A Complete guide on UX Research

User experience research is the most essential part to create a product design for an app/website. It gives you answers for the how, why and what of a problem. It can be very overwhelming for the designers with the kind of responses we get through personal interviews or surveys. The entire process of research can help you connect the dots with a possible solution which works for the target groups. Why research is needed? Can we skip it? Are stakeholders and designers opinion enough to build the technology, lets look at it in detail

What is UX Research?

It is the very first step in the design process, which helps in connecting with the users to understand their behaviours, goals, motivations, needs, habits, problems and about how they live their everyday lives, it also involves collecting feedback, sorting it as per the patterns through various methods which we will look at below

Research is what I’m doing when I don’t know what I’m doing — Wernher won braun

Why UX research?

The purpose of conducting a research is to check what users want and need, which will simultaneously benefit the business and the user. It gives insights of specific problems they face based on their demographics, professions, psychologies etc. Designers work can be a reflection of his/her thought only but the scenarios change from person to person. Assumptions will only lead to ignorance of your product design by users

Methods of UX Research

  1. Qualitative Research: It answers the ‘why’ and ‘what’ of the problem. It can be conducted through face to face interviews, telephonic interview and Video calling with a focused group. The interviews are usually conducted by a recruitment agency but it is imperative for designers to talk to the target audience to understand the essence and get the raw response which helps later make user friendly design decisions.

Points to remember when conducting Interview:

  • Prepare an exhaustive Questionnaire which starts with introduction, objective, purpose, deeper questions, should be time bound & mostly open ended questions. For eg: Why do you set up 5 alarms yet snooze and dose off or What is your morning routine — these questions give insights on the habits of user and how it impacts his life
  • Schedule the appointment as per the users convenience as we don’t want hurried responses
  • To sound professional, polite, add prompts, fillers wherever required & let the user speak more
  • To make notes, to record the interview which gives references when we collate the data from other users

2. Quantitative Research: It gives the answer of ‘how many’ or ‘how much’. It can be conducted through online surveys or giving hand outs of the surveys to a specific group. The questions will be close ended with multiple options to choose from, it will answer the yes/no, good/bad, ratings of the product/process/activity/service. For eg: How many users cancel the cab immediately after 5 minutes of booking. It helps validate the activity performed by a set of people

Target Groups:

They are an identified set of people who are categorized into different sections (eg — Amateurs, Intermediates, Veterans) to understand the use-ability of the product, how each section will be using the product in different scenarios. Target groups can be further defined into below categories

1. Demography

· Age

· Gender

· Profession

· City

· Marital Status — With/Without children

· Health issues

2. Psychography

· Concerns about weight, mental health, lifestyle,

· Social Media influence

· Hobbies

· Personality

3. Ethnography

· Values

· Religious Beliefs

· Habits

· Cultures

· Customs

Supposing is good but finding out is better — Mark twain

Affinity Mapping

After conducting Interviews, surveys and data gathering, as a designer it can be overwhelming as one can observe many patterns along with some distinct opinions. There are different methods to find patterns, affinity mapping being one of the vital methods to get insights by sorting the issues as per the like-ability, use-ability & desire-ability. You simply need to list down all the issues that come up from the responses and group them into broad categories based on the user responses and create patterns which will help in building the design features of the product.

Conclusion

The main objective of doing a user research is to be able to create patterns and get insights which are detailed, scenario specific and were unknown to us. It is a subtle reminder for us that we are designing a product not for stakeholders or ourselves but for the “USERS”. As designers lets be more empathetic towards users to be able to create something which benefits everyone at large.

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