UX Researcher vs UX Designer: Roles & Differences Explained

UX Researcher vs. UX Designer: Roles & Differences Explained

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Roles and Difference between UX Researcher and UX Designer

When you think of UX design, what comes to mind?

Chances are, you picture a person in front of a computer screen, designing your next favourite app or website.

And you’re right—that is the job description for a UX designer.

But what if we told you there’s another person in that process who plays an important role?

UX researchers are the ones who study users and their needs, coming up with ideas on how to improve the user’s experience.

They often use surveys, interviews, and other methods to get their information to ensure designers are creating products that people will use and enjoy.

Although some of the research aspects can be taken care of by UX designers, being a UX researcher requires extensive analysis and research skills.

Both are separate disciplines and in this blog, we will discuss the difference between UX Researcher vs. UX Designer. Let’s dive right in.

UX Research vs UX Design: Meaning

Before we delve into the world of UX researcher vs UX designer, let us first understand the meaning of UX Research and UX Design.

Meaning of UX Research

Meaning of UX research

UX research gathers information about users’ needs, behaviours, and attitudes for product development.

It’s an initial step in the UX design process that helps designers make decisions and improve their products based on the user’s needs and requirements.

UX research helps to draw insight into your user’s behaviour, learn how users interact with your product, understand their needs and desires, and discover challenges they face as they interact with your product.

UX research can be done in many ways: surveys, interviews, and focus groups. The most important thing is that you’re talking to potential users, so they can give you a sense of their needs and how they would want things to work.

Once you’ve gathered this information, you’ll be able to make design decisions based on actual user needs.

You won’t be guessing what people want or building things that don’t serve them well.

Meaning of UX Design

Meaning of UX design

UX design is a set of skills that help you create user interfaces that are easy to use, engaging, and intuitive.

It’s part of the broader field of User Experience (UX), concerned with how people feel about their interactions with the products and services you create.

A UX designer has acquired these skills and practices them in their work. They deeply understand human psychology and behaviour: how people think, feel, process information, make decisions, and interact with others, and how to apply those insights to a digital context.

The best UX designers can take complex problems and distil them down into simple solutions that anyone can understand. They study how users interact with your product or service over time.

But what does a UX researcher do? Is the job of UX designers and researchers the same? To answer this question, let’s look at both of their responsibilities.

UX Researcher vs UX Designer

Role of UX Researcher

Role of UX Researcher

A UX researcher is tasked with the following responsibilities:

1. Creating A Plan To Research Your Subject With Clear Objectives

A UX researcher is responsible for creating a well-crafted research plan with clear objectives.

This includes defining who will be involved in the study, what they’ll do and how they’ll be measured.

They should also determine how much time they can dedicate to the project, and what kinds of data would be most helpful.

2. Building A Picture Of The Target Users

The next step in UX research is building a picture of the target user based on their needs, wants, motivations, and challenges.

This may involve interviewing people or asking them to complete an online survey.

It can also mean observing people using existing products so you can see how they interact with them.

Once you’ve gathered all this data you can start designing something better!

3. Drafting Usability Research Screener Questionnaires And Discussion Guides

Usability researchers are responsible for creating the questions that users will ask during a usability test.

These questions should be relevant to the information needed to understand how a user interacts with a product or service.

The researcher’s job is to create questions that can be answered quickly so that each user has enough time for multiple tests and to answer any questions they may have about the process.

4. Recruiting Targeted Users For Specific Research Studies

In addition to creating research materials, UX researchers also ensure that participants represent your target audience.

The goal is always to find people who will give you honest feedback about your product or service.

5. Moderating One-On-One Usability Sessions

UX researchers can often play the moderator role, guiding participants through activities or tasks, and asking them questions about their experiences.

This helps the researcher learn how users interact with the product.

6. Helping Develop And Implement Quantitative Surveys

Quantitative data is often gathered by surveying users via email or other means. UX researchers can help design these surveys and then analyze the results to conclude user preferences and behaviours.

Along with surveys, UX researchers can use analytical tools like Pendo, Hotjar and Google Analytics to get an idea of actual user behaviour.

7. Conducting Client And Stakeholder Interviews

Interviews with clients or stakeholders are another way of gathering information about how users interact with a product.

The UX researcher will ask questions like:

“What do you think needs improvement?”

“How do you think we could improve our product?”

Then, the company uses the answers to make future product changes or iterations.

Role of UX Designer

Role of UX Designer

1. Understand The User And The Brand

UX designers should be able to understand the needs of their users and what kind of experience they want to give them.

They should also be able to relate this information to the company so it can be used for future projects.

2. Conduct User Research

A UX designer can conduct research before beginning design work, including interviews with users or potential clients, focus groups, surveys, and more.

Usually, this is done by a UX Researcher, but at some companies, a UX designer is tasked with UX research too.

This research provides valuable insight into how people use a product and what they think of it—and helps guide decisions about what features need to be added or improved upon in future versions.

3. Analyze What They’ve Learned

Once a UX designer has completed their research and built a prototype based on this data, they should then analyze all of the information they collected before making any final decisions about what direction they want to take with development or other aspects of project management such as cost analysis or scheduling needs.

4. Design

A UX designer’s job is to make the user’s experience as seamless and intuitive as possible.

You must understand the users, their goals, and how they interact with the product or site.

You’ll use this knowledge to create an interface that helps them accomplish their tasks quickly and efficiently.

When designing, you might consider visual hierarchy. It involves analyzing where items are positioned on the screen), which elements should be emphasized, and how information should be displayed in priority.

5. Conduct User Testing

User testing is the process of gathering feedback from users to improve a product or service.

UX designers conduct user tests during the design phase of a project, which helps them gather information about how a user interacts with their design.

The results of these tests are then used to make changes to the product or service until it meets the needs of the target audience.

This feedback is critical for improving the overall experience for everyone else who uses your product or site.

6. Present Your Work

UX designers have the opportunity to present their work in many different ways.

For example, it could be as simple as showing mockups of a new design to your colleagues, or it could be presenting findings from user testing at an internal meeting.

UX Researcher vs UX Designer: Differences

The difference between a UX Researcher and a UX Designer can confuse those new to the field.

Here’s a quick breakdown of the differences:

UX Researcher vs UX Designer


Overall, both UX Researcher vs. UX Designer are an integral part of an organization.

Both roles require the one in charge to perform their duties with utmost care and integrity.

We hope that our explanation has cleared any doubts that you might have about the roles and differences between UX Researchers vs. UX designers. 

Whether you need help with UX research or UI UX design, we have the expertise and experience to take on any project.

From strategy to execution, we have the skills to ensure you get the desired outcomes.

We understand business requirements thoroughly, investigate user needs and create designs that ensure your website will be easy to navigate and engaging at the same time.

You may like to read on:
How to get a UI UX Design with no experience?

How to become a UX Researcher?

Creative Director and Founder of Octet Design Studio- Aakash Jethwani
Aakash Jethwani

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