User Experience is a growing field and it has evolved rapidly in recent years. It’s one of the key things to run a successful business since it helps you understand your customer needs and likes. Combining right user experience research with market research you’ll find that key to those needs and likes.
UX research is all about studying target users and their requirements and needs to improve the design process with realistic insights. There are many methods that designers use to solve problems and design solutions. Also, the meaning of UX research may vary from team to team. For example, if we’re talking about product teams, UX research might have the meaning of validating ideas and concepts while on the other hand, for marketing researchers could mean testing designs and messaging before launch.
However, this process can help designers discover valuable informations about users that can be used in the design process. UX research is a very crucial part of UX design, you can think of it as a way to any real solution.
The concept of UX research would get applied to the first phase, because that’s the phase that it’s needed to look deeper into the situation and problem before starting to find a solution. It’s really important to first understand the problem properly, understand motivations, behaviors and users needs by analyzing how they perform specific tasks. Simply put, UX extends to user testing, but the research doesn’t end there, it may continue even after the project is completed.
UX research involves some methods and types that sometimes can be hard to describe. The goal is always the same, but different types of research can give/add different type values. But, what types of UX research are exactly there? Let’s talk a bit about them.
One of the most common things that you’ll find yourself wondering when it comes to your users is if your UX approach should be about quality or quantity. And it is very important to figure this one out in time since these two types are very different and uncover very different information.
By using this research method which includes interviews and ethnographic field studies, you’ll be working on getting a deeper understanding of why your users do the things they do and like the things they like. The goal of this research is to understand underlying reasons and motivations as to why causes the customers to act the way they do.
Qualitative research should be done very carefully since does not involve numerical data and there’s a risk that your personal opinions can influence findings.
With quantitive research, by using structure methods like surveys, analytics etc, you gather data that is measurable about what users do and then test assumptions that you gathered from qualitative research. The main goal is to quantify the experience of a target user and that can be done for example by asking questions like “How many users opened a particular page?” or “How many users clicked on a certain button?” This is considered to be a key method on understanding statical possibilities and what happens on a digital product.
We also have two UX research approaches:
Attitudinal - involves the assessment of users feelings toward an experience
Behavioral - it tells you what’s happening and why. You observe your users and see what they do.
Mixing four of these methods can give you a clear view of a design problem.
UX researcher use a number of different approaches to conducts UX research, we will talk about some of them that are more common.
Diary studies are a form of longitudinal research method used to collect qualitative data about user behavior, experience and activities. Users report their activities by themselves longitudinally to create a log of their experience - whether it was good or bad. This study can last as long as it is needed for the project.
Card sorting is part of the qualitative research methods that is used to gather information based on feedback from users. In card sorting you create a set of card that represent a concept. The cards then should be grouped by users in a way that makes more sense to them. Card sorting is really useful since it helps understand how users thinks about your product so then you can create content that fits your users’ mental models.
Interviews are considered to be a great way of collection qualitative information. By keeping these live interviews a research can gather very detailed information about users’ experiences, desires and attitudes.
Surveys are a good way to empathize with your users and gain information that aren’t as visible to the development team. The survey is conducted by a series of questions posed to a number of users and then collecting feedback to find and solve new problems.
UX research is a really crucial part of your product design process and starts really early on. By putting customer needs first and making them your company’s mission and culture not only attracts new customers but keeps them coming back.
This enlarged view to ux research means that companies are more than ever equipped to create really great user experience and that this experience will keep getting better and better.