Lean, agile, do more with less. Again, and again, design culture urges us to move quickly and trim research and design operations to the point where design becomes a mere thread in the larger corporate spool.
Author and designer Nikki Anderson explains the consequences of this pressure to conduct research at lightning speed:
“When we’re asked to synthesize at the speed of light, user research becomes a way for teams to take a shortcut — to invent assumptions based on quickly made correlations, opinions, and quotes.”
The result is design based on assumptions or incomplete information about users and customers. For example, a Fortune 500 company (let’s call it Company Q) hired me to conduct a usability test for a complex user interface (usability testing involves a series of one-on-one sessions with real users who are asked to complete specific tasks while using a product or piece of software).
The test yielded what would likely become recognizable patterns, and I was halfway through the analysis when I was ordered to pause and send the client the findings immediately. My explanation about the need for more time to conduct a thorough and nuanced analysis fell on deaf ears: