Answering the right questions: framing UX research objectives for a problematic user journey which nobody owns

A problematic user journey which nobody owns

Photo by Andrew Neel on
  • There’s a theme / keyword which keeps coming up, nobody owns it, or understands where to start with it — for this example let’s say it’s ‘subscription renewals’ for a travel membership scheme
  • Inertia and gloom fills the room when the topic comes up
  • There’s a consensus in different teams — who perhaps don’t even talk to each other — that journey a — let’s say renewing a membership subscription — is a problem area for customers.
  • People have various anecdotal views on where the problem areas are, however it’s hard to know where to start
  • Nobody seems to own this part of the customer experience
  • It might impact several touch points
  • No one’s sure where to start or what to do with it.
  • It influences people’s targets
  1. stakeholder 1-2-1s and a data deep dive to map problem areas
  2. review problem areas and outline goals and challenges
  3. generate solutions
  4. impact effort map solutions
  5. outline quick wins review points
  6. plan research for higher impact high effort options
  • assumptions, ideas,
  • potential problem areas,
  • other people to speak to,
  • potential demographics to involved in research.
  • Set up a session with a core team of decisions makers and people who can advise on what’s technically possible. I invited a head of marketing, a head of acquisition and a content management systems product owner.
  • Review problem areas which emerged from the first two steps and any related data. Encourage people to jot how might we opportunities. In some teams they’ll be ready to do this. In others, they might not be. Don’t be disheartened and have design challenges (see the visual below) to fall back on.
  • Talk through potential goals to work towards. Tip: AJ and Smart’s Monday sprint map, can help with outlining goals to focus on—
If stakeholders don’t have time to immerse in discovery with you, map challenges and goals, before brainstorming with them
  • Having decided on a high priority goal, present design challenges then brainstorm solutions. 5–10 minutes per design challenge worked well for my stakeholders.
  • These solutions can then be impact effort mapped, before quick wins are delegated.
  • The high impact effort actions are where research can probably deliver the most value, so can now go into planning.
  • Set up review points to ensure momentum’s not lost.



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suki beg

suki beg

UX researcher and LEGO Serious Play facilitator. Views here are my own