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How to convince your team you need UX research

Natalia Álvarez
March 9, 2020

The first step to convincing your team or your boss to do UX research is to do a little research yourself. Don’t worry, you won’t have to do too much. Your first task will be finding out why do they feel reluctant to it. This way you will gather all the information that you will need to implement the convincing tactics we will tell you next.

UX Research sounds expensive

Even though most experts in the field agree that starting with 3 or 4 users will give you good results, stakeholders still think usability testing is expensive.

Asking stakeholders about their decision-making can also point to their need for research. Most decisions made without research tend to have a much higher risk potential. Make them be aware of the economical risk that taking decisions based on hunches can lead to.

Also, if you show them examples of how UX can increase ROI they will surely be more inclined to listen.

Don’t overcomplicate it. Make it easy

As Christine Perfetti puts it, Usability testing isn’t rocket science. Sometimes research gets the allure of complication. It’s good to remind your team that it does not need to be too complicated. Starting simple and getting your team to see the direct benefits will get them floating faster into the research boat with you.

Starting on the early stage and with paper prototyping will help you convince and involve your team. This will prevent unwanted changes right before the testing and it will give them a bigger sense of belonging to the project.

Align to the stakeholder’s mindset

As a researcher, it’s so important to put yourself in the user's shoes. Similarly, if you want your team or your boss to understand the importance of UX research, you should get into their thinking. Are they number-based? Do they take their decisions more emotionally or more logically? What are times when they feel more inclined to listen to new ideas?

Take everything you know about their thinking and prepare a pitch that will adapt to it. Your chances of being listened will grow exponentially.

Tell them they know too much

As Pontus Wärnestål (expert on Service design and Research) states, as a product owner, designer or developer, “you know too much”.

You, as an expert on the product have too much information about the product, the web flow, or the customer journey to be actually able to make unbiased decisions.

Show them good practices

For those who need proof to take decisions, the best convincing is to show them case studies and analytics on how research can improve a project.

You can find some of our UX Research case studies here.

How to fight the excuses?

One of the most common excuses to avoid starting with testing is that the whole design “is not ready yet”.

The best counter argument to this is that the best time for testing is actually when the design is not ready. The main goal of testing is observing real users as they interact with a product to identify the usability problems. This will allow us to find the best fitting solutions. It’s essential to get that information as soon as possible so the rest of the design is actually aligned with the users needs.


  1. https://articles.uie.com/usability_buy_in/
  2. http://fronttoback.org/2010/01/20/4-ways-to-combat-usability-testing-avoidance/
  3. https://www.userzoom.com/blog/how-to-get-stakeholder-buy-in-for-user-research-expert-tips/
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