It may be that writing that blog title and what I will say will get me in trouble. In the long run, though, a UX researcher has NO NEED to have a “designer’s eye.” That is, of course, unless you choose to be a biased researcher. You may only provide analysis with designers in mind. By [that], I mean you do something-whatever it is-you learn something, and you share it. You only share the bits and pieces that designers are willing to listen to.
Experience has shown me that designers NEVER want to hear what UX Researchers have to say. You do not need to be a UX researcher to become “persona non grata” with designers, though. The only thing you need to do is provide truths based on proof. You do that and I guarantee that you will not be liked. It is okay. It’s okay because no one likes their work to be torn to shreds by a few points that would make the designer’s process so much easier. My job is not to make design simple or mediocre and sloppy. It’s not just about getting it done. No. The purpose is to design what works. And design that works is not based on any process other than the user’s appeal. For “working parts,” go to development.
UX Research is the scientific method brought into developing and creating things. Ultimately, your job is simply to show how something is done, provide the results, and do so without bias! If your work depends on a designer’s opinion, I suggest you find another job because you will never be happy. That doesn’t mean you’ll get fired. It’s very easy to go through the motions and keep our jobs. That’s not the hard part of working for someone or yourself. The hard part is being happy while you’re doing it.
If you’re reading this and you’re a researcher (which we all are because we have senses and thank about those perceptions), I want you to be honest and tell yourself if your seeing something that needs improvement is something you can share freely. Are you heard? To this include that you will ALWAYS be asked to do this. It is the main part of your job description and then some! What about when you deliver? What does that look and feel like? Maybe we ned to UXR our own experiences as UXRs!
HERE! This is why I told you. You could never be happy.
You must realize that the only organization in the world is NOT where you work. That you are NOT a cog. Not that designers work for you. No, it’s that you’re created to work together. As you learn from what they create and what a “user” experiences with their creation, they learn why you may be right and sometimes wrong.
Just one word of advice. Be willing to be wrong. Be teachable! Science is based on repetition, patterns, and a logical understanding of something with every right to change.