I remember sitting with a handful of product managers in a weekly meeting being grilled. I was trying to convince them to do a product overhaul. We had an inconsistency in our designs that was hurting our business - with different splash screens, icons and user flows preventing it from reaching its full potential.
As a designer, you know that design consistency is crucial for good UX. You need consistent iconography, typography, style, splashscreens, etc. Design consistency throughout a product is far more important than an individual’s personal preference for colors or style on a particular feature.
Yep, I’ll admit it - the meeting was an absolute failure. My personal opinion wasn’t enough to convince all the product owners to back my design improvements.
Without data you're just another person with an opinion. You need something more concrete to be persuasive.
- I needed to prove that users were struggling because of the design inconsistencies.
- I should have conducted user research and presented the evidence to them.
- Show real user quotes about how users are failing to find certain features because of inconsistent icons and user flows.
Back then, I wasn’t armed with any great research tools, insights and data. For the next meeting, I was more prepared. After conducting 5 user interviews and a few rounds of user testing (and asking the right user research questions), I got what I needed. Doing design research will change your life as a designer.
There’s nothing stronger than quoting your users directly. Once you do that, your case will be rock-solid and you will be very hard to be unheard. As a result user research will have the greatest influence on your design and on the entire product development.