Bonus Step: How to get buy-in for more research←This post
As a UX researcher or designer, you might encounter resistance when proposing more user testing or interviews to decision-makers. Especially when those decision makers are one step removed from the testing results presentation.
So how do you convince leadership to invest in additional research? Use these proven tactics to get buy-in:
Share Powerful User Stories
Forget the boring stats for a minute. Instead, share compelling stories and quotes straight from user research sessions. Real-world examples are a powerful way to show how design choices affect the user experience.
Describe a user’s frustration when struggling with a confusing workflow. Quote someone’s comment about a delightfully simple new feature. Stories are more memorable and impactful than data alone.
Demonstrate Tangible ROI
Show how research can positively affect key performance indicators. For example, user testing early in development can improve conversion rates by catching usability issues. Highlight how a 5% conversion rate bump can increase revenue. You won’t be able to put an exact dollar figure on “improved customer satisfaction,” but you can connect research to tangible business wins.
Frame Testing as Risk Mitigation
If leadership is hesitant to invest in research without guaranteed outcomes, position user testing as risk mitigation. Explain how relatively small investments in testing early on can prevent much greater costs down the line by building features users won't adopt. Testing answers the questions upfront to avoid costly guesswork during building. The insights uncovered will safeguard your team from going too far in the wrong direction.
Tip: “Testing is like insurance - it protects against wasted effort from developing solutions that miss the mark.”
Involve Leadership in Research
Seeing is believing. So, invite key decision makers to actively observe user sessions firsthand by watching a live or recorded session. Watching target users interact with their product can be eye-opening. Leaders get to hear unfiltered feedback rather than filtered reports while also getting to view users through an empathetic lens.
Rather than requesting big budgets for expansive research upfront, propose starting with quick, small-scale pilot tests. Offer to conduct short qualitative testing sessions with just 5-10 users focused on a high-priority area. Once stakeholders see the value, it often sparks organic interest and investment in larger research efforts over time.
Understand your audience
Just like testing with users, getting buy-in for user research requires understanding stakeholders' perspectives and tailoring your pitch. By framing the benefits compellingly, you can build the case for greater UX insights through expanded testing and interviews. With persistence and the right approach, organizations can transform into being research-driven and customer-centered.
It all comes down to this
Remember that the key to gaining buy-in is to effectively communicate the value and impact of user testing in a way that resonates with your organization's goals and priorities. Tailor your approach to your specific organizational culture and leadership style, and be prepared to answer questions and provide evidence to support your case.