How to show the value of UX research to business stakeholders?


Unfortunately quite often companies don’t appreciate UX research as part of the design process. Any advice on how to show them the value of running it?


That is a good question to put in here, I work in one company they expect the sellers make all the job without having someone specialized in some areas like a UX research, but this is different from company too company.

If there is a chance to contract a UX Research for a few weeks there is a chance for the business stakeholders accept a full time, sometimes is just showing what we can do than just the talk about what can we do,


My team is in the middle of launching a company-wide research program which started as a result of a big overhaul in senior management. I consider myself quite fortunate in leading this change.

However, there has been a time when a lot of my UX decisions were based on assumptions and practically ZERO user research was carried out. This is particularly the case when organisations are already doing fairly well in terms of revenue and don’t seem to “get” the value of research.

There are several reasons for this:

  1. The upfront cost of doing research is high – a lot of planning, recruiting and analysis is required
  2. The outcome is almost always uncertain – you are validating assumptions that may turn out completely false
  3. Putting research into action requires consensus across Executive, Product and Engineering teams

At this point, you might be tempted to give up or even change your job. But despite everything being against you, there are a few things I would do to “open up the conversation” for user research. And remember – just because you don’t have research, doesn’t mean you can’t use personas, story maps or customer quotes to help stakeholders empathise with users.

Here are THREE things I would do in your position:

1. Flood your organisation with user stories
Put up personas on the wall, talk about NPS scores in emails, run user journey workshops and share interesting facts about your customers. The point here is to grab stakeholders’ attention and get them thinking about the product in terms of user problems.

2. Emphasise that most of what they see are assumptions
Once you’ve grab their attention, start the conversation of what these user insights mean to the organisation. Naturally, the question will arise of whether these insights are fact or fiction. At this point, you tell them the insights are purely assumptions and should be validated with research to be 100% certain.

3. Make research sound easy (at least initially)
Now that you’ve sparked your executive’s interest, suggest a method of research that is simple and cost-effective. Perhaps it’s an online click-test done in two days, or a visit to one of your client’s office. ALWAYS start small.

In the end, we are designers solving problems within a number of constraints. And your organisational values are one of them. If it helps, see yourself as a salesman, an evangelist or a “value communicator” inside your company, and perhaps things will go your way. Good luck!