I get asked this question a lot. I usually say that I help companies to observe their customers using their products in order to make improvements. However, there are so many other things that a User Researcher does.
User Research in itself focuses on understanding user behaviours, needs and motivations.
So what do User Researchers do?
- We use observation techniques, task analysis and other feedback methods
- We are not interested in finding out what users say or their opinions
- We are very interested in finding out what users do
- We gather assumptions from the team and stakeholders
- We open communication channels in projects
- We test and validate those assumptions with users and share findings
- We facilitate and foster alignment within teams to gain a shared understanding of user needs
In a nutshell, User Researchers interface with users, stakeholders and teams acting as a central hub for relaying important findings back and forth throughout a project.
When a project involves users interacting with a system, it is vital to understand users and their struggles, but it is equally important to see what value can be given to users and how that relates to a business benefit.
User Researchers analyse both user needs and business benefits.