Whose Job is User Research? An Interview with Jeff Gothelf

I'm interviewing researchers, designers, product managers, and other people in tech about their opinions on how user research should be done within companies. This is the first post in the series, and it appeared in full on the Rosenfeld Media blog. 

If you'd like to be featured as part of the series, contact me

While doing research for the upcoming PM+UX Conference, several respondents requested guidance around how user research should managed. In fact, it was the most common write-in answer on our survey, and a question that comes up repeatedly whenever I give talks. Apparently, there seems to be very little consensus about who on a product team should own research. This makes it a lot harder to get user insights and make good product decisions.  

In a way, this is good news. Five or ten years ago, there would have been more questions like, “How do I get my boss to consider doing user research?” and “What is user research good for?” Those still come up, but far more frequently, I’m hearing things like, “How do we make sure that everybody on the team understands the research?” and “Who is in charge of making sure research happens and deciding what to do about it?” Research, these days, is assumed. It’s just not very well managed.

To answer these questions, I interviewed several very smart people who know a thing or two about research and building products. I’ll share some of their suggestions in a series of blog posts.

First, I spoke with Jeff Gothelf, the author of Lean UX (O’Reilly, 2013) and Sense and Respond (Harvard, 2016).

Read the rest at Rosenfeld Media >