Show, don’t tell. The best way to convince your team to do some user testing or research is to just show them. Here is the simplest way how.

Imagine you were on Medium’s homepage product team and were:

  • Trying to integrate user testing and research into the project, but getting push-back because of resource and time constraints.
  • Having difficulty trying to agree on which areas/opportunities to focus on to improve the homepage.
  • Worried about too many divergent and strong opinions among the team

You tried to talk on and on about the business benefits and risk-mitigation of user research. Or how quickly and cheaply you could do it—if we could all agree to just try..

After multiple dead-end attempts, you simply showed this unmoderated user testing video to your team:

Here are a few highlights of what your team may have witnessed and realized after watching this short video:

  1. Some of the categories are confusing (ie ‘Unruly Bodies’) and some context/explanation could be helpful:

“I’m not really sure what these would mean. It might be helpful to have a dropdown when you hovered over to let you know what you were going to see”

2. The homepage assumes that users already know what the site is about:

“I don’t really know what it is. It doesn’t say it’s a news site. It assumes you already know. Maybe if they had a banner telling you what it is..”

3. Credibility of writers and content isn’t clear especially with the emphasis on membership:

“I would rather get news from a source that has fact-checking. This just seems like anybody could put up news and content and make it look like news.”

These are potential areas to improve derived from just one new user. It gets you thinking.. Which other users, if any, will say similar things? What other user and usability issues are there in achieving our business goals for this homepage?

And it will certainly get your team to start thinking as well. The conversation will then shift away from any of your team’s or other stakeholders’ assumptions and opinions. And to the needs and contexts of target your users.

Then someone will ask:

Well how much time and resources do we need to fully do this type of user testing?

You answer:

It took only seconds to setup and results came in within 24 hours. It also cost less than an UberX ride (or Lyft).

Show, don’t tell.

Try it next time. And let us know how it goes and if you’d like some additional support convincing your team or boss 😁😁🙌

Junu Yang

Hey, I’m one of the founders of UserLook. I’m also a design and research nerd on a mission to help others build things people love. Meerkat is my spirit animal 🌱😸