During the design process, users are given primary emphasis, and understanding their needs allows for the development of a more effective design. Understanding consumer needs in a highly competitive market through sufficient research provides insight into consumer wants, which is where UX research comes in.
User Experience Research or UX Research is the practice of observing user interactions to help with designing user-first experiences.
UX research is an important part of the user experience design process as it provides expert insight into establishing facts and coming to newer findings. UX Research allows the placement of people at the center of the designing process.
Purpose of UX Research
UX Research often referred to as Design Research, helps in understanding the needs of target users. It provides designers with insights that enable them to create successful designs.
- It helps in designing a product that is relevant to the target audience - UX Research is the primary way of understanding the target users who shall be using the design. Understanding this helps to create designs that are relevant and can aid in its success.
- It helps to provide users with a smooth usability experience - A comfortable and smooth user experience will help bring in new users and retain older ones, as users prefer products that give them a good user experience. And UX Research is one way of achieving it.
- It helps validate the ROI of UX design - Research helps with improved credibility and performance that aids in a growing customer base. It also aids in reducing the burden on resources and that helps with efficient work processes.
Relevance of UX Research to the Design Process
UX Designers conduct user research to understand behavioral traits and needs behind the creation of a consistent design. This helps bridge the gap between user needs and a stable functional design. Observing real users using different research methods, such as usability testing, observations, interviews, and research help to get a clearer understanding of the user base.
Approaching UX Research
The best way to approach UX Research is through observing, understanding, and then analyzing.
- Observe users for non-verbal hints and see how they are feeling and reacting to the product.
- Understand the user’s mindset; what they anticipate when using the product. Compare how the reactions are similar or different to a previous experience for a similar product.
- Analyze insights and identify biases and patterns that’ll help in making informed decisions.
- Test usability of the design to identify potential problems and uncover possible opportunities.
Types of UX Research
UX Research can be divided into the following types -
- Qualitative and Quantitative Research
Qualitative research consists of research based on user interviews and field studies. It is the collection of subjective data through direct study and observation of users.
Quantitative research aids in the analysis and collection of numerical data by identification of patterns, predictions, and generalized findings of a topic and target audience.
- Attitudinal and Behavioural Research
Attitudinal research deals with the assessment of users’ predetermined attitudes towards a certain experience. It helps to understand the cognitive approach of the user towards a product.
Behavioral research deals with understanding an individual’s social behavior via interpretations and measurements. These insights help improve a product and make it better suited to the needs of the user.
- Generative and Evaluation Research
Generative research aids in the identification of problems for which one wants to develop a solution. It helps researchers get a deeper understanding of end-users by looking for opportunities to create solutions and innovation.
Evaluation research enables designers to evaluate an existing design. This is done by forming a disciplined inquiry into the systematic evaluation of the value of resources. Evaluation research helps to determine if a process has managed to reach the desired results.
UX Research forms the core for every remarkable user experience. While UX is somewhat subjective, adequate research helps in understanding the needs and goals of potential users. Appropriate application of UX research methods helps designers create designs that can cater to target users.
UX Research helps us in identifying commonalities between target users by focussing on their needs and requirements. It helps in disapproving unwarranted assumptions to create a design that focuses primarily on usability.
- What is UX Research?
UX Research is the systematic study of end-users to understand their requirements and add insights into design processes.
- What purpose does UX Research help to solve?
UX Research helps design products relevant to end-users, aids in providing a smooth usability experience, and allows to validate the ROI of UX Design.
- How should one approach UX Research?
UX Research should be approached through - observation, understanding, and analysis.
- What are the types of UX Research?
UX Research is primarily divided into - Qualitative and Quantitative Research, Attitudinal and Behavioural Research, and Generative and Evaluation Research.