Should I suggest we go back and do more user research?

Hi all!

I am a UX newbie, but have been assigned to a project at work that is already underway, and I think could perhaps do with some UX methodology applying. Please could you take a look at the situation and let me know your thoughts? I would really appreciate it !


The organisation I work for has identified an opportunity to create an online learning platform for an industry sector that is lagging behind in terms of employee training.

Currently this sector has no formal structured approach to training. There are some existing online training options, but these are fragmented and there is no one-stop-shop for people to access professional training and career information.

I have joined this project in the early conceptual stages. The project team has hired an external UX contractor who has started to create wireframes (with LOTS of detail and specific product features).

I’m concerned that there has been zero user research. Some personas have been created, but that’s it. I know it’s not always straight forward when it’s a new product, but I feel like the decision makers in the project team have been dazzled by the wireframes, saying yes to all of these proposed features, without considering whether the end users would utilise any of this.

I fear the UX designer is perhaps customising this product to his personal idea of what the end solution should be. Thing is, if this product is unsuccessful he gets paid and walks away, but the rest of us will be in the firing line!

Kind regards,
Alex

Welcome to the community @AlexW!

Yes, you should most definitely suggest research, specifically with the target audience. It sounds like you got a wireframe monkey and not a UX Designer. :grinning:

Hi @AlexW , as @jdebari rightly said, you should ask the designer to conduct user research. It will be a nightmare once your client starts working on the application.

Definitely, it’s not UX if there’s no user research. They will save a lot of developer/designer time and money by building something that solves an actual problem if they get some user interviews going with their target customer. Otherwise, they’re making a risky bet and building a product on a hunch, not even a hypothesis without any discovery research done. Spend a couple of weeks interviewing or months building the wrong thing?

User interviews don’t have to be super complex when you’re starting out and are an ideal tool for a new product. Get 3-6 per hypothesized target customer persona (proto persona), if you stop learning a lot of new information then you’ve talked to enough to either stop or shift personas. If you haven’t done user interviews, “The Mom Test” is a quick read and will get you through exploratory interviews without some pitfalls.