People who do research: Our favorite term

Ned Dwyer
October 11, 2022
People who do research: Our favorite term

People Who Do Research (PWDR) is one of my favorite phrases and acronyms in the research community because it’s both specific and inclusive.

It incorporates not just researchers of various stripes (UX research, customer research, market research, etc.) but also those for whom research isn’t even in their titles but is a part of their role or responsibility (product managers, designers, engineers, strategists, etc.).

Kate Towsey first introduced the phrase in February 2019 in a conversation about the definition and role of research operations and the right ratio of research operations to researchers. Or really anyone that does research aka “People Who Do Research”. 

I personally identify as a Person Who Does Research. 

I have used various kinds of research for the last 15 years, from running a web development agency, to building my products and as Director of Product at GoDaddy. In fact, it was my experience as a Person Who Does Research at GoDaddy that led me to starting Great Question, having identified how little infrastructure and support there was for folks like myself, even if there was a well-funded - and highly regarded - UX team in place.

Yet I never had the word research in my title or even identified as one.

Great Question is on a mission to democratize research. We’ve started by building the power tool for researcher & research operations, effectively their research infrastructure. But our mission means our long term goal is to empower all People Who Do Research to put customer insights at the center of their product, design, marketing or strategy decisions.

Ned is the co-founder and CEO of Great Question. He has been a technology entrepreneur for over a decade and after three successful exits, he’s founded his biggest passion project to date, focused on customer research. With Great Question he helps product, design and research teams better understand their customers and build something people want.

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