The Great Debate: Up-front User Research—Crucial or Not?

The Great Debate: Up-front User Research—Crucial or Not?

Great UX Debate #2 "Upfront user research —Critical or not?"

Two brave and whippet-smart women—Donna Spencer and Angela Randall—have put up their hands to take each other on in our second Great Debate.

The topic? “Up-front User Research – Crucial or Not?”

Did you miss our first debate last month? We pitted Matt and Luke against each other in what turned out to be a highly entertaining and educational debate—whether we should design for usability before delight (or vice versa). If you missed that, you can read all about it here.

For Round Two, two brave and whippet-smart women have put up their hands to take each other on in what promises to be a compelling challenge.

Here is the low-down…

The Topic

Up-front user research is a crucial part of the UX process.

The Contenders

Taking the affirmative position is Angela Schmeidel Randall, the founder of Normal Modes, a Texas-based user experience company. Angela’s superpower is working on experiences with large, mission critical datasets with complex rules. She speaks about cross-platform UX and the intersection of customer experience and user experience. Clients include Nike, Sandia National Laboratories, Avanade, Netflix, and Hearst.

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Taking the negative position is Donna Spencer, who runs Maadmob, an Australian freelance agency specialising in design strategy, user experience design and training. She wrote this about up-front user research. She recently read that Myers-Briggs ENTP types are great devils-advocates, for whom a good argument is more important than the actual content of the argument. That explained a lot.

First up, Angela will make her opening statement, which will then be rebutted by Donna.

You can follow the debate, blow by blow as it progresses here, and you’re welcome to do as much (constructive) heckling as you like. Once closing statements have been made we will run a poll to decide the winner. Make sure you don’t miss that.

Written by
Sarah Hawk
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