Tips for Motivating Stakeholders to Participate in User Research

How can I trust your research, your findings don’t represent our existing knowledge. Have you ever worked with stakeholders who didn’t trust your research findings? Maybe they discount qualitative research altogether or they question your methodology and the research participants. No matter the reason, motivating stakeholders to participate in your research can benefit both sides.

When stakeholders observe usability sessions, they’re seeing how real users interact with their product, and that increases the acceptance and perceived credibility of usability findings. Sure, sharing research clips is great, but being there live, it’s often more impactful, though it’s beneficial to get stakeholders to participate in research. Sometimes that’s easier said than done. So I want to give you some tips for motivating stakeholders to participate in research.

First off, make participation easy and you can do this in a few ways, like scheduling key U.S. activities, like testing or workshops around stakeholder schedules, clearly communicating the goals and expectations for each activity and emphasizing the importance of stakeholder contribution. By lowering the amount of effort to get started, you make it easier for stakeholders to participate. Second, align your research goals with your stakeholders goals, work with them to understand their goals and how they measure success. Incorporate this information into your UX strategy and when you can speak their language and frame your efforts relative to their work, they’ll be more interested in participating. Finally evangelize you.

Of course, this comes in many different forms, but to name a few, make sure you’ve communicated the true value of user experience, explain any key concepts and increase the visibility of research findings and design artifacts. When you involve stakeholders in research, it’s easier for them to see the value of our work while they build empathy and a shared understanding of the experiences we create.

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