I think what wasn’t clear from my article was that it was coming from the perspective of new product development rather than the continual improvement of an existing product or service. That said, I still think it’s important to continue to approach new features and ideas with the scepticism I described. Of course if you work for a startup then, on the whole, you want your company to succeed. Hopefully, as a UX professional, you believe that your company’s success lies in championing the user’s needs over the businesses wants. So success for the user should be seen as success for the company, whether stakeholders see it that way is another matter.

As for bias, it would help for your manager to have a clear understanding of why it’s important for you to act as objectively as possible. If you have performance reviews or regular catch-ups try to make those conversations not about what successes you helped create but rather what problems you uncovered or what greater understanding of your customers you helped the company get to, as well as your process and methodology for doing that. Being able to say “here’s what we knew about our audience 6 months ago and here’s what we know now”, is a great way to highlight your contribution. The hope is that the company or your manager see your diligent approach as a valuable asset and not as a blocker to their success. Raw data from the research always helps with this, it’s hard to argue with a video of a user saying they’re just not interested in your new feature.

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Creative Partner at Same. We help purpose-led organisations make digital products that matter. https://www.projectsbysame.com

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