Solo UX Researcher

Hello I am currently working for a startup company as the only UX researcher I am also new in this field (first time working as a professional UX researcher).

My questions are:

  1. How do you survive as the only UX researcher in your company when everyone don’t really understand what UX is? The UX maturity in my company is very low. ( not to mention lack of resources)

  2. My company has developed several products without “proper” user research at the beginning. How do you conduct research for existing products for future improvement?

  3. What is the best way to deal with stakeholders if they’re unsure who the target users are?

  1. who hired you? For a company to invest in a UR, there was an initial business need. Together with the person who hired you, you need to build a shared understanding/knowledge of the value of what you’re doing, and also build a case for more resources
  2. Speak to existing users. What are their motivations and pain points? This research/analysis will drive future improvements.
  3. Speak to your sales/customer success teams. They will know… If they don’t, I would be seriously worried

How big is your company and what is the team structure?

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Hi thank you for the answers, I have done number 2.

My company consists of 50-100 employees but unfortunately we still don’t have “established” team structure.

The one who hired me was one of the owner of the company who has no idea what UX and UX research is so the role of the UX in my company is still very low at this state.


I’m in the same boat, as the only UXer doing both research and design. At the beginning, I was even told I couldn’t speak to users because there was so much fear from upper management about stressing the relationship.

It’s a tough spot to be in, and I don’t have any magical advice but if you’re anything like me, it is a bit daunting to not know where to start so the best advice I can give you is to just start - ANYWHERE. Speak to users, send out some surveys, set up heatmaps or recordings on current products.

Start with some projects that would be considered low-hanging fruit. Any small wins will help to show value and hopefully also give you some confidence in yourself and your work along the way too.

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I am in the same boat and am having trouble figuring out how to tackle this. I work in an education software team. It’s waterfall, loosely disguised as agile. I have little involvement in establishing the requirements, they are handed to me by a BA, but the objectives aren’t very clear and I have become that annoying person who asks too many questions! Also, they have become a bottleneck. We have done some usability testing, but have been ordered by the CEO not to do it again. Typically, user feedback is to come from sales staff, this of course comes with its bias around selling the product, not using the product – so it’s all about feature, feature, feature. I have never worked somewhere where I am so removed from the customers, the product or design process. I’m just writing this to say, you’re not alone! I’m sorry I do not have the answers.

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