This article speaks to my heart. So much true words.
“The split of the design teams into researchers and designers might be hampering effective software development. To truly understand the user, designers need to develop empathy. They, and other team members, can gain this by conducting user research or usability studies—or just by being present during research efforts. This locks in the user’s successes and difficulties and gives the designer a sense of what is truly important, which will pay off in more targeted designs. Besides benefits to the designers, regular user research keeps a company informed of user expectations and behavior. If these benefits were widely understood, wouldn’t companies pay more than lip service to empathy and user research?”