TL;DR You are not your user. Products will fall apart if you don’t get out and understand them
The only way to fully understand our users mindsets is to engage in user research. Only then can we create valuable and meaningful products. If we don’t understand how our users behave and react, we cannot create truly delightful products.
Too many people, conducting user research is a bit like cleaning up the garage: they know it would be a good thing to do and would bring some real benefits, yet somehow they never quite get round to it.Arin Bhowmick, Chief Design Officer, IBM
According to Nielsen Norman Group, businesses that spend only 10% of their budget on usability improvements see, on average, a 135% increase in their desired metrics, so the ROI of usability is significant. This alone demonstrates not only the benefits, but the value and importance successful user research can create.
User research is just as important as UX or visual design. In fact, it provides the foundation for the initial design work and also provides a way to validate design direction.