User research hasbecome a significant part of every designing process. It was long overlooked bymany UX designers and their clients in the past, but many professionals haverecently become aware of the benefits user research can give to their products.
If you have just lookedat why it is necessary, then it about time to get started with user research.Design experts at Adobe XD say “user research is beneficial in allstages of the product design process–from early ideation to the market releaselaunch.” You need to properly understand what it is and how to properly carryit out if you want to see exceptional results. This short guide can give youprecisely what you need.
What Is User Research?
User research is the process of learninghow your targeted users will respond to your product. It’s a study of userbehavior, needs, motivations, and experience that can help you understand whatyou need to do to make your product better.
It will point out the mistakes in yourplan, if any, and guide you towards creating a successful product that will beloved by its targeted users.
Why is User Research Crucial?
Many UX designers arevery confident about their abilities, which makes them think that they can doeverything on their own. But that may not be a good idea, and you will find outthe reason with experience. You can’t test the product on yourself or your teamand figure out what’s best.
Unless you are the targeted user for yourproduct, you will always need to include user research to make a successfulproduct. That’s why you should put aside your own assumptions and look at theproduct from other’s perspective.
Why Shouldn’t You Neglect User Research?
It is extremely common for companies andteams to look over user research completely while making the product. Theyusually have stated that their reasons were lack of time and resources, or theyalready knew enough to go on.
But these things don’t make sense becauseyour product can’t be good without user research. Even though it does take timeto plan and execute the process properly, you might end up facing more issuesin the long run.
Your product might have great features, butthey might not have any importance to the users. Your product might beuser-friendly in your opinion, but your users could end up having trouble.These two are the main problems that you might face if user research is not apart of your designing process.
Include Your Entire Team in the Research
If you are thinking of doing user researchfor your product, then great! But there is one more thing that you need to doto make this step even better. You need to share the research with your teamand stakeholders. They need to be aware of all the insights that you havegotten and other data.
Since there are several components of everyproduct, and multiple professionals need to handle the work, it only makessense that everyone has a better understanding of the targeted users. This willhelp your team understand why they are creating the product and what problem itis going to solve.
Since members on your team probably havedifferent views and tasks, you need to make sure that all of them areappropriately satisfied with the research, and they get answers to all theirquestions. You can ask your team and stakeholders to observe the study and takenotes during the sessions.
You can take all the raw data and startplanning the product. It would be useful to have your team with you at thispoint as well. You need to brainstorm ideas, and the more minds present, themerrier.
Five Key Aspects of User Research
Experts believe that there are fivecritical stages for conducting user research that you should understand beforegetting into it.
Out of the five, the first two should helpyou form questions and hypotheses while the rest of them are about collectingdata.
- You need to know the objectives of the research. Figure out what holes you need to fill to make the product a success.
- You need to think about what you know about your users. This would be your hypotheses.
- Take a look at your time and budget, then figure out the best ways to approach the research.
- Use your methods to collect as much data as possible.
- Fill in the empty holes, figure out how close or far your hypotheses was, and think about more things that can make your design a success.
How You Can Approach User Research
At the beginning of the process, you needto explore ideas. You need to figure out your project’s context and specificuser group. You need to ask yourself what do these users need, as well as whatis already working for them and what isn’t.
Once you have developed the product, it’stime to make sure it actually does solve your target users’ problems.
You need to check whether or not usersunderstand how it works. Your users shouldn’t experience much trouble findingwhat they are looking for in the product. You should also carefully note howthe users interact with the prototype.
When you launch your design, you need tocarefully monitor it to make sure it meets the needs of the users. Things mayhave changed since the last time you did user research, which is why you shouldget feedback again and make your design adapt.
The Two Main Types of Research:
Quantitative research can help you figureout the ‘what’ part. It generally explores a lot of data to find patterns andtrends that can prove to be helpful. For example, what percentage of peopleclicked a particular button?
While you can figure out what trends fromquantitative research, qualitative helps you understand why they occur. Thestudy looks into behaviors, opinions, attitudes, and other things you get aninsight into why specific trends arise.
You must mix both types of research tounderstand your users and solve all the problems correctly.