What is UX research?
In a simple language - User research focuses on understanding from the target audience or user group about a digital or physical product.
The user research process focuses on understanding the targeted user behaviors, pain points, needs, fear, motivations and how they use or relate to a product.
How To Think Like a UX Researcher?
- Think like 'Sherlock'- We likened UX researchers to detectives. Now we’re likening UX research to explorers. Think of three explorers—they can be historical or contemporary—read up on them to get a sense of what motivated them and what their objectives, challenges, and discoveries were. What can you learn from them that can be applied to user experience discovery research?
- Think of a recent project you worked on where UX research failed to deliver the expected business benefits. If you could return to the beginning of that project, what would you do differently?
- Summarize UX research findings. Thinking of the last UX research you carried out, how might you present the findings on a single sheet of paper?
- We talk about the difficulty of delivering bad news to senior managers. What prevents your organization from hearing bad news? How can you help your organization learn from its mistakes?
- Every UX researcher has their favorite UX research method, be it a field visit, a usability test or a survey. This becomes a problem when you use the same tool to answer every research question. Identify your favorite and least favorite UX research methods and question if this “ favoritism” affects your practice. Identify two research methods you would like to learn more about.
- We define a successful UX research study as one that gives us actionable and testable insights into users’ needs. What makes an insight “testable”?
User experience design process
What are the UX research methods?
The design needs measurement and testing. There is a long, comprehensive list of UX research methods, but at its center is the user and how they think and behave—their needs and motivations. Typically, UX research does this through observation techniques, task analysis, and other feedback methodologies.
Research methods we follow in the four phases of the product development lifecycle
Product user research makes it possible to design for real people otherwise we will trade into our own myst. And businesses should always avoid that trap — especially if you are aware of your niche market. And let's face it as a marketing ninja!
1. User research during the product discovery phase
In this phase, we find the solutions - How to Design for Everyone? And search for a target audience’s problem and its solution. This will form the foundation of the product.
UX research methods for this phase:
- Interview StakeHolders - Clients and development teams often approach the UX researcher with a “method led” request (such as “Please run a focus group”). Imagine you have been asked to deliver a UX research method that you feel is inappropriate but you are told, “That’s all we can do with the time and budget available.” Which is the more ethical approach: to carry out the research method that’s asked of you or to decline to run the research at all? Why?
- Market survey - to understand your users’ information needs and behaviors.
- Field research - Interview sales, support, and training staff. What are the most frequent problems and questions they hear from users? What are the worst problems people have? What makes people angry?
- Competitor analysis and industry research -Find the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors’ products. Discover what users like best.
2. User research Exploration techniques during product validation
Exploration methods are for understanding the problem space and design scope and addressing user needs appropriately. UX research methods in this phase:
- Website analytics - Research on its own can be valuable, but in order to use the insights to inform design, it needs to be analyzed and ultimately presented to a larger team. The analysis is the process by which the researcher identifies patterns in the research, proposes possible rationale or solutions, and makes recommendations.
- Use research to build user personas and write user stories.
- Landing page A/B tests - A/B testing is another way of learning what actions users take. An A/B test is typically chosen as the appropriate research form when designers are struggling to choose between two competing elements.
3. Testing and validating User experience research while product prototyping
Ideas now take shape for life. In this phase, make prototypes and test their usability. Run several iterations at this phase.
Testing and validation methods are for checking designs during development and beyond, to make sure systems work well for the people who use them.
UX research methods in this phase:
- User journey mapping - Until all the serious usability problems have solutions. We test one version of the prototype with at least three or four people every month last week. By then, it may not retain any serious usability issues in smaller products. But for a huge enterprise application may need many more iterations.
- User tests - On average to identify the usability issues, running 6 tests in one cycle filters out 87% of the problems. After a round, prioritize the issues and work on them, iterate, and test again.
- Heatmap analytics
- Click analytics
4. Listen User’s Voice and Test UI prototype
After the launch, many options to get feedback from users remain. Indeed, now real users can provide data.
UX research methods in this phase include:
- UX metrics - Monitor analytics and metrics to discover trends and anomalies and to treat your progress.
- UX surveys - Qualitative surveys ask open-ended questions to find out more, sometimes in preparation for doing quantitative surveys. Test surveys to eliminate problems.
- Heatmaps - We use the HotJar tool teaser the heat map on the landing page.
- Recording - Again HotJars gives a one-stop solution for user recordings monitory with the help of it we analyze the user behavior and usability issues.
- Data analysis - Google Analytics is part of a suite of interconnected tools that help interpret data on your site’s visitors including , a powerful data- visualization tool, and , for running and analyzing dynamic A/B testing.
We are a UX research agency
We deliver user insights to leading brands all over the world. Our clients include Accenture, Teledentix, Virtual Dental Care, Gemalto, and many more.
From fintech to logistic, from education to healthcare, hundreds of digital products out there have been developed based on research results done by Think 360 studio.
Let us help you build awesome digital products! You can hire our UX Researchers for shorter projects, or on a subscription basis, together with or without a UX Designer. We also conduct UX research training, where we educate your team can learn the basics of gather in user insights, in only a couple of 5 days research sprint.
UX Research Good Reads
There are many books that focus on interviews, usability testing, A/B testing, and other specific areas of design research. These are just a smattering of books that cover the big picture.
Think Like a UX Researcher
David Travis, Philip Hodgson
This book will challenge your preconceptions about user experience (UX) research and encourage you to think beyond the obvious. You’ll discover how to plan and conduct UX research, analyze data, persuade teams to take action on the results and build a career in UX. The book will help you take a more strategic view of product design so you can focus on optimizing the user’s experience. UX Researchers, Designers, Project Managers, Scrum Masters, Business Analysts, and Marketing Managers will find tools, inspiration, and ideas to design for what they need.
Rocket Surgery Made Easy
The best part of Rocket Surgery Made Easy is that it’s the resources! Included in the book is a 6 page Sample Usability Test Script that walks proctors through administering a hypothetical user test, and a Usability Testing Checklist that explains what to do in the weeks, days, and hours leading up to guerilla usability tests.
Just Enough Research
In Just Enough Research, co-founder of Mule Design Erika Hall distills her experience into a brief cookbook of research methods. Learn how to discover your competitive advantages, spot your own blind spots and biases, understand and harness your findings, and why you should never, ever hold a focus group.
Doorbells, Danger, and Dead Batteries: User Research War Stories
Doorbells, Danger, and Dead Batteries is a diverse compilation of war stories that range from comically bizarre to astonishingly tragic, tied together with valuable lessons from expert user researcher Steve Portigal.