A Simple Guide To UX Research Methods – How to Design and Optimize User Experience

User Experience (UX) design is the process of designing software products that are easy to use, and a pleasure to engage with. It is the backbone of designing and developing software products that meet customer expectations and achieve the intended business goals. The UX research techniques will result in better designs that avoid mistakes and follow best practices and are reliable on industry knowledge. This research provides invaluable insight into your product users and what they need and value. In addition, it reduces the risk of a miscalculated guess, but it will also uncover new opportunities for innovation. In this blog, let's discuss the fundamentals of UX research and its importance, UX research techniques, and the qualities of a good UX researcher.

What is UX Research?

UX research is about how customers interact with your brand on a practical, functional level, and observing how easily they can complete their tasks and meet their goals. It uses different user research to gather valuable insights into the end user’s perspective of the product and provides developers and designers with a clear view of what customers need and their behaviour.

UX research consists of two things, data collection and data synthesis for usability enhancements. UX Researchers use different quantitative and qualitative research techniques and the initial phase starts by understanding the project and customer requirements. UX Researchers will conduct surveys, interviews, reviews, etc to improve the design based on the gathered insights.

Why is UX Research Important In Design Process?

So what exact use of user research? A software product built without UX research has a risk of failing anytime because it is difficult to meet up-to-date user expectations. According to recent research, 70% of online businesses fail because of bad usability therefore, a significant amount of time and money can be wasted without incorporating UX research into any product. 

UX research helps in data gathering and deriving insights happen throughout the product development process. When enhancing existing products or creating a new product, these research insights are imperative to make a product design process and marketing decisions. These research insights help businesses to launch user-centred and intuitive products to the market.  Nowadays, many companies invest in UX research due to competitive advantage and high ROI.

Most Popular Methods In UX Research

We have to understand the fundamental concepts of user experience research, let us move on to identifying the most famous UX research methods used for UX Research.

Interviewing

The quickest and easiest method of conducting user research about an existing product is Interviewing. The UX Researchers can conduct one-on-one user or focus groups with more than one user involved in interviews. Skype, Zoom, Skype, Phone, etc., any communication method you prefer for communication.

There are different interview types of UX designers and researchers. They are

Direct Interview - direct answers to questions that are suitable if you are making a comparison with a larger audience.

Conversational Interview - the target users get the guidelines for the interview before it starts (the interviewer gets more detailed information)

Ethnographic Interview - the users perform actual tasks and let the interviewer understands the gap between what they do and what they pretend to do.

Surveys and Questionnaires

Questionnaires and Surveys are used to collect information on large numbers of users with a diversity of users who typically need to stay anonymous. This will help to collect quantitative research and qualitative research data. Google Docs helps in creating quick surveys, emailing them to your audience and getting quick responses and also use the same questions on multiple product iterations to track its enhancements.

This approach is difficult to reach the audience if you have any problem with their answers or if you need further clarification while it is easy to get direct answers to user research questions, it will not be suitable for broader questions that need follow-ups with the users.

Mouse Tracking & Click Tracking

This enables researchers to understand how users interact with the product in real-time. It collects customer mouse movements, and the user clicks in mouse tracking and click tracking and visualizes those data through user maps such as attention heat maps, click maps, and scroll maps. These tracking insights help them realize important information like how customers interact with the product, which parts of the pages need to be improved for more user engagement, and how they react if they encounter an issue.

Eyetracking

The eye tracking method tracks users’ eye movements or gazes to understand the user's behaviours, reactions, and focus areas. The UX Researchers use specialized devices like cameras and projectors for eye tracking and it enables researchers to get information that they cannot get from other methods.

For example, where do users spend the most time on the product or on the page?  

Competitor Analysis and Benchmarking

The UX analysis of your competitors helps to understand where your product stands with them and use it as a benchmark to identify the product’s weak points. Also, it helps you to understand if you are offering something new to the customers that your competitors do not provide. You can follow this user research method during the initial stages of product development or for your existing products in the market.

Qualities Of A Good UX Researcher Should Have

  • We will understand the qualities you should have to become a better UX researcher.
  • Get suitable education 
  • Posses good research skills 
  • Build up communication skills 
  • Engage with other researchers 
  • Continuously build the portfolio 
  • Share knowledge

Summary

The software can have the best backend, and be cutting-edge, but if it is not properly explored by end-users, all the effort is for nothing so proper UX research is a must for designing applications. The methods of UX research mentioned in the blog are such an important element when developing digital products. Our clients expect us to deliver a product that achieves market success. This cannot be done without proper identification of the target group and user experience optimization that’s why Hepto Technologies do complex UX Research for our projects.

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