Creating a habit of research



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Want to create a product people love? You’ve got to do more research. If you get into the habit of doing fast and frequent feedback, you’ll glean critical insights that inform every product decision and prevent you from building something people don’t want.

In our final DesignTalk of 2016, Sarah Doody taught us how to establish a research schedule and choose research activities that fit your timeline and budget.

Watch Sarah’s full talk below, or read on for our recap of the beginning of her talk.

Why we don’t do enough research

Sarah started off by equating the design process to the game of telephone. UX teams are often the switchboard that hears feedback from product, sales, and support. At best, it can seem like these teams are speaking different languages, and at worst, that they aren’t talking to each other at all.

Related: Learn how to give good feedback

This happens because teams are set up to talk to themselves, but not necessarily to talk to users. The main reasons why Sarah sees that teams don’t do research with users:

  1. Time. The idea that research will slow down the product design process. (It won’t!)
  2. Money. The thought being that research is expansive and expensive. (It doesn’t!)
  3. Experience. The fear that no one on the team has a track-record of research. (You can still do it successfully!)
  4. Buy-in. The struggle of getting your manager or executives on board. (It’s easier than you think!)

Why research matters

Most teams when launching a new product expect that they’re going to get it right on the first try. In reality, we’re probably going to miss the mark at first. The true failure is if we launch and it doesn’t go well, and we don’t move forward with making it better.

You might have made the right choice with the information you had at the time, but once you have more information, you can make increasingly better decisions. Research gives you that additional information.

“Research doesn’t slow down the product design process.”

The best products—and teams—succeed in a cycle of launching and learning. You’ll save time, save money, make things people want, have a happier team, and you’ll reduce your risk by validating assumptions as you go.

To learn more about the symptoms of not enough research, the types of research you can add into your product design process, and what your cadence of research should be, I encourage you to watch the video above! Or check out all of our other DesignTalks here.

And don’t miss our top 5 DesignTalks of 2016.


Margaret Kelsey
Margaret Kelsey leads content marketing at Appcues. Before Appcues, she built content programs for InVision’s design community for 3.5 years and has roots in painting and PR. She’s a big fan of puns, Blackbird Donuts, and Oxford commas—probably in that order.

Keep up with me on and .

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