Do Less for Better UX

"If a 20mb UX research report lands in an inbox,
will anyone ever know it existed?"
-Me, just now

How scrappy is your UX research, testing, and reporting process? You're likely putting too much time into it, and delivering way more than you should be. If no one is paying you to do it, then start trimming. Even if they pay you, trim it.

Let's start with some general things all designers should keep in mind:

  • your client stakeholders are busy
  • they're probably overwhelmed, maybe even a little (a lot) miserable
  • they likely have bosses that dictate what they can and can't do
  • they will pay you to do what is quantifiably valuable to their project, as well as their own career success

To assume otherwise would be foolish, and just bad business. If you want your user research and testing results to be consumed by the people that matter, it needs to be succinct enough to bite off, chew, and digest in a single, short sitting. 

"But Craig, I have so much I need to convey here, there's no way we can cut all this critical data and analysis!"
-You (maybe), right now 🙇🏻

Ok, but don't complain when whatever it is you share doesn't get read and, ultimately, dies an early and unnecessary death. What good are you as a UX designer if you can't simplify your own outputs enough to be used by the people who are actually making decisions on the product?

It is far better to convey less information that is actionable (and acted upon) than too much information that is ignored.

A few suggestions 🌟

  • consider the goals and purpose of every page (better yet, every sentence) of research and reporting you deliver. 
  • create a structure in your report that is easy to navigate, and think about the hierarchy of information you need to present
  • design for the use case of a stakeholders that won't read past page 1, or finish paragraphs longer than three sentences.

Remember those design principles we like to tout? Use them. (S/O Dieter Rams🖖🏼 and also this). Apply them to your reports and information sharing to your teams, clients, and stakeholders. 

One last point.

If we, as UX designers, hope to advocate for and sell the value of ux research and user testing to both clients and our own execs, the first (and possibly most important) step we can take is to make our delivery useful, usable, and accessible. 

Good luck, keep truckin'

💃🏽🕺🏻