Product Discovery

Product Discovery

Oct 13, 2023

How to expose UX truths your company can't ignore



Ronny Roeller

Beyond Reports: Harnessing Real Faces and Voices to Rationalize Product Decisions

In today's rapidly evolving technological landscape, companies wear the badge of being "user-focused" with great pride. But do they truly honor that commitment? Behind closed doors, when pivotal decisions are made, whose voice resonates the loudest? Often, it's not the user's.

Too frequently, the user experience (UX) researcher's thorough study, rich with authentic user insights, gets overshadowed by a single anecdotal tale from “Joe from Sales.” Despite hours of user interviews and detailed syntheses of feedback, a fleeting suggestion based on a single experience can sidetrack the product development direction. Why? Because stories have power. They evoke emotion, inspire action, and linger in memory. As UX researchers, it's time we capitalize on the magic of storytelling.

Why Are Our Stories Falling Flat?

Let's be real: a dense report, no matter how meticulously crafted, often fails to captivate its audience. Numbers, graphs, and blocks of text, while informative, lack the emotional gravitas a story from Joe, backed by his vigor and conviction, brings to the table. Thus, Joe's solitary customer tale, while possibly an outlier, tends to overshadow the chorus of user voices clamoring for a different path.

This is not just about winning over the product team. It’s about the long-term viability of the company. Every time we prioritize one loud voice over the collective needs and wants of our users, we risk the brand's reputation, loyalty, and market share.

Bringing the Voice of Users to Life

It's time to fight fire with fire, or in this case, story with story. And what's a more authentic and compelling story than direct feedback from users? Enter the power of video clips.

Here's why video clips are a game-changer:

  1. Emotion: A user's tone, facial expressions, and body language add layers of depth to their feedback that no text can replicate.

  2. Authenticity: It's unscripted. It’s raw. It’s the user speaking their truth.

  3. Engagement: Videos, by nature, are more captivating than written reports. They can command attention in ways that texts or graphs often can't.

  4. Memorability: A poignant user testimonial, captured on video, will linger longer in the minds of decision-makers than a bulleted list of pain points.

Unlock the Potential

As UX researchers, we have a responsibility to ensure our users' voices are heard and taken seriously. To do this, we need to adapt our methods to the realities of organizational dynamics. By integrating video clips of user feedback throughout the product development process, we give users a seat at the decision-making table.

These clips can be shared during team meetings, sent in emails, or even broadcasted on screens in the workspace. Every stakeholder, from product owners to designers, developers, and top-tier executives, should be routinely exposed to these user voices.

Let's democratize the user voice. Let's ensure that decisions aren't just made based on who speaks the loudest in our organizations but rather on whose feedback truly matters the most: the user's. 

So, the next time you conduct a user interview, don’t just jot down notes. Hit the record button. Let's unlock video clips and amplify our users' voices louder than ever before.

Photo: Chase Elliott Clark