To create successful designs that speak to your target audience, it is important that you understand how your audience reacts to certain elements. This is what UX (user experience) research is all about. It encompasses a variety of methods and investigations to glean insight into the audience needs and can include everything from interviews, surveys, usability testing to ethnographic research.
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It is the backbone of building responsive digital products; essentially positioning your design approach to be human-centric. There is no one size fits all approach to UX research and it can in fact be introduced at any point of the design process, however, it is ideal to have a design guide at the beginning of the process. It is typically divided into two categories:
This focuses on understanding the audience’s attitude and feelings towards certain elements. It answers questions like Why do you prefer this to that, How often do you… It is mostly carried out via interviews.
This is research that focuses on statistics. It takes a numerical approach in formulating research and compiling data. Hence questions will focus on answering How many, What percentage of, How often etc
The type of research you carry out depends on what approach you choose to take for your user experience design. However, choosing to combine both methods via several approaches will help give you a comprehensive picture of everything that guides your audience’s needs
Regardless of how you choose to carry out your user experience research, it is very important you conduct it as accurately and in-depth as possible as good research will help you build compelling products: Here are reasons why effective UX research is important for your business:
1. Ensures You Are Open-minded in Your Design Approach
It is easy to fall into the pitfalls of confirmation bias when starting out on a project. This is when you have a pre-assumption not backed by any significant data about a product and contort every subsequent idea and observation to fit into it.
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Hence it is important you rid yourself of any assumption or prior observation no matter how accurate you think it may be. There are essential questions you should ask yourself first:
- What are your pre-conceived thoughts about the audience?
- What are your general observations about the product as a whole?
- Are any of these observations backed by data?
- How can you challenge these assumptions?
Part of being open-minded in the design process is taking a humble approach to your own knowledge of the audience and the process. Assume everything is challengeable and that your knowledge is not set irrefutable. Speak to core representatives of your audience and try to see things from their perspective,
Best methods for this: Interviews, Short quizzes, Surveys, Create a user personae
2. Streamlines The Design Process And Associated Costs
Conducting effective UX research ahead of creating the digital products helps product managers and designers to work towards a specific vision. This helps mitigate risk and manage costs that would have arrived from creating multiple unnecessary features. For this benefit, the research focuses on a simple step by step model:
- Observe your target audience
- Assess the insights you have gained to find a pattern
- Develop a mental model for your ideal user
- Highlight every tool and skill you will need to build a tweak a product for this ideal user
- Organise how much this will cost as well as an achievable timeline
- Set your goals and assign the necessary tasks appropriately
When you understand the end-users of your products and the features and elements they will find more engaging, you can speed up the production process and manage your budget better.
Best methods for this: Usability testing, Creating a user persona, Ethnography research
3. Effective guide to launching and marketing your product
For product managers and marketers, part of their job is to ensure the product is ready to enter the market, market it properly and to the right target audience and help scale adoption of the product. Good UX research contributes to the successful execution of these plans. It gives you the opportunity to involve your target audience in some important stages of your product including:
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- Name selection
- Marketing and communications strategy
- Platform research and selection
- Product launch
- Content testing
- Surveys for onboarding
It is important you showcase the value your audience can expect to get from your products.
Best methods for this: Rapid testing, Interviews, Beta products
At Charisol, you can count on us to employ the most innovative research methods that help you create products that will actually speak to your audience. We undertake in-depth research and testing that takes into account your rationale behind a product and audience psychography. Our goal is always to create effective strategies and design approaches that will aid your business decisions.
We are Charisol, a software development agency with a community of talented software developers that leverage the “work without walls” culture to provide solutions for clients around the world. Our services span Software designing, App development, Digital Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Content Writing & Marketing, and Search Engine Optimisation. Follow us on Medium or on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn).