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Whose User Research? The fuzzy boundaries between design research and marketing research

About the Talk

September 25, 2015 2:00 PM

Madrid, Spain

Madrid, Spain

User Experience is a mature discipline that encompasses different types of activities, including User and Design Research. Publications on User Research (Hall, 2013), interviews (Portigal, 2013), observing UX (Goodman, Kuniavsky, Moed, 2012), describing approaches and methodologies to integrate research phases within design projects have fully legitimated this activity within UX and Service Design.

But where does User Research stand compared to other forms of research? In particular, where does it stand compared to some types of Marketing Research? The integration between different disciplinary fields becomes today even more centrals as we question the “quality” of UX. What quality? Who measures it? How? With which competencies and approaches? Quality from whose point of view? The User? The Organisation? … As the integration becomes even more vital, the boundaries between disciplines and approaches become increasingly fuzzy.

Among these multiple questions, this presentation focuses on problematizing and discussing the relationship between UX activities such as User Research and (pre-)existing marketing research approaches used to provide an understanding of users and customers.

Rather than fueling the debate about the legitimacy of different disciplines, the presentation illustrates and discusses different models of integration between the two types of research activities though a series of illustrated Attoma’s case studies.

These examples will show the challenges of articulating these two dimensions providing a chance to analyse and discuss the methodological, organisational and cultural reasons underpinning an integration that is very often not (yet) mature.

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