Making Usability a Priority: Advocating for the Value of User Research

Cory Lebson


In many cases, user research is not a project unto itself. Rather, it is part of a larger Web-centric project effort. These larger projects often have a project manager or a project-management team. This person or team has the task of coordinating the usability effort into the broader project launch schedule with the ultimate approval of the primary stakeholder or stakeholders.

The project manager or management team generally has some kind of technology-management background, but often without extensive experience in usability. This lack of knowledge about usability isn’t inherently a problem. However, a lack of knowledge about the value of usability research can bring about some reluctance. Based on Cory’s experiences and lessons learned, this presentation is a “cheat sheet” of things the project manager or management team should be considering when planning and incorporating user research into projects.

No matter what your role is on any given project, you can help make usability, and specifically user research, a priority. If you hear any of the counterpoints to usability that are discussed in this presentation, you will know how to respond to support important user experience research.

In this webinar, you will learn:

  • What is meant by “user research”
  • How to respond to someone who says that their web team is phenomenal so they don’t need user research
  • To address concerns about cost of usability testing
  • To consider schedules that may be seen as too tight to include user research
  • To deal with concerns about increased project scope from research findings
  • How to have conversations about software testing vs. user research
  • To decide when is the best time to conduct user research

All attendees will also be entered into a drawing to win a book from Rosenfeld Media!


Presenter Biography

Cory Lebson has been involved in user experience since 1994. He is the principal of Lebsontech LLC, a company focused in usability evaluation and training, is the president of the DC chapter of the User Experience Professionals Association (UXPA) and is on the Board of Directors of UXPA International, as the director of strategic partnerships.

Cory teaches national user experience workshops and is a frequent speaker at local area events and national conferences. He has an MBA focusing in marketing and technology management, as well as an MA in sociology and a BS in psychology. Find Cory at, on Twitter @corylebson and on LinkedIn (