Scaling a UX Research Team to Maturity: A Case Study in UX Influence

Posted by AnswerLab Research on Oct 9, 2018

Clients come to us with all sorts of UX challenges, and sometimes that involves us helping them innovate and improve their internal processes. We don’t just help conduct research - we also often help our clients develop human-centered design processes within their research teams for long-term sustainability. In some cases, that means leading workshops to build internal alignment on user needs or mentoring teams on best practices across research topics.

A Fortune 500 company came to us with concern that their team wasn’t getting the respect or credibility they needed from stakeholders within the organization to truly influence product development with insights from research. With a team that needed guidance in how to yield more actionable results, the client asked for our advice in how to scale their team to become more effective researchers that would be able to have influence in the organization. Through our conversations, we recognized that the best way for us to help was to provide guidance and best practices for running complex, strategic qualitative studies; assistance in managing research logistics to improve their internal processes, and mentorship in scaling their UX research practice to maturity.

Here's how we responded: 

Our approach brought in the expertise of our senior research team, guidance from our project management practice, and strategic consulting around UX influence and educational training for their researchers.

reportsAfter developing a deep understanding of the product, AnswerLab ran a handful of studies end-to-end for their team and subsequently provided consultative support on studies led by their own researchers. To support their team, we helped with project planning, observed sessions, and coached their team through the reporting process to help them create a self-sufficient, sustainable research process.

One area the team was able to significantly improve was recruiting as they often struggled to find the right participants for their studies. It was clear that their vendor relationship needed a tune-up. In addition, a lack of clear communication with stakeholders on what the key recruiting criteria should be for specific studies was also hindering their ability to get the right people through the door. AnswerLab’s project managers oversaw all aspects of recruitment and field logistics for several projects to ensure they ran smoothly and efficiently while mentoring their research team on these best practices in the field.

trainingFinally, throughout this engagement, we emphasized mentorship and educational opportunities for their team. To help elevate their researchers to a position of influence and UX maturity, we held trainings on key topics in UX research in addition to observing sessions and advising them during the research process. With topics from reporting techniques to tips on presenting to stakeholders, these workshops were done in context over the course of several real-world studies. By doing this professional development training in conjunction with the research, the team was able to build their in-house capabilities and apply their learnings to future research.

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AnswerLab Research

The AnswerLab research team collaborates on articles to bring you the latest UX trends and best practices.

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