User research has become a significant part of every designing process. It was long overlooked by many UX designers and their clients in the past, but many professionals have recently become aware of the benefits user research can give to their products.
If you have just looked at 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 all stages of the product design process–from early ideation to the market release launch.” You need to properly understand what it is and how to properly carry it out if you want to see exceptional results. This short guide can give you precisely what you need.
What Is User Research?
User research is the process of learning how your targeted users will respond to your product. It’s a study of user behavior, needs, motivations, and experience that can help you understand what you need to do to make your product better.
It will point out the mistakes in your plan, if any, and guide you towards creating a successful product that will be loved by its targeted users.
Why is User Research Crucial?
Many UX designers are very confident about their abilities, which makes them think that they can do everything on their own. But that may not be a good idea, and you will find out the reason with experience. You can’t test the product on yourself or your team and figure out what’s best.
Unless you are the targeted user for your product, you will always need to include user research to make a successful product. That’s why you should put aside your own assumptions and look at the product from other’s perspective.
Why Shouldn’t You Neglect User Research?
It is extremely common for companies and teams to look over user research completely while making the product. They usually have stated that their reasons were lack of time and resources, or they already knew enough to go on.
But these things don’t make sense because your product can’t be good without user research. Even though it does take time to plan and execute the process properly, you might end up facing more issues in the long run.
Your product might have great features, but they might not have any importance to the users. Your product might be user-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 a part of your designing process.
Include Your Entire Team in the Research
If you are thinking of doing user research for your product, then great! But there is one more thing that you need to do to make this step even better. You need to share the research with your team and stakeholders. They need to be aware of all the insights that you have gotten and other data.
Since there are several components of every product, and multiple professionals need to handle the work, it only makes sense that everyone has a better understanding of the targeted users. This will help your team understand why they are creating the product and what problem it is going to solve.
Since members on your team probably have different views and tasks, you need to make sure that all of them are appropriately satisfied with the research, and they get answers to all their questions. You can ask your team and stakeholders to observe the study and take notes during the sessions.
You can take all the raw data and start planning the product. It would be useful to have your team with you at this point as well. You need to brainstorm ideas, and the more minds present, the merrier.
Five Key Aspects of User Research
Experts believe that there are five critical stages for conducting user research that you should understand before getting into it.
Out of the five, the first two should help you form questions and hypotheses while the rest of them are about collecting data.
- 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 need to explore ideas. You need to figure out your project’s context and specific user group. You need to ask yourself what do these users need, as well as what is already working for them and what isn’t.
Once you have developed the product, it’s time to make sure it actually does solve your target users’ problems.
You need to check whether or not users understand how it works. Your users shouldn’t experience much trouble finding what they are looking for in the product. You should also carefully note how the users interact with the prototype.
When you launch your design, you need to carefully monitor it to make sure it meets the needs of the users. Things may have changed since the last time you did user research, which is why you should get feedback again and make your design adapt.
The Two Main Types of Research:
Quantitative research can help you figure out the ‘what’ part. It generally explores a lot of data to find patterns and trends that can prove to be helpful. For example, what percentage of people clicked a particular button?
While you can figure out what trends from quantitative research, qualitative helps you understand why they occur. The study looks into behaviors, opinions, attitudes, and other things you get an insight into why specific trends arise.
You must mix both types of research to understand your users and solve all the problems correctly.