Material’s 5 Values of UX Research


This article was written by Kandrea Wade, Director, UX Research at Material.


As AI and other cutting-edge technologies usher in a new era of operational effeciency and automation, it can be tempting for businesses to neglect the real human needs that define their users and customers. 
Any company that seeks to maintain customer centricity must be deeply invested in understanding the user experiences they provide, the challenges they face and the actions necessary to forge lasting human connections. Material’s user experience research (UXR) team unlocks insights that enable transformational customer experiences. No matter the scope or scale of the project, we are guided by five overarching values that inform our approaches. 

1. Keep the User First 

“You are not the user.” – Dr. Raluca Budiu (Senior Director of Data Strategy at Nielsen Norman Group) 
At Material, we believe the perspective of the user must be the guiding factor of our research. Capturing and understanding the user’s candid and true needs as well as their wants and desires is our central focus. Our UX research process begins with an immersion into and holistic evaluation of our client’s organization. We then view everything through the lens of the end user, identifying friction points, defining moments that matter and aligning them with areas of opportunity. Our level of exploration of complex digital experience problems and opportunities is uniquely suited for capturing robust and comprehensive user feedback. This rigorous focus on the user experience allows us to make informed, evidence-backed recommendations to the organizations with whom we partner. 

2. Generate Trust 

“User trust is a finite resource.”  – Fabricio Teixeira (Founder, UX Collective) & Caio Braga (Co-founder, UX Collective)   
In the ever-evolving landscape of digital products and services, it’s easy for end-users to become overwhelmed by the challenge of understanding who or what they can actually trust and rely on. Since these new digital services and offerings often play vital roles in users’ daily lives, it’s essential to provide them with the confidence that the product is right for them, safe, trustworthy and worthwhile. We believe that building trust with users as researchers and service providers is imperative. Without that trust, it’s impossible to truly capture and address their needs, which can erode the customer relationship and affect an organization’s bottom line. 

3. Drive Growth 

“The next big thing is the one that makes the last thing usable.” – Blake Ross (Co-creator Mozilla Firefox) 
As UX researchers, we turn user challenges into actionable insights and growth opportunities. Our global Material team excels at helping organizations design and deliver rich, rewarding user experiences. We leverage deep human understanding, design innovation and data to create experiences powered by modern technology. We derive insights for measurable outcomes across multiple platforms, transforming them into relationship builders, tactical tools and informational hubs that power growth. Our approaches speed engagement and growth for the companies we work with and transform relationships between businesses and the people they serve. 

4. Exemplify Versatility 

“Research is to see what everybody else has seen and to think what nobody else has thought.” – Dr. Albert Szent-Gyorgyiv (Nobel Prize winning Biochemist)  
Our UX research team designs and oversees a wide array of qualitative and quantitative projects across industries, sectors and global regions. Versatility is central to our approach; we take pride in ensuring the research we conduct and the science-backed insights and recommendations we deliver improve the user experience while also supporting the product and business goals for our clients. We bridge the gap between rich insights and actionable design, turning data points into compelling user experiences. Rather than relying on trends, our team delves into data, user feedback and business objectives to inform and propose solutions. Then we partner with stakeholders including researchers, engineers and product managers to bring insights to market through an Agile methodology. In an evolving business landscape, adaptability, flexibility and versatility are key markers of an effective UXR team. 

5. Champion Accessibility, Equity & Inclusion 

Accessible design is good design — it benefits people who don’t have disabilities as well as people who do. Accessibility is all about removing barriers and providing the benefits of technology for everyone.” – Steve Ballmer (Former CEO Microsoft) 
Our commitment to diversity is reflected in our dedication to instilling the tenets of accessibility, equity and inclusion into our team’s core values and our research approaches. We work diligently to understand our clients’ users by accounting for the needs of all users, building connections and elevating the voices of those who are often silenced or overlooked. We seek out diverse and thorough feedback that directly contributes to universal, inclusive and equity-based design for all. Through this lens, we empower companies to deliver experiences that address diverse needs and embrace users of all backgrounds and abilities. 


Want to learn more about how Material’s UXR values, capabilities and experience can unlock transformational customer relationships for your organization? Get in touch.