How to Conduct a User Experience Research for Incredible Results
Good design starts with a thorough User Experience (UX) research. Without enough research, it is impossible to distinguish between a product that simply looks good and one that solves a real user problem.
Whether you are dealing with a new product or redesigning an already existing one, it is crucial to engage with real users before anything else. If you skip this crucial step and dive straight into design and production, you are essentially basing your decisions on assumptions.
What if you bring your product to the market only to find that it was wrong? You will have to return the product to the drawing board, having wasted time, resources and money unnecessarily. User research conducted in the right way at the right time is the only way to avoid this. This articled gives you some key user survey methods and how to get the most out of your UX survey for incredible results.
What is UX Research?
User surveys are made to focus on understanding user behaviors, motivations and needs through task analysis, observation techniques, and other types of feedback methodologies. In other words, it is the process of understanding the impact of design on an audience.
Once you reach the user research stage, the UX researcher employs several methods and techniques to understand the end user, such as quantitative research, which produces results that are measurable, and qualitative research, which focuses on why the user behaves in a certain way.
For example, you would conduct quantitative surveys to see how many users clicked on a call to action (CTA) button on your website. To find out why some users clicked, and others didn’t, you would need to conduct qualitative research.
In short, quantitative research can tell you what’s going on, while qualitative research can give you an idea of why this is happening. Some of the most common UX survey methods include face-to-face interviews, user surveys and questionnaires, card sorting, concept tests, user groups and usability tests.
How To Get The Most Value From Your UX Research?
Along with conducting user surveys, you also need to do things right. You need to make sure that research has a real impact on your organization and your final product. For that you need to:
Conduct UX research early on
User research is valuable at all stages of the design process. However, the sooner you do this, the more impact it will have on the final product. The biggest mistake a design team can make is to neglect the user experience research phase altogether.
If you start too late, you risk losing crucial insights while you still have time to act on them. Don’t initiate the designing process before you’re well aware of the target audience of your work, as you need to conduct user surveys very early in the process to make the right decision. It’s the only way to reduce the need to go back in the process and make changes and assuring that the final product is focused on the user from day one.
Set concrete goals
You know that you need to conduct research with users and are familiar with the methods and techniques at your disposal. To extract the maximum value from this research, you need to define a clear mission with concrete objectives. This means asking the right questions and defining the scope of your work.
The questions you ask depend on the specifics of the project. If you are redesigning an existing application, you will ask different questions than if you were designing a new application from scratch. Whatever the objective, it is essential to ask clear questions that lend themselves to definitive and measurable answers. The clearer your doubts and objectives, the easier it will be to find the answers.
Choose your UX search methods wisely
Once you have all your goals clear and defined, it is of the essence to choose the UX research methods that will lead you to the most useful, valuable results. Don’t just stick with some tried and tested tricks that you always use. Choose based on the context of your project.
The behavioral and attitudinal dimension reveal the divergence between what your users are saying and what they, in fact, do. Attitudinal research focuses on the user’s beliefs and mental models, or, in other words, how they think they would behave in certain situations. Behavioral research methods, on the other hand, move away from self-reported behavior and, in fact, observe the user in action.
Qualitative research methods will show why the user behaves in a certain way, while quantitative methods will provide him with concrete numbers and statistics. Context is about whether or not participants are using the product or service as part of their research and, if so, how they use it. Don’t rush your user search. Consider whether the methods you are using are really the most effective for your specific project.
Share your findings
It’s one thing to conduct user surveys and gather everything you need to know about your target audience. The next challenge is to communicate these findings and ensure that they provide value to key stakeholders, including fellow designers, product managers and developers. After analyzing the results of the user’s research phase and drawing conclusions, it is necessary to find the best way to present them to their colleagues.
It is imperative that anyone involved in the design process not only understands their findings, but understands and knows how to act on them. Make sure to document your research thoroughly. This way, it will be easier to transform the whole process into a presentation or file that can be consulted by other interested parties.
When it comes to delivering your results, consider who you are giving those results to and in what context. Whichever delivery method you use and whoever is viewing your findings, be ready to support your hypotheses with facts and justify your reasoning.
Remember: UX research never ends
We have already explored why UX research is so crucial at the beginning of any design project, but the truth is that user research never stops. The UX researcher or designer is the link between the customer and the brand. Never stop learning from your users.
Tools and Technologies to Measure User Experience
A / B testing is a type of experiment in which you compare two or more options for any aspect of your business or product. Focusing on improving conversions, you can, for example, try to increase the number of signups on your site by changing the color of a button. Even with the goal of converting more, it is clear that the user experience will count a lot during this process. More conversions are easily linked to an improved and more pleasant user experience.
Usability testing is the practice of testing how easily something is used by a group of representative users. It usually involves watching users as they try to complete tasks and can be done for different types of projects, from user interfaces to physical products.
It is often conducted repeatedly, from initial development to product release. The biggest advantage and purpose of usability testing is to identify usability problems with a project as early as possible, so that they can be corrected before the design is implemented or mass produced.
As always, market research is an opportunity to talk directly to your user. For user experience, therefore, it is possible to consider quantitative research as the perfect opportunity to hear the opinion of those who matter most.
A good market research creates a channel in which the user can give his opinion and freely discuss his interactions with brands and products. For this reason, even with the most advanced technologies, it is important to consider a questionnaire also when improving your UX.
Collaborative design and co-creation
Companies that want to promote remarkable and positive experiences must already know the importance of participatory design methodologies. Collaborative design is an approach that allows the team to design their solution together.
It helps teams create a shared understanding of the design problem and the final product, as well as providing the tools for them to work together on which interface elements best implement the feature they want created.
Eye tracking technology may sound like something straight out of science fiction films, but the methodology has been around for over 100 years, making its presence felt in science, marketing and now in usability studies.
The user experience test with eye tracking software allows end users to watch the eye tracking flow live during the usability test. This provides the testing team with a deeper understanding of patterns of behavior and therefore allows them to gain more complete insights into user interaction.
In addition to quantitative surveys, one way to improve the user experience is to conduct in-depth surveys. Going to the user, or going to the field, can help to closely monitor the way user interaction happens. Field research requires effort and a level of observation that quantitative research does not, but the result may be surprising.
As the market evolves and technology changes, the product must also follow this process. Even your audience can change over time, so it’s crucial to make sure you’re not relying on outdated insights that are no longer relevant.
Maintain a constant dialogue with your users and make UX research part of your long-term design strategy. Using the techniques and technologies available to track the user experience is very important.
What you can’t do is stop there. Who really cares about the user experience, needs to go further to promote the best interactions with their brand or product. The first step towards achieving this goal is to really know your consumer.
If your goal is to design the best services with a user experience in mind, it is essential to know the characteristics, needs and particularities of your ideal consumer. Understanding how they act, think, buy and consume products is a good way to start.
- How to Conduct a User Experience Research for Incredible Results - August 7, 2020