Research leaders, researchers and research aficionados: This is a templated document you can use in your organization when trying to reach an agreement on a research strategy and budget. Note that it is mostly relevant for organizations that have 100s, 1,000s, and 10,000s employees with a relatively small research team. Feel free to copy, edit, and paste.
Broccoli is one of the healthiest vegetables out there. It has been proven to help prevent, delay, and even reverse serious medical conditions and diseases. At the same time, broccoli is not tasty and, once cooked, smells really, really bad (my opinion, prove me wrong). Many kids, as well as grown-ups, avoid it despite its astonishing health benefits.
User Research is similar to broccoli
It will do wonders for the success of products and services. Once adopted fully, it’ll prevent them from failing and reverse the awful results and performance of legacy products. That said, it’s hard to follow (some would say swallow), requiring effort and changing priorities. As with broccoli, many product practitioners and leaders know user research is healthy, yet not many organizations are ready for it. My approach is not ‘All or nothing.’ Rather, I see it as ‘All or something’ (credit to The Game Changers creators for this). There are a lot of meaningful steps an organization can take to become a true learning entity based on high-quality research provided at the right time to the right people and teams.
The purpose of this document is to discuss the current state of affairs for user research in our company and propose what a utopian user research strategy looks like. The document ends with a phased approach to reaching that utopia.
User research defines the field of Human-Centered Design. HCD is driven by solving problems and a solid focus on customer needs.
Human-centered design is:
- Human-focused — focus on the needs, behaviors, and motivations of people.
- Collaborative — work collaboratively to understand the problem and craft the solution.
- Multi-disciplinary — bring different perspectives to bear on the problem.
- Iterative — create, evaluate and…