Interview Question

User Experience Researcher Interview



Suppose you come forward with a usability recommendation, and the engineers counter that with, “All the usage data we have from millions of people suggest that is not a problem.” How would you respond?

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4 Answers


There's a lot of angles to take here, and they depend on the unstated context. Either way, I would probably respond by stepping back and avoiding a p*ssing match. 1. You didn't properly triangulate your qual research with quant user data before making a product recommendation. You need to understand what the data collected really means, and whether it actually counters your UX research. Did you study a more narrow audience than is represented by the quant data? Did you identify a real product problem that your users are eager to verbalize, but which isn't visible in the product metrics? 2. Your partners just don't want to make the change, and pushing back on your research validity is a very common (but evasive) way of communicating that. The obvious cliche is that your engineers should have been involved in the research from the start. If there is an issue obvious enough to you as a researcher to make a recommendation, the engineers are going to see it as well given the same interactions. They may also realize shortcomings in the metrics they've chosen to track, that prevent them from seeing these issues in their data.

Brian on


Usage data even if big numbers does NOT indicate a great design. Simply put, think of how many times you had no option but to use a certain service although neither the design nor your experience was great!

Moath Obeidat on


Generally, I will invite him to have a cup of coffee together and explain my opinion. My respond will depends on the unstated context. For example, I identify a real product problem from qualitative research, which is not visible in the product metrics. First, I will explain the usage data don’t always tell the truth. We must be careful that even something is really stupid, there will still be millions of people tolerating it because Google is very strong. Just imaging will you stop using Gmail if one function of it doesn’t work well? That’s what usability research does, to find the truth behind the data by quantitative and qualitative ways. And the product metrics we used is not comprehensive, which means that some problems may be invisible in the metrics. Then I would like to explain how I get the usability recommendation. I may bring my laptop or invite him to my desk to show him the data and graph of my research and explain the logic. Data and graph is always more convinced than words, right? And I am also glad to hear his comments or questions.

Xingya Xu on


A design without obvious problem doesn't make it the best design. A/B test

S on

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