What to do when there is no budget for UX
We must work with limited resources and unfortunately the user experience (UX) is one of the first activities to be cut short. Now what?
Whether we like it or not, as product managers we need to find other ways to ensure our products are easy to use at all times.
So what could we do in such situations? There is no substitute or a short cut for doing proper UX work. However, when the times call for it, there are things we can do that will keep our heads above the water.
You can’t perform user interviews, you can’t A/B test and you don’t have data to analyse. Then you have to use what you have - your imagination.
Alone or with someone else, sit down and act it out as if in a play. Don’t just imagine you are this person or that person, imagine their surrounding, imagine the different situations they go through. Maybe they have a bad day at work, maybe they are on the go or running late, maybe they are sick, distracted, in love or hungry.
How would they use the product in those circumstances? What would make their day better? Mentally step into their shoes and live their lives.
2. Read what people have shared online
Reddit, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, blogs, podcasts - people share a lot!
Go ahead and dig in. What are your users talking about, what is important for them, what are their needs, are they using a similar product? Find out how are they solving their needs today and think about why would they switch to your product?
When you don’t have quantitative data, at least try to find qualitative.
3. Try to break it
You think you are on to something? Great, now try to break it. Why is this working well? In what cases it would not work so well? Is it working the same way for every user?
Be the critic you never wanted to have. Question your assumptions, question your conclusions, question the questions. Become the devil’s advocate and find the holes before your users do.
4. Read and learn
There are great websites that teach you about UX, best practices and give you research insights. One of my favourite is the Nielsen Norman Group.
The more you learn about UX, the better your product will be.