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A Field Guide To User Research by Smashing Magazine

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Facing Your Fears: Approaching People For Research

By Carolyn Chandler

When working on a project, have you ever felt that you and the rest of the team were making a lot of decisions based on assumptions? Having to make choices with limited information is not unusual — especially in complex projects or with brand new products.

Phrases like “We think people will use this feature because of X” or “We believe user group Y will switch to this product” become part of the early deliberation on what to develop and how to prioritize. At some point, though, these phrases start to feel like pure guesses and the ground under your feet feels shaky. What can you do about it?

Regardless of your role in the project, one activity in particular will help your whole ...

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