Oct 19, 2023

The Death of "Valuable Insights”: How AI is Redefining UX Research



Ronny Roeller

In the age of AI, UX research is transformed, challenging traditional notions of 'value' and reimagining the potential of every user insight

User Experience (UX) research has always been about understanding the user and then curating, extracting, and presenting the most relevant insights. It was a craft. We prided ourselves in our ability to sift through hours of interviews to capture that elusive 'golden nugget' of information. The essence of the researcher's skillset was in determining what was relevant and what was not.

The Shift of Technology: Introduction of AI

Yet, as with any field, technology changes things. Enter Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Previously, the value of an insight was discerned using certain yardsticks:

  • Was it relevant to the question at hand? If we were looking into improving the onboarding process, any feedback on pricing was considered "irrelevant."

  • Was the insight novel? If a point was reiterated multiple times, its novelty faded, and it lost its sheen.

In essence, the human touch assigned value. We made judgments on what would make the final report and what would end up in our metaphorical trash bin. It was a system that worked because our audience was specific, and our research question was singular.

But AI has thrown this system into disarray.

With the ability to store, categorize, and reanalyze previous research data, AI has turned the tables. No longer are insights constrained by the limitations of a singular research question. The same dataset can be repurposed, reanalyzed, and reused for a plethora of questions, many of which might not even have been conceived at the time of the initial research.

The Changing Value of Insights

What this means is profound. An insight, previously deemed invaluable, can become gold overnight. Consider the example of feedback on pricing during onboarding research. While it might not have been directly relevant then, a future inquiry on monetization strategies or pricing models would find this very feedback to be crucial.

Moreover, the democratization of data, facilitated by AI, allows non-researchers to tap into user knowledge. A new Product Manager, unaware of past issues, could delve into the repository and discover previously recorded concerns about account creation. For them, this "repeated" insight is fresh, novel, and incredibly valuable.

Redefining the Role of Researchers

The shifting sands of value raise existential questions for us as researchers. If value is no longer static, then what role do we play in its determination? Can we even deem something as "not valuable" anymore?

This isn’t to suggest that researchers will become obsolete. Far from it. Instead, our role evolves. Instead of being mere gatherers of insights, we become curators, organizers, and facilitators. We ensure that the repository is rich, diverse, and accessible. We guide stakeholders in asking the right questions and point them towards insights they might not have even considered.

A New Era in UX Research

In the age of AI, the idea of a singular "valuable" insight is dead. Every piece of information has potential value, waiting for the right context, the right question, the right moment.

The future of UX research is not about sifting and discarding. It's about collecting, preserving, and reimagining. And in this future, every insight has its day in the sun.


In the evolving landscape of UX research, AI emerges not as a usurper but as a powerful ally. It challenges our traditional notions of what constitutes "value", prompting us to view insights as a dynamic reservoir of potential. While the tools of our trade may change, the core principle remains—understanding and advocating for the user. As we embrace AI, we don't relinquish our role but amplify it, moving from mere data gatherers to strategic data stewards. As researchers, our quest remains the same: to unearth meaningful insights that drive impactful decisions. In this AI-augmented future, every bit of feedback, no matter how seemingly insignificant today, holds the promise of becoming tomorrow's golden insight.

For those intrigued by the limitless potential of this synergy between AI and UX research, I urge you to delve deeper, educate yourself, and become an active participant in shaping this exciting future. Dive in, explore, and let's co-create a more informed and user-centric world together.

Photo: whologwhy