How to Start UX Research


The importance of scientific research cannot be overemphasized. User research is critical to the success of any UX design, and this article will explain all the reasons.

But first, let’s explore what UX research is and how it can give you valuable tools. We will then analyze why user research is an ongoing, dynamic process.

By the end of this 5 minute read, you will know all the effective research methods (qualitative and quantitative) and how to choose the right one (s) for a new or existing UX project.

What is UX Research?

In short, we could say that UX research involves observation techniques, feedback methods, and analysis of the overall user experience of a project. As in any scientific research, UX research analyzes how users think and their motivations and needs.

UX research methods can be divided into two main types: quantitative and qualitative.

Quantitative Research Methods

All of these methods are related to statistics and focus on numbers, percentages and mathematical observations. UX designers convert such numerical data into useful statistics that you can use in UX designs.

To be precise, there are many data collection platforms used by UX designers like Google Analytics, Google Data Studio, etc.

Qualitative Research Methods

Qualitative research aims to understand people’s needs and motivations through observation. This includes many methods: from interviews and usability testing to ethnographic and field studies.

In general, qualitative research is crucial for us UX designers because it is easier to analyze than quantitative and we can quickly use it in our projects.

Why is UX Research an Ongoing Process?

Suppose you are about to create a UX wireframe. The process is quite simple. You start with research, you continue with sketching, then prototype and construction. But how many times did you go back to the previous stage of the process?

UX design is completely dynamic and rarely finishes. For this reason, UX research should be viewed as an ongoing process. When I stopped worrying about going through this loop over and over again, I immediately became a better UX designer.

Why Invest in UX Research?

There are many reasons why you should always do some UX research before you start sketching and creating a wireframe:

  1. Stay relevant: Through UX research, you will ensure that you understand what your users want and that you will tailor your product accordingly.
  2. Enhance the user experience: With comprehensive UX research, you will be one step closer to delivering a great user experience.
  3. Clarify your projects: With UX research, you can quickly identify the features that you need to prioritize.
  4. Improving revenue, performance and credibility: When you successfully use UX research, you can boost the ROI (Return on Investment).

9 Effective UX Research Methods

It becomes clear that UX research is very important to the success of any UX project. Each successful approach stems from three foundations: Observation, understanding, and analysis.

So let’s look at the most common and effective qualitative and quantitative research methods.

Interviews

UX designers can conduct face-to-face interviews to communicate with users and analyze the context of the project. This is a very effective UX research method. You just have to set your goals.

  • Difficulty: Medium / Low
  • Costs: Mean
  • Degree: Preliminary Design, During the Design Phase

Surveys And Questionnaires

This is a very effective approach if you want to gather valuable information quickly. There are many tools like PandaDoc and Wufoo that allow you to create attractive questionnaires and surveys.

  • Difficulty: Low
  • Costs: Low
  • Degree: Preliminary Design, Post – Design Stage

Usability Tests

Usability testing is an essential method if you want to test your product in terms of user experience. It can be applied during or after app creation, location, etc.

  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Costs: Mean
  • Degree: During the Design Phase

A / B Tests

A / B testing is the best way to overcome a dilemma. If you do not know which element to select, all you have to do is organize an A / B trial and show each version to several users. Based on their feedback, you can then decide which version is best.

  • Difficulty: Low
  • Costs: Low
  • Degree: During the Design Phase

Card Sortings

With card type, you can help your users by providing them with several product content categories (labeled card sets). This is a very cheap and easy way to understand what your users prefer and how they interact with the content you have just designed.

  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Costs: Mean
  • Degree: During the Design Phase

Competitive Analysis

Analyzing what your competitors are doing in a different way is crucial for the early stages of UX design. This will help you identify its strengths and weaknesses and optimize your product.

  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Costs: Mean
  • Degree: Preliminary design

Personnel and Case Building

Creating a user personality and a specific scenario for your project is crucial. First, you need to build a user personality by integrating the objectives, needs and goals of your target audience.

Then you can create a scenario that leverages all this valuable information to provide an excellent user experience.

  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Costs: Mean
  • Degree: Preliminary design

Field Studies

While field study is a very effective method of UX research, it is also costly and difficult to perform. However, there is nothing like field research when it comes to obtaining real-life data.

  • Difficulty: High
  • Costs: High
  • Degree: Preliminary Design, During the Design Phase

Tree tests

Tree testing is a UX research method that you can apply to your designs during or after the construction phase. The process is quite simple: you provide users with a single text version of your product and ask them to perform certain tasks. This tactic is a great way to validate the architecture of your product.

  • Difficulty: High
  • Costs: High
  • Degree: During and After the Design Phase

How to Choose the Right UX Research Method?

Good planning is the most important thing for us UX designers. If you know exactly what the UX problem is, you can solve it quickly.

The methods analyzed above are just some of the research tactics used by UX designers. Choosing the right user research method for a project is not easy. To do that, you should first define your goals.



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