Whenever you’re designing a product, you’re designing with a person in mind. But how do you understand what a user needs? UX research, of course.
Why UX research is vital to your digital strategy
UX, if you haven’t heard the term already, stands for User Experience. It encompasses everything about how your customers engage with your brand, from navigating your website, to making a purchase, to contacting your support team. In a competitive market, providing exceptional user experiences is a key way to attract and retain customers.
But creating exceptional user experience doesn’t come out of nowhere. It requires a solid understanding of who your users are and how they approach and interact with your brand. That’s where UX research—or design research—comes in.
The goal of UX research is to ensure that products and services are designed to meet user needs. Because as Steve Jobs once said, “design is not just what it looks and feels like, design is how it works”.
Identify your audience’s needs
UX researchers use a number of techniques to better understand a business’ users’ wants, needs and objectives. While many businesses assume they know what their users want, it’s easy to make assumptions—and assumptions can be costly.
To really understand your users, you need to get up from behind your desk every now and again. That means talking to your customers, being genuinely curious and using UX research techniques to differentiate between what your customers say they want, versus what they really want.
Test your assumptions
Once you understand what your customers want, it’s important to test those assumptions. User testing is a key component of UX research, and may include qualitative research, like:
- How many people clicked
- Success rates of A/B split testing
- How many successfully navigated to a page
It may also include qualitative research, like:
- Why did people click there?
- What made one headline more compelling than another?
- Why did people get lost trying to find that page?
While quantitative data is usually collected through tests and observation, qualitative data is more likely obtained through interviews, group discussions and surveys.
Constantly improve your products
By talking to your audience and following UX principals, you’re halfway towards building a better product for your customers and—ultimately—your brand. However, the work doesn’t end there. UX has a habit of identifying roadblocks.
When you’re designing for your users specifically, a lot of the old ways of doing things doesn’t cut it anymore. That’s why good UX research is ongoing. Businesses who are constantly exploring how their customers engage with them, and finding ways to improve user experience.
If you’re thinking of starting a new project—or improving an old one—UX research is the best place to start. Contact our team at JBT to learn more about our innovative user testing and research techniques and how we can implement them to improve your design process.