Research is critical in an industry committed to the people who use our goods, services, and applications. We gather everything about our target audience and test our work constantly throughout the design process.
UX research, often known as design research, serves a variety of functions all across the design process. It enables us to uncover and test our assumptions, discover commonalities among our target audience members, and determine their wants, ambitions, and mental models. Overall, research informs our work, enhances our understanding, and improves the quality of our job.
Meaning of UX research
UX research comprises a wide range of investigative techniques used to provide context and insight into the design process. Unlike other UX sub-fields, the research did not emerge from another discipline or field. It was simply translated from other types of study.
In other words, many methodologies used by UX practitioners have been adopted by academics, scientists, researchers, and others. However, several research methods are specific to the UX sector. UX research is divided into two parts: obtaining and synthesising that data to improve usability.
Importance of UX research
UX research serves as a vital framework for design strategy. It reduces ambiguity at all stages of decision making, understanding the customer, their desires, and requirements.
It also allows us to guide the UX design process and produce the best solution for consumers while reaping commercial benefits, certainly in terms of reduced costs.
A few advantages of UX research are
A design that doesn’t solve user’s problems will never be successful. UX research is critical for understanding the conceptual models and decisions made throughout the design process. UX research data prioritise ideas and features, describes user stories, and guides decisions about how the product will operate and appear.
Studies have shown that user experience directly influences customer acquisition, engagement, maintenance, lifetime value, devotion, and referrals.
If you don’t know who your consumers are or what they want, you may end up with a product that falls short. UX research, on the other hand, may help you decide what to construct and how much money you’ll make from it. Informed judgments can also save money by shortening development time and avoiding costly redesigns.
Steps for conducting UX research
There are several approaches to UX design research. If you are a beginner, though, we have laid out the simplest path that you can follow. These seven steps will help you to carry out UX Research process effectively:
1. Set Clear Goals
Setting goals can help you define the process, distribute resources efficiently, get stakeholders on board, and optimise the user insights you discover.
Begin by developing hypotheses and subjects of interest based on future challenges and opportunities you wish to learn more about. These might be from past studies, new prospects discovered, or creative thinking.
Then, identify the essential UX research questions that need to be addressed. User queries should be targeted yet flexible enough to allow for unfettered exploration. These might be based on user behaviour, UX design possibilities, or client goals.
2. Define Research Methods
After establishing your goals and creating user questions, investigate the kind of research you’ll perform and the data you’ll gather. Use a variety of approaches to cover all the topics and fill any voids that may exist. These will be determined by your user and business requirements and the resources you have available.
Behavioural vs. Attitudinal
Behavioural research involves studying how consumers behave. Heatmaps, A/B testing, user recordings, and eye-tracking are all useful tools for understanding user behaviour data.
An attitudinal study reveals how users think and feel. This frequently entails asking them via surveys, focus groups, consumer interviews, concept testing, and card sorting. Also, look for a balance of qualitative and quantitative UX data.
You must include both attitudinal and behavioural UX research approaches. Combining behavioural and attitudinal research bridges the gap between what people say and what they do, which may not always correspond.
Qualitative vs. Quantitative
Quantitative studies measure user behaviour. Analysing the number of users that scrolled past your CTA or clicked in frustration because they couldn’t find a button will assist you in identifying patterns in page views, conversions, user engagement, and retention.
Qualitative data reveals the causes of these tendencies. They are lessons to expand what your users think and understand their needs better.
The qualitative and quantitative data methods include interviews and feedback mechanisms.
3. Start Discovery Phase
After you’ve established research questions and UX analysis methodologies, the next stage is to enter the discovery phase. You should focus on communicating with your consumers and learning what they need to convert.
Develop a thorough grasp of your users, their challenges, and what will assist them in completing their tasks. User interviews are an excellent place, to begin with.
Ask clear questions about their expertise and what they’d want to see, as well as specific inquiries about navigating certain product sites or features. You may realise that your consumers want to read reviews before deciding. Thus, making reviews more accessible may benefit both UX and conversions.
4. Dive Deeper to Explore
Use the findings from the discovery phase as a preliminary step, then become more precise and focus on addressing your particular UX research questions and truly knowing your consumers.
To explain and share the knowledge you’ve collected, map out customer journeys and create user personas and stories. Your insights should also be used to inform basic concept development, design drawings, wireframes, and prototypes.
Perhaps you’re losing clients at the checkout stage, and feedback from the discovery phase suggests it’s because you don’t have a ‘guest checkout’ option, forcing people to sign up for a complete account, which adds friction if they’re exploring your site.
Begin by confirming the guest checkout concept with your users, then create and test several versions using prototypes, mockups, and card sorting tests.
5. Iterate and Test
Once you have a functioning website or product redesign model, focus on testing and refining the user experience. Begin by doing usability testing to check that your website’s hierarchy, user flow, and search filters make sense. Use A/B, multivariate testing to determine which designs people prefer, and heatmaps to observe where they click and scroll.
Make sure to consider accessibility as well: Is the guest checkout option easily accessible? Is it viewable to consumers across many devices and with varying visual requirements? Next, dig deeper and try to gain a holistic picture of the UX and how it helps and hinders people in meeting their needs.
6. Evaluate and communicate research findings
You’ve gathered a lot ofstudy findings at this point. Using categories and tags, concentrate your data on user pain points. Look for patterns and reoccurring difficulties, and ask users more questions. Make your study findings searchable, manipulable, and available to all team members.
Then, outside of the core UX team, engage in cross-functional dialogue. Ensure that diverse departments are kept informed and participating in the UX research process.
Produce UX analysis reports and engage stakeholders through extensive UX and user storytelling and powerful product narratives. However, be sure to share crucial morsels of user data along the process so that your research ideas spread throughout the business.
7. Put findings into actions
The UX research data you collect might be a treasure. It may assist you in beautifully prioritising customer delight, engagement, and retention. You must use data to make critical UX design decisions.
Prioritise adjustments and product upgrades based on your UX research findings. Concentrate on pressing issues that are influencing critical metrics and preventing users from satisfying their needs.
Heatmaps and session recordings might assist you in swiftly identifying low-hanging fruit. You may discover that repositioning your CTA or making your signup form more concise and straightforward will significantly increase conversions.
UX research process is a continual and pervasive one, affecting all UX design and product development aspects.
The investigation, testing, and user dialogues are all necessary components of self-assured, user-led design thinking.
For effective product designs, you can bank on our user research services. We have a team of experienced UX researchers, who create products based on data, and not assumptions.
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