September 2021
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My answer:

“Be the opposite of clever… show the painfully obvious.”

Allow me to explain with a story:

Imagine you work with an engineering team.

Both you and the team are very close to the product. You both know where the bugs lie.

The team has outlined each bug in a ticket. Time after time again, the bugs are de-prioritized in favor of a new feature or deadline to meet.

Now image that there are also multiple stakeholders that influence the product roadmap. These stakeholders are not as intimate with the product as the team who has built it.

Then enters a UX designer.

Instead of attempting to highlight clever insights, he or she does a listening tour throughout the company to gather a list of common customer pain points.

Chances are, after talking with multiple departments, patterns will emerge. Probably for good reason.

The UX designer seeks to validate the top pain points and in the process records videos of customers struggling with each one.

These video are then presented later as part of a presentation to the company.

A few things happen:

  • Product managers and other stakeholders now attach a painful customer experience with a bug that the team has been wanting to fix. They had no idea the problem was so bad and decide “maybe we should fix this”.
  • The engineering team is glowing. They finally get to fix bugs that have been weighing on them for quite some time. When asked about UX the answer is: “I love UX. We should usability test everything!”.
  • The positive attitudes of the engineering team is noticed by upper management who thinks “Wow, these guys are really fired up. This is great! Maybe we should do this more regularly.”
  • Other teams take notice and start asking “What is the plan to start testing our project?”

What about the skeptics?

They need to make a choice:

  • Go against the grain
  • Go along for the ride

I’ve personally seen this happen a number of times. The momentum and positive impact of user testing for a team is truly eye opening and exciting.

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