User Research Is Not the Same as Marketing Research

My employer provides me with a subscription to the online education videos from “the leading professional social network”. As I browsed their offerings, I saw a course for user research and I clicked on it. As I started watching it I wondered — will they make the most common mistake in user research?

I have been working in UX for more than ten years. I’ve seen the user experience practice emerge and struggle to establish a form. Along the way, I’ve seen the typical struggles in understanding what we do. There are many areas that continue to be misunderstood and one of the most constant has been in the area of user research.

While UX can be applied to almost any business area, marketing has been one of our key stakeholders. From the very beginning, marketing departments have been our champions, our primary clients — our practice’s bread and butter; with web development and product management gaining ground in their appreciation of our services. So, perhaps it’s because of that close relationship with marketing that we tend to keep getting confused in user research.

The most common pervasive mistake we make in user research is that we confuse it with marketing research. While our goals may intersect and overlap, these two practices are not the same.

Is your company making this mistake? and if so, at what cost? — Get in touch: