UX Research

We live in a world, where users can get their product review within a few clicks, post negative feedback on apps they deem uncool and where one social media post or a blog can bring you to limelight overnight. Welcome to the age of the Internet! If you are going to focus on your “User”, you are going to emerge as the user. With over 5 billion mobile users all over the world, the majority of them have access to the World Wide Web.

To sustain yourself in this highly competitive market in 2019, you should be investing in User research. Are you aware of the fact that 74% of people would return to your website if you can optimize it for your mobile? Such is the dominance of user experience in current times. What is User experience research, anyway?

Introduction to User Research:

“No research is ever quite complete. It is the glory of a good bit of work that it opens the way for something still better, and this repeatedly leads to its eclipse.”

– Mervin Gordon

User Research is how your real-time audience perceives your product in the real world. You should evaluate the user needs before you move on with the design process. Their needs, behavior, and attitude form the core of the successful product. Hence you should understand them before you set out to collect different feedbacks and observations from your audience.

Before you go on with your User experience Research, you should know how to use the right method at the right duration when you develop your product. Initially, that is more important than delving into deeper aspects like studying your audience habits and validating your brand credibility directly.

Importance of User experience research:

In this digital era, people are constantly visiting your website and apps to get to know your products better. It is extremely competitive nowadays. You have to understand the perspective of people in a very short time.

According to Statistics Brain, 46% of businesses fail due to incompetence. This is due to the lack of user trust, not meeting their desires and other such user-related reasons. When you carry out your user research, you would know this is not going to happen at any point in time. With user experience research, you can get into the psychology of your users, understand them completely and prove your mettle in the market.

There are many ways to streamline your user research like journal studies, field studies among others. You just need to pick the method that suits well with your product. Each product is unique. With expert guidance, you can easily create a spotlight for your products with different UX research methods.

How do you carry out User Research?

Carrying out User Research has got more to do than just talking to your target users. It is a well-planned process with different UX research methods in hand.

Basically, there are 2 types of UX research methods:

  • Quantitative Research
  • Qualitative Research

In a nutshell, quantitative research helps you understand what has actually happened (Hurray! Your app has 100 million downloads within 10 days). Qualitative research helps you identify why that has happened (Because your app is user-friendly, fits the market trend and super cool)

What is the buzz surrounding Quantitative Research?

Quantitative research is one of the UX research methods entirely dependent on numbers and stats. For example, it can be about how many people purchased that particular dress model or what percentage of users prefer buying your E-cycle. For Quantitative Research, you would require more audience compared to qualitative research to get better data.

How do you conduct Quantitative Research?

  • Start with a practice task. Let your participants be familiar with the study setup when you are evaluating the site.
  • You can also leverage the think-aloud protocol, where you verbalize your audience’s thought process. The users can have a discussion among themselves.
  • Prepare the questionnaire in advance. Ask the “right” questions.
  • Evaluate the data using Excel or other tools.
  • Represent the data in the form of pie charts or graphs.

Qualitative research is the user experience research method about understanding the behavior and attitude of your users. It answers questions like:

  • Did they enjoy your latest app update?
  • Do they expect anything else apart from the existing features?
  • Do they need more guidance on how to use your product?

It is how you get deeper into what your audience expects from you and fulfilling their expectations with teamwork. If your user can provide you with what information you have been curious about, then that would add value in knowing about what is trending so far.

Speaking about your team, it should comprise these prodigies who can help you skyrocket your user experience to greater heights:

  • UI/UX Team lead to lead your User-devoted team like a pro with sound knowledge on delivering the best UX experience trends out there!
  • UX Designer to simplify the user needs via their amazing designs. They also carry out prototyping, user testing, field, and analytics research.
  • UI Designer to entirely manage the user interaction level. They should handle the layout and design elements flawlessly!
    Content Strategists to ensure that people never get distracted with too many technical jargon or irrelevant content. They help you generate simple content your audience can relate to.
  • App or Website developer to provide oxygen to your ideas and innovation.

Coming back to Quantitative research, we use it only to understand the performance of your product. We cannot understand the behavior, attitude, and intentions of users with this method. If you are looking for such insights, then Qualitative research is the best option.

Getting into the Abyss of Qualitative Research:

With Qualitative Research, you deal directly with people to know how they perceive your product or app. You can gather enough data about your user preference, using which you can make changes or add-on features on your app. Even though you can implement this for Quantitative Research also, these are the 5 major steps using which you go on with Qualitative Research:

Understand the Objective:

Before taking a step with Qualitative Research, you have to be clear on why you are carrying out the research. Does your audience require any knowledge transfer? Do you wish to understand their mindset? Define what you are focusing on before you move forward with the research processes.

Create hypotheses:

What did you exactly understand your user perception? Are they what you conceived to be when you were working on the basic product outlet? Answer these questions simultaneously before you go on research mode. Debate with yourself on what you taught and what it actually could be.

Select the methodologies:

Every team has time and manpower constraints. Should you submit your research within a week? What is your affordability? What is your team’s strength? Analyze these kinds of stuff before you move on with the research part.

Conduct the research:

By putting the selected methods into action, conduct the necessary UX research, with your user satisfaction in mind.

Synthesize what you observed:

With whatever you have learned, create a synthesis on your research. Present it in graphs, pie charts or in any visually attractive format.

There are various types of Qualitative research if you are pondering about analyzing the thinking pattern of your users.

Some of the important ones are stated here:

  • User groups
  • Usability testing
  • User interview
  • Online survey
  • User personas

User groups:

This is a formal interview process through which you can easily understand the experiences, expectations, and attitudes propelled by your target audience. The best idea would be to use this methodology when your company requires plenty of insights within a shorter span of time. You will get to know about the issues your clients face, which you can rectify immediately. If your product is not going to meet your client’s demands, you will know it in advance. This will save millions of dollars you would lose otherwise.

With User groups, you can get a clear picture that what people convey is entirely different from what people choose otherwise. When you ask good questions, you will get the answers you have been eagerly waiting for. The other necessity would be including the right amount of people in your team before you move on with this methodology. Choose everything wisely!

How to research on User Groups?

  • Your schedule should provide adequate time for recruitment, testing, analysis, and result integration.
  • You should assemble your team before you choose different roles.
  • It is always advisable to define your research scope.
  • Always create a guide with more than 3 topics to discuss. It need not exceed 6 topics.
  • Recruiting potential or already present end-user will help you to get more positive feedback.
  • Conducting user group testing and recording your data will prove fruitful.
  • Analyze what you found and report it.

Usability testing:

According to the general definition of usability by ISO 9241, it is defined as “the extent to which a product can be used by specified users to achieve specific goals with effectiveness, efficiency, and satisfaction in a specified context of use”.

Usability testing is one of those UX research methods where you can evaluate a product or service by testing it with the users. The goal of this method is to identify the problems faced by your users while handling your product and determine the satisfaction level of your users. This method is proven to be more accurate in contrast to other methods.

  • A general recommendation would be to test your product with 5 users.
  • You have to identify your target audience, what you need to test and why you should test that. You can also create a list of tasks meant specially for the participant.
  • Recruit the right participants, involve the right stakeholders and apply whatever you have learned so far.
  • Participants should complete their tasks while there are onlookers who listen, watch and record the event.
  • Once the task is completed, you can analyze the results.

User Interview:

Interviewing your users is the best way to ask whatever you wanted to know. This would help you understand what they are expecting from you, how you can fulfill their demands, how to scale up your user experience and much more. There are plenty of ways to conduct interviews with people. Let’s list a few of them

  • Online survey
  • User personas

Online survey:

This is one of the best UX research methods to understand the mindset of your target users. This can be short, simple and engaging. This is also the right method to identify your audience’s choice. If you are carrying out online surveys, make sure that you ask only what is required. It has to be very simple, precise and to-the-point.

Tips to crack Online survey:

  • Let your online survey be more personalized
  • Publish all the daily invites and keep track of them
  • Run social media ads on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter

Expert review:

Through this method, you can analyze the mindset of industry experts and what they think about your product. Speaking with them would help you to understand where your product stands in the market.

How to go on with this User research method?

  • Build good contact with those technocrats or product minds who can guide you thoroughly.
  • Explain your product thoroughly.
  • Listen to what they say. Make a note of it.
  • Implement it in your upcoming projects involving your product.

Eye-tracking:

This is one of the advanced UX research methods where you can get different opinions and feedback from your website audience. You can understand which interface works fine with your user, how to optimize that particular area and how to grab the attention of your users who visit your website or app. The added bonus is you can reduce the bounce rate. Talking about bounce rate, it directly impacts your SEO ranking, bringing your website down. If you can use this UX research method, that is not bound to happen.

How do you move forward with this UX research method?

To implement this methodology, you need the support of your developer. Keep tracking how your users are responding with the tool. Hire the right team members or talk to UX research companies to get a clear idea of what this method is all about. They would be able to explain the nitty-gritty of this method since it requires the usage of automation tools.

Benchmarking:

What are the industry’s best practices? Have you involved that in your product? With Benchmarking, you can identify the methods that are currently on simmering rage in the market. With that, you can identify the product or service position to get real-time insights on industry happenings.

Wondering how this term Benchmarking evolved? It arrived from the direction of land surveyors cutting a stone marker with the intention of achieving a bracket termed as “bench”. This is the reference point for any building.

This term spread across the software world and now has occupied the world of User experience research. There are 2 varieties of Benchmarking:

  • Moderated testing
  • Unmoderated testing

Moderated testing is where you mingle with the moderators or facilitators to conduct an in-person meeting or through software like WebEx, Skype, and GoToMeeting.

Unmoderated testing would involve collecting data such as timing, heat maps, clicks along with videos. This UX research method is quite similar to the survey. Here participants can directly answer the put forth questions and take up different tasks.

How does Benchmarking work?

  • Talk to industry specialists. Get proper data on what is happening around your marketplace.
  • Compare that with what you have done with your product. Are you moving on to the right phase? Should you implement any new tactics? Get answers to these questions.
  • In the case of moderated testing, preplan everything before you talk with your peers.
  • In unmoderated testing, you have to understand which data you have to collect. Your team has to cooperate with you to make it a success.

User personas:

This is the way by which you represent your ideal user fictionally. You can understand the goals, requirements and behavior patterns of your targeted users. Are they tech-savvy? Do they possess enough domain knowledge? How is their everyday life? What are their basic activities? How about their demographics? You should be able to answer these questions.

How to create a user persona?

In user research, creating that right user persona would help you create milestones in your user experience research. Follow these few points before you create a user persona that speaks about your user requirements:

  • It should possess important aspects like header, demographic profile, end goals, and another scenario.
  • Your personas should be very brief.
  • Cut the slack on extra details and make it relatable to your target audience.

Start collecting information from real users to create user persona requirements. No user persona is complete without feeding them with real-time needs. Keep that in mind while creating that user persona which acts as a boat between you and your real users.

What should you NOT do when you carry out User Research?

  • Don’t forget the “User” before “Research”. Without understanding the needs and wants of your user, carrying out research is going to be futile. Research only when you have your target audience on your mind.
  • Don’t be entirely dependent on your raw data. 360-degree research is vital to get a proper vision of what is happening around your product. Speak with subject matter experts, google on the topic and get to know the trend.
  • Don’t ask vague or unwanted questions during your survey. Avoid questions such as “Are you happy with our product?” or “What do you know about our product?”
  • Don’t work without organizing everything. It might haphazard your entire User research plan.
  • Don’t aim for the moon when you have a very short span of time. Choose the right method to complete your research within the allocated period.

What are the benefits of conducting User Research?

Generally, User research can act as the gold mine for your products and business. With User experience research, you get answers on how your product enhances the lifestyle of your end-user. You get answers on how and when they would utilize your product and what are all the issues your users face that your product solves.

With these UX Research methods, you can add immense value to your business by cutting down those redesign costs, increasing your user satisfaction, hastening up your product development phase and other such crucial tasks involved.

If you are going to conduct User research perfectly, we bet that you can take your business to unimaginable horizons. Your product would win the hearts of your users, and that’s a victory! If you are customer-savvy, then you should engross yourself in understanding the nook and corner of customer experience. This would open the pinnacles of customer success more than earlier times.

Happy customers = Happy employees = Happy revenue

At the end of the day, happy customers and users are all that matters for any business. By conducting user research in the way you should, you can ensure that you are always on the right track.

What do we do at Pattem Digital?

We, at Pattem digital, focus on lifting up your user experience to the zenith. We are a team of mavericks with proven expertise in conducting User research that opens a wide range of opportunities for you.

Currently, we are working on exciting User research projects that are set to disrupt the respective industries. Our team gets into the nook and corner of UX research, to ensure that you get the desired output.

We involve advanced technologies prevalent in the market. If you are looking for affordable, flexible and prompt user research services, we have got your back! All you need to look upon is to build quality products that your users would go gaga for. They should feel comfortable and satisfied with what you are going to offer. We are here to support you with this cause!

Let’s join hands to give a wholesome experience to your user. Contact our team if you are looking for greater guidance and domain knowledge from the industry experts.

 

Leave a comment

We would love to hear from you and we appreciate the good and the bad.

Related Stories

25 December, 2018
5 factors to help create successful digital forays for brands
18 November, 2018
Meet the bartender of the future