Five dysfunctions of ‘democratised’ research. Part 3 – Research as a weapon

🔗️ The third part in @leisa’s blog post series about scaling research. This post covering when team relationships go sour and research is ‘weaponised’.

Why articulating the design is important.

Another reason to see research being used as weaponry is to compensate for a lack of confidence or ability in discussing the design decisions that have been made.

In a team where the designer is able to articulate the rationale and objectives for their design decisions, and there is trust and respect amongst team members, the need to ‘test and prove’ every decision is reduced.

Research as a weapon.

Feeling the need to ‘prove’ every design decision quickly leads to a validation mindset – thinking, ‘I must demonstrate that what I am proposing is the right thing, the best thing. I must win arguments in my team with ‘data”.

If we focus entirely on validation and ‘proof’, we risk moving away from a learning, discovery mindset.

Stoking the fire of conflict.

Validation research can provide short term results to help move teams forward, but it can reinforce a combative relationship between designers and product managers.