UX acceptance of team

Hi all!

as a relatively new UX designer, I’m feeling a little bit frustrated in my current working situation and I would love to hear all your opinions on that.

My current situation:
I’m part of a team that develops tools to improve software testing in quite a niche. We have one main product and other smaller tools that enhance its functionality. In general, it’s a very cool team, agile processes, flat hierarchies etc but we have a very clear focus to get as much users as we can which results in some questionable decisions.

My problems:

  • The user research: it’s very hard for me to convince my team that we should do more qualitative user research. It basically comes down to the argument that it’s too much effort to get meaningful data and that we already “know” what our users want. For some features we also want to specifically “find out what are users want”, we are currently evaluating them basically by asking them that (additionally with a survey afterwards asking why etc., but still I’m not sure about how meaningful this actually is). The other thing is that for some features it’s quicker to just develop them instead of doing research and then we basically stick with it, wether it’s valuable or not.

  • The urge to gain users: instead of further making our products more usable, enhancing them or helping our users to learn the method, we are developing further integrations to different tool so we can “get new users”. It often feels like we focus on the wrong stuff.

  • The marketing side: we are so focussed on getting e-mail addresses of users to know their activity in order “to better support them in their journey”. Although I think it’s in general a good idea to help them, we are trying it the bad UX kinda way. This happens also in other cases, it’s the pattern of either “it’s not that bad” or “it works, so even if it’s bad we do it! I don’t care if we loose X users when we now have Y valuable ones”.

I would really love to hear your opinion on whether I should be really that frustrated as I am now or whether this is like the common case. Also, if you have some ideas to convince my team how to act differently I would appreciate it much.

Thanks to all of you!

Best wishes,

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Would there be a way for you to do some research yourself and then show them what you’ve gathered? I always find that if I can give an example proving the benefit it’ll help get buy in on something.


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hey vanessa,

I totally understand that it is frustraing for you. In my case it´s not that we only focus on getting new users, but when the existing users don´t understand something it mostly ends in doing a support call/webinar or making an instruction on our helpsite instead of optimising the software. This results of the fact, that there was no ux-person before I came, but there is a big support team (I think a big support team already says much about the ux of the software :crazy_face:).

Do you have any “big/important” customers that would hurt to lose? Maybe you can make some resarch/testing with especially those ones and show the results to your colleagues. If they are important users, maybe the importance for optimising is clearer for yout team.


Hi Vanessa,
This is an age old challenge for designers, art directors and now UX designers. How to prove to the decision makers why research into our users is important and in many cases worth more money in long term revenue than short term get to market thinking.

This has been my experience:

What is my role in the company? If I am junior I would not try to press the topic too hard, some companies do not, will not, get it. Try to ask yourself if you think you made a brilliant case would the decision makers actually go for it.

Be concise. Give a couple of powerful case studies to someone you trust about the value of focused UX research. I say focused because there is still the stigma that researchers will never stop researching in a product based world… so show some success stories where real company value was generated out of the deep dives and revisions.

Summarize, always try to roll up your ideas from hypothesis > validation > outcomes in single page summaries. The summary should take into account the technical impact, stakeholder benefits, user benefits and resource impact. Many C suite and manager level leaders flinch if there is no net ROI on an effort that is succinctly stated. So make your case, companies will spend if you can convince them they will win.

Ask anyone who has tried to sell a true branding process to a smaller company and they may have some tricks too. BTW: I was asked this question during an interview at Google “How do I get the engineers to listen to UX design concepts?”… so you are not alone.

Yup, seek forgiveness, not permission. At the ned of the day, it’s about demonstrating value to the team. :slightly_smiling_face: