A Radical Proposal: Put UX Research In Charge

Jared M. Spool
6 min readMay 4, 2023
London, 2016

This will sound radical. Bear with me on this.

Product, Development, and Design should all report to UX Research.

That’s right. We’re talking about a research-driven organization. Everyone in your product, development, and design teams would report to your research organization, led by your Chief Research Officer (or maybe your Chief Customer Officer or even Chief Experience Officer).

Your research-driven organization would drive every decision based on a deep, shared understanding of the experiences of your users and customers. No more would your product managers have to guess what’s valuable to your customers — your research will tell everyone what’s valuable. No longer will your developers have a vague understanding of when a new capability is “done” — the research will clarify what users need from the capability.

Become the world’s foremost expert on your users’ experiences.

Your research organization, led by your CRO (or your CCO or your CXO), will start with one goal: to make everyone in your organization the world’s foremost experts in the experiences of users and customers.

Much time is wasted when your people don’t know who your users are or what those users need. Opinions abound, but there’s no apparent authority to say whose opinions match what your customers want or need.

Being research-driven would change that. Your CRO would have the authority to drive every decision from research.

What goes into your product roadmap? Your research would drive that.

What defines when your product is ready to ship? That would be driven by your research too.

What determines the delivery schedule of your new capabilities? You guessed it, your research would drive that too.

Everyone on your product, development, and design teams would be experts in the experiences of your users and customers. They would have the knowledge and understanding to make optimal decisions for your organization.

That doesn’t happen today because research efforts are entirely buried in the org chart. Research is under-resourced. What little research is done is…

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Jared M. Spool

Maker of Awesomeness at Center Centre - UIE. Helping designers everywhere help their organizations deliver well-designed products and services.