UX Research: Everything You Need to Know

Mar 25, 2020

User Research- designial UX design agency

UX research is an organized study of users that provides critical insights into their behaviors, pain points, and expectations. 

It is a multistage problem-solving process that product managers can leverage to analyze how users work in their natural environment. Additionally, product managers can use to foresee how users likely to use their product or service. 

Understanding user behavior enables product managers with the help of the UX research teams to test the validity of their assumptions. In essence, a product manager’s goals and a user experience researcher’s goals can overlap in some cases.

What is your UX research strategy?

Is your UX research strategy working to realize business goals?

If you are a product manager for B2B apps, you must devise a user research strategy that helps you deliver the business outcomes, like increasing revenue, sales, and profits. It can not just look out for the user’s needs in a silo. After all, the product needs to profitable for the business.

On the other hand, if users don’t adopt your app or leave for competitors’ apps or go back to the offline process or tools, they were using before the app. You can not ignore what your customers’ pain points and motivations are.

We believe in a strategic approach to design research, depending on the stage of the product in the product lifecycle — a brand new product, redesign for an existing product, and stagnant product that is looking to grow. The business goals are different at every stage, and so should be the strategy.

Anatomy of the user experience research

Designing the UX research study or usability testing, gathering data, and analyzing results are the three parts of the UX research. 

Experienced UX researchers design a study depending on whether the product is new or existing, conceptual, or mature, among other considerations.

Methods to conduct user experience research or usability testing study vary considerably, from simple note-taking to videos to advanced methods like eye-tracking.

Expert UX researchers can analyze vast amounts of data to summarize results in a meaningful way for product managers to implement them in UX design and or application development

For business to business or business to consumer products and services, initially, the focus needs to be on learning about the desired business outcomes from stakeholders and also the needs and goals of the end-users or customers. That understanding becomes the basis for planning and designing the study.

A seasoned user research team knows how to attain business goals at the same time, helping customers get their jobs done by using products or services. The success of the business application or the service depends on getting that balance right.

What are the UX research methods?

Does your UX research strategy involve talking to your co-workers, friends, and family? Is it highly reliant on surveys? Using the wrong UX research method is a common mistake.

There are several popular methods to conduct user research. 

User research and usability testing methods are grouped based on attitudes and behaviors; in other words, what people say vs. what they do.

Some methods intersect with quantitative vs. qualitative separated by raw numbers vs. understanding of “why” behind the numbers. Some user research methods are best suited for in-person research labs or in the user’s natural work environment.

Remote testing is possible for some of the methods. Some user research methods need moderation, and others don’t. Some are more manual, whereas others that can be completely automated. 

Combining insights from multiple methods is the most effective way to do UX research. 

It can be challenging for some stakeholders to analyze their current business challenges and decide which methods to use in their specific scenarios. A seasoned UX research team can help with strategizing on how to pick the right methods to achieve your business goals.

 

What is benchmarking in UX Research?

An essential component of measuring the User Experience of a web or mobile app is to know precisely how it performs in comparison to its competitors, legacy applications, or current offline mechanisms. And also to have the ability to monitor the performance over time. 

Benchmarking is one of the several strategies used in user research and usability testing. Here is a case study.

It is about setting goals for product performance. It helps your organization establish best practices, establish baseline performance metrics, identify problem areas, and build vision & direction for product strategies for upcoming product release cycles. It helps all stakeholders coalesce around common business goals.

How do you communicate results with executives?

Once you have collected rich data from your user research or usability testing sessions, the next step is to analyze valuable insights and effectively communicate with the executive stakeholders.

The success of user experience study depends on expertly crafted actionable call-outs for product managers and executive leadership. Experienced UX research teams know how to tie insights with actual business outcomes.

The subsequent action of investing in UX design and or application development critically depends on how useful the insights are for the business outcome. The result reports often summarizing data, prioritizing & tailor findings according to the audience. The presentations can include a combination of engaging visualizations, pictures, video clips from the studies.

Artificial intelligence and user research

The University of Ohio study looked at a relationship between facial color and emotions and claimed that their algorithm was now better at detecting emotions than people are.

By conducting UX research, the research team can ensure that a product team develops a deeper understanding of the audience. Artificial intelligence (AI) presents an unprecedented opportunity for the UX research community as it is the very essence of our profession to connect product makers to the motivations, emotions, and unmet needs of their customers.

On the other hand, UX research can make AI smarter. As AI is taking over users’ lives, there is a general yearning for an emotional connection. Emotionally intelligent UX designers can design the best AI-based products or services.

We view the relationship between AI and UX research through two lenses:

  • How Artificial intelligence can help to carry out UX research efficiently
  • How UX research can help to build great AI-based products

Conclusion

Partnering with an experienced app design agency that has robust UX research practice is critical for B2B product success. 

It takes extensive expertise and experience to get it right, so vet your app design agency candidates carefully. Get in touch with us today to learn more about our services.