"Skip User Research Unless You’re Doing It Right — Seriously"


@steveportigal Posted this on LinkedIn earlier and I think it’s a great point. There are laws of diminishing returns when you are moving so fast that you sacrifice quality.

…we’ll always have to deal with requests to make our research faster, but once you or your user research team has achieved terminal velocity with any given method, stop trying to speed it up. Instead, focus on capturing each insight, leveling it up to organizational knowledge, and applying that learning in the future. Yes, that means when an important insight doesn’t make v1, go ahead and bring it back up to apply to v2.

h/t Steve! Very cool to see you here


Nice, I’ll publish my response from medium:

…Aren’t these two very different things which have got muddled up?

Research != user testing

At least to me they are not the same thing.

If you need to do user testing on a concept that isn’t research, that is testing. You may report on the result but it has a different purpose. This type of testing, which does have to sit within a development cycle is an extension of traditional unit testing and user acceptance testing.

For most of the 00s and up to around 2010 I was working in software development and I can confidently say that any company I worked at user acceptance testing was carried out by internal staff who sponsored the project or suggested the feature was required.

Fortunately for all consumers of products that’s been acknowledged as wrong and so user testing is literal. It is just part of user acceptance testing.

Researching whether the thing should be created - that is a different matter.

What do you think?


The distinction you’re drawing is generative or explorative versus evaluative research. User testing is still research. It’s just the evaluative version.


That’s a good technical distinction. Would you say the point on its function and where it lives within the production/manufacturing mode of the company is accurate?


I guess that’s true for some organizations. Not all though.