Penelope Rance

My UX research & design ramblings

Design Vs Research

When I was first learning about the subject of User Experience, I didn’t realise that design and research could be separate disciplines.

Everywhere I looked they were combined, making it look like the UX Designer does everything. And there is an argument that if you are designing you should do the research to back your designs up.

So off I went to GA to learn about UX Design. As expected we were taught a little bit about research, but the main focus was on the design side of things.

In my jobs as a UX Designer we never had a researcher to support us and so it was up to me to decide what research I might need and to push it with my project manager.

More and more I was asking questions about what my customers needed and finding this side of the process much more interesting than designing the screens and interactions.

Learning as I went, I read so many articles and books on the subject of research, moderation, best practice etc and finally made the move over to UX Researcher.

As a researcher I can support my designers, allowing them more time to focus on their designs while answering their burning questions.

So while the journey has been interesting and I have learnt a lot, I can not help wishing that I had realised that design and research were two different things and started on the research path from the start.

If I had done a different course that was more focused on research, maybe I would have more confidence in my own skills now?

Recently my little UX Research newsletter got tagged by someone as #uxdesign. Not a big deal, after all some designers might find it useful. But I think it just shows that while many people are now aware of UX as a thing, most do not really understand how it can break down into real work.

We need to help people looking to get into UX and businesses looking to hire UX professionals understand what their options really are. After all UX design is only one part of a much bigger picture.

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