How to perform a UX research: methods, objectives and results

How to perform a UX research: methods, objectives and results

UX research is a means of figuring out user objectives and behavior. The result of such research reveals which problems future product is going to solve. It becomes obvious how to help out the real users, and not some mythical target audience. UX research isn't always an iterative process.

Nov 25, 2021

How to perform a UX research: methods, objectives and results

A good design in one that starts with a very thorough market research and user behaviour. With UX research it is easier to distinguish a product that just looks modern from one that solves key problems of a user.

That said, it is not important whether you launch a new product or modernize an existing one; you have to interact with users prior to initiating the development and making corrections. Skipping this step is the same as basing the solutions on simple guesses. That may eventually cost you a lot.

Let's clarify the terms

UX research is a means of figuring out user objectives and behaviour. The result of such research reveals which problems future product is going to solve. It becomes obvious how to help out the real users, and not some mythical target audience.

UX research is often confused with user research. The difference is that UX research isn't always an iterative process.

UX research methods

Methods are usually divided into quantitative and qualitative.

Quantitative methods aim to show exact numbers. For instance, how many users have performed a key action on a website. Quantitative methods are about What is happening.

Qualitative methods focus on user motivations and the reasons for certain behaviour. For example, after a button is pressed, qualitative methods will show why some users clicked on it and some didn't. Qualitative methods reveal Why something happens.

Other common methods of UX research

  • Personal interviews;
  • User surveys;
  • Card sorting;
  • Usability testing;
  • Concept testing;
  • User-group testing.

Understanding the available testing methods is just half of the success. What is the other half and what can be improved?

1. Make a UX research the first stage of you work on the project

User research is important during every development phase. However, the earlier you get it done, the bigger and better the impact is going to be on the final product. Neglecting the UX research is as bad as starting it too late.

With approach like that one can’t get back to working on a product to make changes. Since day one you are going to understand that the product is user-oriented.

2. Set clear objectives

Word the mission of your research correctly and precisely. Ask the right questions and figure out the workload. Answer this: why do you do it?

Other questions will predominately depend on a particular task at hand. The general rule of thumb is to make questions short and adequate, so that answers to them will contain data that is relevant and useful to you. The shorter the questions, the easier it is to find the answers.

3. Be conscious about the research methods you pick

It isn’t recommended to choose the same methods year after year. Every project is unique and you should always pick the methods that correspond the objectives of your project.

The criteria to help you pick the right methods:

1. Feedback or behavior? Designers trust the behavior-oriented methods more, however collecting feedback can also lead to fruitful results.

  • Surveys gather data that is easy to sort and figure out different problems of different user groups in the future.
  • Target groups can help reveal how users in general view the brand or the product.
  • Sorting cards can show which information field model users create.

It is not recommended to ignore such methods, despite the general recommendation to monitor user behaviour and focus on it.

2.Quantity or quality? Qualitative methods are more suitable to answer the question of “How to solve the problem?”. Quantitative methods give an understanding about which particular problems it is necessary to focus on at first, amongst thousands of them; such methods help set the right priority.

3. In what context do users interact with the product?

  • During a natural interaction of a user with the product you can get more real data, but less control.
  • Exclude such interaction if you want to learn about how the brand affects a user along with other less tangible aspects.
  • Hybrid methods allow to monitor user interaction with the product from different perspective points. For instance, to detect particular behavioural features and then, during a discussion, collect feedback on the product.

4. Share the results of your research with your colleagues

In order for the designers, products managers to understand the value of such data and use it effectively during the development,

  • Document all the processes with attention to details.
  • Pick the right format: for managers a presentation or a message may be enough, however, for designers and programmers it is important to know all the relevant details in order to make adequate adjustments.
  • Back your hypotheses with facts.

5. Make UX Research a routine

Research are very useful early on. But it doesn’t mean one can skip the surveys and testing once the final product is released. The more frequent your interaction with the users, the more often you make changes that improve their lives, the more successful the product.

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