What is UX Research
User experience research is a discipline aimed at uncovering hard truths behind the usability of design. According to Meta, in today's age products are designed for the global diversity of human needs. This requires us to deeply understand the behaviours of the people behind them. UX researchers are called to tackle some of the most complex challenges to gain deeper insights into how people interact with each other and the world around them.
What are the methodologies and how do they work
There are two main methods UX Researchers use: Qualitative and Quantitative
Qualitative Research involves collecting and analysing non-numerical data. This method is used when trying to understand concepts, opinions, and experiences. Researchers use this method when trying to gather insights on a problem or discover new ideas for a product.
Quantitative Research involves gathering and analyzing numerical data to uncover patterns and averages through statistical, mathematical, and computational analysis. Researchers use this method to understand user behavior on a larger scale and ensure that insights are not random but rooted in data-driven evidence.
What’s the difference between quantitative and qualitative data?
- Countable and measurable, relating to numbers.
- Tells us how many, how much, or how often.
- Fixed and universal, “factual”.
- Gathered by measuring and counting things
- Analyzed using statistical analysis.
- Descriptive, relating to words and language.
- Describes certain attributes, and helps to understand the “why” or “how” behind certain behaviors.
- Dynamic and subjective, open to interpretation
- Gathered through observation and interviews.
- Analyzed by grouping the data into meaningful themes and categories.
User Experience Research (UXR) misconceptions
With any discipline, there are often myths that are associated with them. UX Research too has its own misconceptions, I seek to add some contexts and understanding to these misunderstandings.
UX Research is expensive
User research is an investment into your product that aids in delivering measurable and sustainable returns over the long term. As early as possible you should try to identify features and interactions that hinder customers from completing the tasks they are aiming for. This will benefit your product in the long run by saving time and costs on features that do not actually improve the experience.
User Research Stifles Creativity
By asking users what they want there is a misconception that creativity is restrained because the team needs to design what the user wants, however this is untrue. User research highlights valuable information about the users, their context of use, and their needs. It is up to the designer to see how they cater to this information through a creative and innovative approach.
User research is time consuming
UX Research takes more time when It isn’t an established part of project, when it is a last minute thought. The researcher is not given enough time to plan ahead and deliver on time. However when it is properly factored into the project as a method to learn continuously the ROI of UX Research outpaces the time invested in no time.
User Experience Research tries to incorporate human psychology, behaviour, and innate needs into the product, to ensure that the product is user-friendly. But how does this aim meet business goals you may ask? Let me explain.
The Benefits of User Testing for Your Business
- Reduced Development Costs
User testing helps to identify usability challenges early in the development cycle, reducing the need for costly fixes later on. It ensures that you allocate your resources efficiently, avoiding unnecessary spending on features or elements that don't resonate with customers.
2. Increased Conversion Rates
Testing different versions of your website or marketing materials with actual customers will help determine which designs and messages are most effective at converting visitors into customers. This will lead to improved sales and revenue generation.
3. New opportunities
Countless times UX Research has inspired new ideas and innovations as users provide insights into their pain points and desires. This can lead to the development of new products or features that are more likely to succeed in the market.
At Dinghy we are using a scientific method to collect, organize, and prioritize these opportunities. More on this in an upcoming post on the power of the opportunity solution tree.
4. Data-Driven Decision-Making
UX Research generates valuable data and feedback that inform strategic decisions. It provides concrete evidence for making changes or improvements, reducing the reliance on intuition or guesswork. Thus allowing businesses to invest in what the customer actually needs.
Real-life business example
An active example of UX Research benefits discussed above is the UX Fund experiment. Companies that invest in their User Experience will have a direct reflection on their stock market.
$ 50,000 was invested into 10 companies like Apple, Google and Netflix. Within one year the investment had grown to $70 000. It was deduced from this experiment that well-designed products and services that solve real problems, for real people lead to a direct increase in profit. It’s amazing how massive the ROI can be on properly conducted UX Research and consumer experience optimization.
Even from a purely profit-driven point of view, valuing UX always plays well in the long run. The value of UX can be measured by increased revenue and it is not simply an add-on. Users tend to lean towards products with better user experience even if the price is higher.
Bad UX has made good products fail, and good UX has made average products huge successes.
Incorporating continuous UX Research into your business processes is a wise investment that can yield numerous benefits. It ultimately leads to happier customers, improved products or services, and a stronger competitive edge in the market. By prioritizing user feedback and making data-driven decisions, your business can thrive and grow in today's customer-centric landscape.