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It’s a metaphor, you guys.

UX researchers like myself have a nasty habit.

When you spend your days studying how people use products, your intuition around such things gets pretty well-honed. You start to see patterns and themes. You get to a point where you can point to an observed behavior, ask “What might this mean?” and generate some great high-level and philosophical discussions with your stakeholders. People start to seek you out for answers to their questions about users, even when you haven’t done research that could answer those questions.

As a researcher, this can feel pretty great and emboldening. After all, you’ve done the work! You’ve put in countless hours in the lab and in the field and poring over data. …


Matt Gallivan

Director of Product Research at Slack. Formerly of Airbnb, Facebook, Huge, NPR.

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