How to Conduct UX Research And Get the Most Out Of It

5minutes read
how to conduct ux research

You can design cool, but your product will remain unclaimed. And then there are two options: either you are an unrecognized genius, or you have poorly studied (or not studied) the needs of users. UX research was created to solve the second problem. If you want to make a product that the user needs and is profitable for you (the company), then UX research is an integral part of the design.

This article is for those who want to understand how to conduct UX research: and know what it is, what analytics methods exist, and how to use these methods in their work.

It all starts with the user

UX research helps understand the user’s needs, feelings, emotions, and behavioral patterns. Why do visitors leave the site when the item is already in their cart? Why don’t they go through your website to the end? By putting the user first, you can understand what they need and use in life. In addition, with UX research, you can find and fix a product problem even at a stage when it’s easy and not expensive.

Any research like UI or UX is essential to plan appropriately. Tomer Sharon, a Senior UX Scientist at Google, suggests asking five questions during the planning phase:

  • What information do you want to receive?
  • Why / what will this data give you?
  • What gaps do you intend to fill with this knowledge?
  • What are the solutions?
  • What are your current assumptions?
  • When you decide on the purpose and objectives of the study, you can choose the desired method.

Read more details about What UX research is in one of our previous articles.

When do you need UX Research?

UX research should always be done during a new product launch and in the case if you see any problems. For example, you uploaded analytics and saw users abandoning their cart. The answer to the question “Why?” gives UX research.

UX Research answers the following questions:

  • What are people doing?
  • How do they imagine it?
  • What are people saying?
  • How to fix it?
  • How many?
  • Why?
what answers do ux research answer
when ux research is needed

It’s worth noting that UX research is not a story about “whether users like your product or not,” but about “whether it covers user needs or not”.

What UX research methods can be?

There are many methods for UI and UX research. Most used are interviews, polls, UX testing, card sorting, A / B testing. We’ll come back to this information and tell you more.

UX research methods fall into two broad camps: quantitative and qualitative.

  • Quantitative research measures numbers. They provide answers to the questions “How many times users clicked?”, “How many users found a call to action?”, “How many users left the site at the checkout stage?”. Quantitative research is essential to understand statistics.
  • Qualitative research helps to understand why users do, what they do, and often takes the form of an interview or conversation. They answer the questions: “Why aren’t users clicking?”, “Why can’t they find a call to action?”, “Why are they leaving the site?”
what methods do ux research have
what are the main ux research methods

As we have already noted, there are many methods on how to conduct UX research; the goal of any of them is to find out what is best for the end-user. In general, all research boils down to three key methodologies:

  • Observation. As a rule, users themselves do not know what they want and what they need. Therefore, it’s essential to observe and consider their behavior and reactions to get valuable data.
  • Understanding. Collecting information about users is not even half the battle. It’s essential to benefit from this information, to understand what they want.
  • Analysis. Research can be valuable, but it’s important to analyze the findings and understand how the design will solve users’ problems to put its results into practice.

Read more about User Experience Strategy in one of our articles.

How to Conduct UX Research?

Conduct an interview

An interview is a true way of communication between the researcher and the user. There are three main types of interviews:

  • Directed interviews. This is the most common type. It’s a question-answer format. The researcher asks specific questions. Such an interview is helpful if you have to communicate with many users for a convenient comparison of answers.
  • An undirected interview. The type of interview that helps to work through deep questions. Questions arise in the process of communication.
how to conduct a ux research interview
a ux research interview
  • Ethnographic interviews are about observing how users behave in their “natural habitat.” In ethnographic interviews, the user shows the researcher how he performs specific tasks, immersing the interviewer in his work or life environment. This way, the interviewer can understand the difference between what the user is saying and what he is doing.

Make polls and questionnaires

Questionnaires and surveys are easy to collect a large amount of information about a group, spending a minimum amount of time. This option is good when you need to get the opinion of a large number of users.

Sort the cards

Card Sorting is used to build the information architecture of a product. For example, this method helps organize the navigation of the marketplace, divide it into segments and prioritize it.

Conduct usability testing

Usability testing is about observing the user as they perform certain tasks. Usually, this type of research is used when there is already a “live” version of the site/application design.

how to conduct usability testing
usability test conducting

Conduct tree testing

As well as sorting cards, it’s an excellent way to gather information before building a site/application architecture. For example, in a tree test, users are given an assignment – they are given the top level of the site/application map and then asked to tell them how they will complete the assignment.

Conduct A / B Testing

A / B testing is used when designers choose between competing elements (style, buttons, etc.). An A / B test assumes that each option is randomly shown to the same number of users, and then the researcher analyzes which option is best for achieving the goal.

Once again, why is all this necessary?

UX design has two main goals:

  • Make it so that users quickly and easily achieve their goals on the site or in the application.
  • Increase user loyalty (renew a subscription, make users return to the app/website design).

To achieve these goals, it’s recommended to conduct UX research that helps make your product useful, convenient, and usable.

If you still have little design expertise and are unsure that you can handle it, Gapsy Studio will gladly come to your aid. We have extensive experience in UX research and product design. Convince our professionalism with our projects at Dribbble and Behance and look at the services we can provide for you.

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