on various factors such as the company’s size, product complexity, and market needs. Generally, businesses might consider hiring UXRs when scaling beyond a small team, where the focus on user-centered design becomes paramount.
Finding the Right Talent: Recognizing Common Shortcomings
Understanding Shortcomings in UX Research
The process of finding the right talent starts by knowing what to avoid. Here are common shortcomings to look out for:
- Detail Collector: Collecting details without synthesizing useful insights.
- Lack of Business Alignment: Not doing enough work upfront to understand the business problem, focusing only on esoteric details.
- Misunderstanding Stakeholders: Not recognizing the incentives and challenges of key stakeholders, such as PMs, designers, engineers, salespeople, and customer service associates.
Vetting Candidates: What to Look For
Key Questions to Ask
When evaluating candidates, businesses must vet for the above shortcomings and more. Here’s how:
- Understanding Business Context: Does the candidate work to understand the business context, constraints, and timelines?
- Critical Questioning: Does the candidate ask vital questions, striving to disprove hypotheses?
- Robust Research Processes: Is there evidence of setting up robust research collection methods?
- Background Research: Does the candidate work to get a full understanding of critical data and facilitate data sharing?
- Stakeholder Experience: Does the candidate have previous experience working with key stakeholders and understand who is most crucial to support for success on the job?
Hiring a UX researcher is not just about finding someone with the right skills; it’s about finding someone who fits into your business’s ethos and understands the complexity of your market and product. By following the guide above, you can make an informed decision that will help your business grow and thrive, putting you in a better position to create products that resonate with your target audience.
Remember, the UX researcher you hire will be a critical bridge between your business and your customers, so choose wisely and invest in a recruitment process that truly reflects the importance of this role.