Our user research community of practice has been thinking about how we should approach our work. We decided to produce a set of principles that we believe underpin our purpose and our ways of working.
‘Principles’ are general to the practice of user research, yet specific to those creating them. We want them to work for us in our context, here at the Co-op. They’re specific to us: part of an organisation going through digital transformation, one with stakeholders; business needs; many digital products and services as well as a range of colleague, member and customer users. The principles may not be as applicable where you work if you have an established culture of agile and product thinking.
We want to hear what you think
Various versions have been stuck up on the wall for a while now and colleagues have given us their feedback. We’re now keen to get feedback from the wider community, too.
That includes you.
- we’ve missed anything out, or, included something that shouldn’t be there
- something could be clearer
- some of these principles aren’t strictly principles
We’d also like to know how valuable working with principles has been for you. Do share any examples you use.
We’re particularly interested in hearing from people who work with disadvantaged or vulnerable users, and / or with data and ethics.
Here’s the latest version.
Focus on what users do, not what they say they’d do
Observing users’ behaviour is the best indicator of what they will do in the future, and the gateway to understanding needs and motivations.
Do a little, often
Frequent research helps teams iterate on a product and validate product decisions more often, which helps promote a user-centred culture.
Give teams the evidence to make better decisions
We research and test the team’s assumptions so that decisions are based on evidence, not guess work.
Involve everyone in research
It promotes empathy and helps teams and stakeholders understand users needs.
Promote accessibility for all
We champion building products and services that are usable across all accessibility needs.
Represent users faithfully
We speak truth to power and if users’ needs are not being met, we say so. This keeps the product teams and the organisation honest.
Undertake the best research we can in any given situation
Sometimes we can’t do user research as we would like. In this instance doing some is better than not doing any.
Respect the privacy and integrity of the user
Our ability to perform our role depends on the trust we have with participants.
You can download our user research principles. But keep in mind they may change after feedback.
We hope our principles become ingrained our delivery teams as well as act as gentle reminders for user researchers.
User research community