User research is a core part of a designer’s activity. There are various effective research methods that can help designers in understanding user needs while designing new products as well as redesigning the existing ones.
Design is important for your website, app or any other product you’re building. Your customers want good experiences. And good design is essential to create good, engaging experiences. A well-designed website earns customer’s trust. Well-designed packaging can change a company’s perception. A good design can make your company’s logo memorable. However, good design is not just a play of colors, fonts and other design elements. A good design is something that uses various design elements to create a good user experience.
Why UX Research is Important for Design Excellence?
User-friendliness is key to the success of your website, app or product. If it is troublesome to use, then there is no way it can succeed. User-friendliness comes from user-centricity. And user-centricity comes from understanding the user. To understand the user, you need to conduct UX research to know his needs, pain points and expectations. It is impossible to create memorable customer experiences without UX research.
Before you start to design a website or a product, you should know:
- Who are the users?
- What do they want to achieve?
- What are the challenges they face?
Your UX research should give you insights into these questions. The more and the deeper you understand your user, the better you would be able to solve his problem or help him achieve his goal.
Popular UX Research Techniques
There is a range of research methods like card sorting, online surveys and usability testing etc., used to understand the user. Let’s briefly look at some of the UX research techniques that can give you good results-
- Card Sorting: It is an old and popular research technique. In this research method, the designers write words on cards, and ask the user to categorize them as per their preferences. it is useful in designing the Information Architecture.
- Field Studies: In this method, designers or UX researchers visit the users and study them in an environment where the product will be used. The researchers understand the user through observations, contextual inquiry and interviews.
- Formal Interviews: The UX researcher or designer meets users or customers one-on-one, asks them questions and gathers information.
- Usability Testing: In this research method, users are invited into your design lab and asked to complete a task. The designers observe the way the users are completing the task. If it is difficult to conduct usability testing in your lab then some companies also use remote usability testing.
- Concept Testing: In this method, the designer shares a rough sketch of the product or the design with the customers either in person or online and tries to know their views.
- Eye Tracking: It involves using an eye tracking device to precisely identify where the users are looking as they perform the tasks. Websites and app designers use this technique to know key real estate in the design and where to prioritize important content.
- Clicks Analysis: The technique is popular with web and app designers and involves recording the areas where a user clicks as they use a website or an app.
- A/B Testing: It is a method of offering different design variants to different user groups and measuring the way user behaves with each design. This technique is highly used in designing CTAs, forms etc., on a website.
There are many other UX research methods like email surveys, expert review and intent study etc., but the techniques discussed above are popular in usage and have proven to deliver good results.
At Gemini Consulting & Services, UX research is a part of our design process. Over the years, our app design and development team has conducted various UX research techniques to bring user-centricity and experience to designing. Click here to know more about our web and design services.
Tips on UX Research for Design Excellence
- The UX research technique you should choose will depend on the information you want, the type of your product- online or offline and your user segment. You can also try a couple of research techniques to get more in-depth information about your users or validate your findings.
- Whichever technique you use, it is important to test the right users, especially if your product will be used by a cross user-segment.
- While planning the test, look for both quantitative and qualitative information from customers. So, ask both subjective and objective questions to your user group.
- Analyze the data and extract insights from it. Then convert them into actionable items.