Is User Research Important? Expert Steve Portigal Says So

Our very own Art Director & CTO, Luke Swenson, was able to catch up with Steve Portigal at the Los Angeles User Experience Meetup & IxDA organized by Crystal Ehrlich. Steve was able to give us (and you, our readers) a great deal of information about user research, and if you’re not sure just how important that research really is, his interview is more than worth a few minutes of your time. User research is probably one of the least understood aspects of business, particularly when it comes to user design, or even product value and utility. Steve points out that just because you can make something, that doesn’t immediately mean that it’s worth making. Does it answer the needs or problem of the ultimate end user? That’s one thing that user research excels at doing – ferreting out the answers to questions like “how does it help our users” and “what need does it fill for our users”. User design is, after all, about the users. View the full article on Steve was very direct in his answers, especially on some of the most important topics out there today, and happily expanded on several vital points. Quite a few questions abound on exactly what types of user research even exist – Steve managed to pack a lot of information into his response. He was also particularly enlightening on when you should invest in user research. If you’d like to read the entire interview with Steve Portigal, you can catch it over at UX Magazine. You should also make sure to check out Steve’s book, Interviewing Users: How to Uncover Compelling Insights. Not only is it a great read, but it’s very illuminating when it comes to really digging into how to interview users and conduct research while asking the right kinds of questions.