Skip to main content

Strategy and Transformation

UX is Everywhere: Confessions of a User Experience Researcher

Perficient: Digital Strategy Experts
The Future is Digital

Becoming digital is the surest way for you to understand your customers' needs and meet their expectations. Learn how Perficient can help anticipate what's ahead for you and your customer with a digital strategy centered around empathy, alignment, and agility.

Watch Now: Digital Strategy Experts

UX Research is not 9-to-5.
It controls you and never leaves you alone. No matter what I am doing or where I am, I analyze stuff. From learning a new app on my phone to walking into a store, I am aware of my experience as a user. The user experience (UX) mantra, “We are not the user,” is important and helps us to not overly rely on our own understanding, but when I am not at work, I am also my own user.
The height of a showerhead, aisle signs in a grocery store. Why Costco moves some things around. Did they talk with users? Have I been watched while I was in the store? Or my favorite fantasy, being stopped while I’m in the store and being asked for my thoughts. That would be a special day for me. I think about everything, I think about thinking.
I am also known to let out an audible “YES!” when I discover something that was done really well. I’m always comparing my skills. Would I have caught the problem I just experienced? Could I have come up with that bit of greatness that just caused me to say “yes”? What could be a next step to what I just experienced?
One of my favorite pet peeves: Newscasters that ask guests multiple questions before giving them a chance to answer. It makes me crazy. I find myself yelling at the TV, “Shut up and give them a chance to answer! If this was a survey question how would I know what question they are answering? How could I possibly code that kind of data?” There might be a good reason to ask multiple questions as a newscaster, but not so much as a UX researcher. Like I said, it makes me crazy.
I’m always running scenarios through my head about how would I pitch a project to a stakeholder. Questions like:

  • How can I find out what’s important to the stakeholder, so I can involve users in helping the stakeholder to make successful decisions?
  • How can I figure out what’s the least amount of research needed?
  • Am I staying impartial with my analysis of the data?
  • How do I stay flexible in my approach to stakeholders?
  • How do I compromise on some of the battles to make sure I stay in the war?

I’m sure the psychological community has a term for my condition.
I’m sure our HR department also has a term for my condition. I trust it’s “passionate-questioning-dedicated” with a sprinkle of “user advocate” for good measure. I’m OK with not knowing everything and excited about learning what I don’t know. I get more excited about being the weakest member of a team than being in the spotlight. I love learning. Every project is like an elementary school field trip. I dive in wide-eyed and excited to experience something new.
Have I put a smile on your face reading this? Has this caused you to take a second look at how you view UX research? Will you view your next trip to the store a little differently? I encourage you to be aware of your own user experiences. Consider seeking out a researcher to help you see things from your users’ perspective. User experience is anything but a 9-to-5 thing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Follow Us