Starting a project without diligent user research is like starting a journey without a compass. And just like you would expect, you will end up at the wrong place eventually.
The same happens with UX projects too. A product or platform that is designed based on assumptions or guesswork is sure to falter at some point.
And for enterprise UX projects, designs without user research lead to huge wastage of resources and a negative impact on productivity.
In this article, we will explore what is user research and why is it so important for enterprise UX projects. Let’s get started.
Meaning of User Research
User research allows you to learn how customers engage with your product and how the design affects their overall experience. Understanding how your consumers use and engage with your platform will help you develop a better product that will benefit a wide spectrum of customers.
User research is employing qualitative and quantitative research methods to better understand your end needs, user’s motivations, behaviours, and experiences. This research can be done with a variety of tools, ranging from published lab studies to asking customers for input. There are two types of research methods: attitudinal and behavioural, as well as qualitative and quantitative.
Why is User Research Crucial for Business?
You’ve probably put a lot of time and effort into product design and development, but releasing it without completing comprehensive user research can lead to failure.
UX is not just a collection of rules to follow in the product design process. It is subjective, depending on the user’s experience with the product. Therefore, it is essential to understand the context, goals, and tasks unique to each product.
This study will help you make improvements to your product designs to make them more functional and beneficial to your customers. Although user research takes time, it can improve the efficiency of your implementation operations. User research allows you to immediately uncover flaws so you can begin working on remedies.
User research, as part of broader market research, reveals how customers use and profit from your goods, allowing you to continually enhance and expand them.
It enables you to assess their requirements, allowing you to innovate to stay ahead of the competition while keeping your existing clients happy with a product that is tailored to their demands.
How to conduct User Research?
Connecting with your users is one of the highest-leveraging activities your firm could invest in. But it’s important to follow the right process to get the most out of your efforts.
Here we list down some simple steps you can follow to begin your research:
1. Define your goals
The user research approaches you use will be guided by your clearly defined aims. Your objectives will guide the research questions and methodologies you utilize to gather qualitative and quantitative data. Ask your design team who, what, when, where, why, and how to create your goals. Examining your product from all angles will reveal your core goals.
2. Come Up with a Theory
After that, come up with a theory. You most likely have a decent understanding of your consumers’ actions and attitudes. To construct your user persona and establish what types of user data you want to collect, make a list of all your existing assumptions. You may be able to invalidate your ideas during the research process. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing because it can lead your team on a different route.
3. Determine Your Research Methodologies
Determine which research methodologies you will employ based on your objectives and hypotheses. Will you build a questionnaire and employ A/B testing to round out user opinions? Will you run a card sorting test in which customers assess the material on your website to see if it corresponds with your vision? For the greatest results, use a variety of research tools.
Conduct your research when you’ve decided on your research methods. After that, assemble and analyze your data, then apply what you’ve learned to improve your product.
Three Steps to a Successful Enterprise UX Research
When there are a lot of people involved in a project, user research is the only way to get everyone on the same page about what the genuine needs and goals are.
It’s also the only way to break people’s habits of thinking, “Well, I want this, so everyone else must want it, too,” a mindset that is much more prevalent in large corporations than in small businesses.
When performing user research, large corporations will come up with some unique obstacles. The last thing you want is to acquire research approval just to wind up with useless data. In this comprehensive article, we’ll walk you through a process for conducting successful UX research in the workplace.
1. Prioritize users who work closely with the products
Control, configurability, compliance, and the number of features are all factors that company leaders consider when purchasing software. People that use the software daily, on the other hand, are primarily concerned with one thing: getting things done successfully and efficiently.
If they can’t, a nasty death spiral ensues: as more people realize they can’t get anything done with the software, fewer people want to use it, until it’s no longer used.
The best method to reach end-users is to find and build relationships with the people and teams in charge of putting the product into place once it’s been purchased. Offer to wait with them while they install, or simply offer them your email address in case they have problems (and assist them if they do!). These are the folks closest to the ground, and they are usually very concerned about their users’ success.
2. Write a concise user research plan
A strong business case in the form of a user research plan helps deal with expectations and monitor the essentials to communicate to your clients and stakeholders.
A good user research plan includes:
Background: This contains any project or team-related background documents.
Schedule and Methodology: This is a table containing the schedule that fills up when people are scheduled, as well as a brief explanation of the technique (what kind of research, how many users, the target market, and the location). This allows stakeholders to return to the same location to check on the planning’s progress.
Goals: This part provides a high-level summary of the study’s topics and serves as an excellent outline for the research script when it’s time to write it.
3. Always show your work
In smaller startup environments, “reports” are rarely needed by the product team. To improve products, researchers simply collaborate with product managers and their teams. But it’s not that straightforward with businesses.
The most crucial piece of advice we can give is to display your work.
No matter how convinced an organization is of the necessity for study, doubt will persist—especially if the findings are unsatisfactory.
Always start your reports with some background information. Reiterate some of the reasons for the importance of research.
Show images of the participants, videos of their most moving words, and your affinity diagram method in action (before and after whiteboard shots work well).
Word of caution
It’s generally better not to use all the research methods to solve a problem. Too many data sources can be as perplexing as too few, and you don’t want your team members to become overwhelmed by the many data collection methods.
When to Implement User Research Methods?
User research methods can be used at different stages of product development, depending on the specific goals and objectives. In the early stages, user research can help to generate ideas and understand user needs and requirements.
In the later stages, user research can help to evaluate designs and assess user satisfaction.
User research should be conducted throughout the product development process in order to ensure that the final product meets the needs of the users. However, there are certain key moments when user research is particularly important:
- Starting a new project: User research can help to generate ideas and identify user needs and requirements.
- Developing a new feature or redesigning an existing feature: User research can help to assess whether the proposed design meets the needs of users, and can also be used to evaluate alternative design options.
- Launching a new feature: User research can help to understand how customers are using the feature, whether they find it useful, and whether there are any pain points or areas for improvement. This information can then be used to improve the user experience and ultimately drive the adoption of the new feature.
- During continuous product improvements: User research can be conducted periodically during the development process in order to continuously assess user satisfaction levels and gather feedback on improvements that could be made. Regular updates also help to optimize features based on changing customer needs or preferences over time.
- Before ending a project: User research methods can also help to identify successes and areas for improvement before a project comes to an end. This feedback can be used to inform future projects and ensure that lessons are learned from the current project.
Why Should You Not Skip User Research?
One of the main reasons why you should not skip user research is that it helps you gather important insights and feedback from your target users.
User research allows you to speak directly with potential users of your product and get their feedback on how well your product meets their needs. This feedback helps inform every aspect of your product design, including its features, user experience, and marketing.
Another reason why skipping user research is a bad idea is that it helps you avoid making assumptions about your users’ needs or preferences.
Many product teams make the mistake of assuming that they understand what their target users want without actually getting feedback from them. This often leads to products being built that don’t really meet their users’ true needs.
Furthermore, by skipping user research, you miss out on learning more about how different groups of users perceive your product.
While a feature might be well-received by one group of users, it could frustrate another group who have very different expectations and motivations for using it. Understanding these differences can help you design better products overall.
In addition to helping you build better products, user research can also help you save money in the long run. By gathering feedback from potential users at an early stage, you have the opportunity to make any necessary changes before investing significant time and effort into designing and developing your product.
User research is a powerful technique for improving the user experience and business value of enterprise products. Unfortunately, many businesses have lost sight of this point, and research has developed a negative reputation as a result.
Your firm will become much more open to a complete research-driven product development approach as you gain momentum with each incremental result. Entrust your user research needs to Octet Design Studio. We help extract valuable insights by digging deep into the user’s needs, motivations, and pain points. Visit our website to know more!
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