Tomer Sharon works in the Search team at Google New York. He conducted a half-day workshop for TriUXPA on October 17th. The theme of Tomer’s workshop was how UX practitioners can get support from their colleagues for doing user research and doing it right. Tomer discussed ten ideas, which he calls silver bullets.
- 1. Empathy. While UX practitioners find it easy to empathize with users they do not empathize with other stakeholders. Organizational stakeholders often do not understand user research. It behooves us as user researchers to take the time to understand and empathize with our stakeholders.
- 2. Maturity. Often, (organizational) stakeholders are not mature in terms of UX. Tomer discussed instances where we might be able to increase their maturity and instances when we may not.
- 3. Participation. Having stakeholders participate in user research can be extremely helpful. Invite them to watch a user research session and comment on what they observed.
- 4. Lean. Cross-functional teams in a lean environment are the true recipe for progress. Having everyone involved in the whole process, and doing whatever it takes, goes a long way.
- 5. Be patient. Organizations are slow to change and so are people.
- 6. Get them to listen. People have to listen before you can persuade them. A good way to getting people to listen is by taking all the “buts” out of the conversation.
- 7. Collaborate. A key to getting stakeholder buy-in is to collaborate with them. Involve them in user studies from the beginning to select tasks, select users, and so on. Make UX each stakeholder’s baby!
- 8. No reports. Identify insights from user research as it is going on; don’t wait till the end. Tomer showed an example of summarized data from user research that provides a quick overview and makes formal reports redundant and saves time. He suggested presenting findings in an expo-like fashion to attract attention from stakeholders.
- 9. Quantitative findings. People like data so why not present them with data, ideally visualized properly.
- 10. Find the balance. Balance what the stakeholders want from user research with what you want.
Next, Tomer had the audience break out into teams to enact several scenarios that typically arise in corporate environments. Each team used some of the silver bullets to make its case for user research.