Because user research is new to most, your colleagues might initially be ill-equipped to gauge the success of your work. So it can be tempting for everyone involved to resort to fuzzy measures of success: “Does my team like me? Am I easy to work with?” Don’t fall into that trap: educate. Insist on being measured by your impact. Which, fundamentally, boils down to business outcomes: understanding behavior is merely a means to that end.
Build trust early so you have latitude to ask what’s needed. I start with a fast tactical project that showcases I am impactful and can drive results. Once trust is built, I seek to answer questions teams don’t know they have. At Thumbtack my second projects sought to understand “Who are our pros?” The resulting frameworks were used for over a year. They helped onboard new team members and created a shared understanding.
Bias toward tools that reach a larger percentage of product and engineering teams. We saw high usage and excitement when we introduced FullStory, a session playback tool allowing us to watch user sessions on our site. While it was difficult to get engineers to attend one-on-one interviews, they loved FullStory. For fun, engineers would see where people where rage clicking, a feature on the platform. This tool became a valuable way to identify bugs. FullStory was so engaging, we gathered multidisciplinary teams including designs, PMs, and engineers to watch sessions together. Each discipline applied their own leanse to what they were observing. As a result we identified product opportunities that otherwise never would have come up.