A Comprehensive Guide to User Experience Research by Gapsy

7minutes read
what is ux research

Research is a priority in business, which is directly related to people. Study the needs of the target audience through conducting certain research and drawing conclusions. And then improve the product based on this knowledge. This is what UX research is needed for. With its help, it’s possible to study the target audience in detail and then apply this knowledge in the product’s design and further modernization.

So, let’s discuss what UX research is, what methods exist and where and how to apply them.

What is UX research?

business succeed with UX research
example, why ux research is essential

UX research is a systematic study of the target audience, requirements, and desires related to the product through various research methods. They are conducted to improve the content to be constantly relevant and to perceive the design processes.

In other words, UX research searches for new ideas to create a successful design.

Why are they useful for your project? Then, based on the conducted research, you present the product they want to use to the user. Thus increasing the demand.

There are two types of UX research: quantitative and qualitative. Depending on the type, stand on the result of the study.

user experience research methods
example of ux research methods and when to use them

Quantitative research

UX research quantitative method is research that is measured in numbers. As a rule, use structured methods, such as surveys or analytics.

The major questions in quantitative research are:

  • How many people clicked on the link?
  • What percentage of the users see the call to action?

In this way, collect the data about users’ behavior that can be measured in numbers. Then it’s used to find a pattern among numerous people.

Quantitative research recommends in the early stages of work with the project to properly adjust the process and avoid possible serious errors. But don’t forget that quantitative analysis doesn’t give you a deeper understanding of the user.

There are such methods of quantitative research:

  • Quantitative Usability Testing (Benchmarking)
  • Web Analytics (or App Analytics)
  • A/B Testing or Multivariate Testing
  • Card Sorting
  • Tree Testing
  • Surveys or Questionnaires
  • Clustering Qualitative Comments
  • Desirability Studies
  • Eye Tracking Testing

Qualitative research

Qualitative research is a deeper understanding of users and is often conducted in interviews or field studies.

The fundamental question would be, “Why?”

  • Why didn’t the user respond to the suggested call to action?

This type of UX research allows developers to understand the thoughts, behaviors, attitudes, and users’ motivation and get the data needed to solve the problem.

There are such methods of qualitative research:

  • Interviews
  • Ethnographic field studies
  • Diary studies
  • Focus groups
  • Moderated usability testing
  • Card sorting
  • Participatory design

Below is a diagram that clearly shows what answers each method helps to get:

types of UX research
diagram of ux research types

In addition to the fact that UX research is divided into quantitative and qualitative, they are also considered attitudinal and behavioral.

Attitudinal — listen to what people say.

Behavioral — observe what users do.

Pay attention to all four types of UX research. You can gain a clearer understanding of the design problem and even can create a user experience strategy.

UX research methods

Discussing what UX research is and which groups they can be divided, let’s look in detail at the essential list of UX research methods used in the design process.

UX research methodologies
different types of ux research methods

Card sorting

Card sorting refers to the qualitative user experience research methods. The idea of the original game is to organize and classify a set of words or terms.

This method aims to look at the construction of the hierarchy through the user’s eyes and the relationship between the content. As a rule, this method is often used when developing the navigation of a site or an app or structuring the content within them.

The advantage of this method is that it’s cheap and straightforward. It’s an easy way to get a user experience at an early stage of the product design process.

Usability testing

Usability testing is a UX research method in which users are asked to perform specific tasks and observe their behavior.

Usability tests are good because they produce results that lead to actual actions.

There are these types of usability testing:

  • Moderated usability testing
  • Unmoderated usability tests
  • Guerrilla testing

Remote Usability Testing

The name of this method speaks for itself. This is usability testing, which doesn’t require the actual presence of users in the lab to perform the test. Instead, the user can participate in the process by going to a special insight platform where the screen or the participant’s voice is recorded while they are still at home or in the office.

This method is essential and effective because it helps developers understand how users react to the product and their attitudes.

Diary studies

Diary studies are time-consuming studies that often involve a single user. The research is based on regular reports about the participant’s activities, keeping a diary of the work, thoughts about the product, its advantages, and disadvantages.

Surveys or Questionnaires

This is a quantitative UX research method. If the question is formulated correctly, this method helps get quantitative information from a large group of people while spending a little time. Such surveys can be conducted online by sending questionnaires to users’ emails. The disadvantage of this method is that there is no direct contact with the respondents, which means you can get inaccurate data in case of incorrect questions.


Interviewing is a qualitative UX research method. One of the most reliable methods. Unlike surveys and usability tests, the researcher observes the respondent’s verbal and non-verbal signals during the communication. Thus, it helps to reveal the full range of a person’s feelings and attitude to the product and finds additional details and exciting data.

Tree Testing

Like card sorting, the tree test is used to determine the hierarchy by a process in which the user allocates places on the tree for specific tasks. In addition, it helps to classify the information and estimate the intended menu structure of the site or an app.

A/B Testing or Multivariate Testing

The A/B test is where the better one is chosen between two choices. This type of test helps developers choose between two fonts or two site designs. It gives researchers a concrete result, this works, and this doesn’t, rather than just showing potential.

During the process, users can interact with the two product options. Then, designers choose what prompts the target audience to interact with the site and perform specific actions. In other words, the option with the higher conversion rate wins. Also, you can read our step-by-step guide on how to conduct a UX audit to increase conversion.

Read more about How to Conduct UX Research And Get the Most Out Of It in our blog.

Why conduct UX research?

contribution of UX research in business
the importance of user experience research for company

UX research is an essential point of your project. They are usually conducted in the early stages to gather important information about the target audience and get feedback. There is a UX research methodology. Each method focuses on interaction with the user to determine their attitudes toward the product, the problems they have with it, and their other needs.

Why do we require UX research? The “research” phase divides your work into designing based on assumptions and creating a finished source material that thoroughly covers the user’s needs and solves the current issue.

So, there are such UX research objectives:

  • Learn about the target audience and its queries;
  • Looking at how users will use a product, for what purposes, and in what context;
  • What is required of you as a designer to solve the issue?

Without UX research, you build your project on guesses and assumptions, not facts. That’s why you need to get serious right away so that you can work on specific goals right now.


All business is built on customers. They are a reason why we work hard. The significant advantage over competitors, which will attract new customers and keep the existing ones, is considering the user as the foundation of your company’s ideology and a fulcrum in projects. UX research is the key to unlocking your target audience. They help look at the product through the users’ eyes and know the thoughts and problems that need to be solved.

Do you want to launch your project? First, assess the situation and learn more about your consumers. Gapsy Studio is a team of true professionals. Contact us, and we will help you make it a reality, accompanying you every step. Check out the finished projects on Behance and Dribbble. And also take a look at the services we provide. Wait for you!

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