7 UX Research Methods to Improve the Customer Experience
By Aniket Sompura
User experience research is essential to successful UX design. If you want to create products that meet user expectations and deliver the value customers want, then you need to do proper research to understand and solve the problem.
You need to learn as much as you can about your users and what they want before you start building your product; otherwise, you run the risk of doing it incorrectly. Many companies are aware of this requirement, too, with only 3% of organizations reporting that getting buy-in to conduct research was a problem, according to User Interview’s State of User Research 2022 report.
Yet, one of the challenges when doing user research is understanding the assortment of research methods to choose from. In this article, we’ll share some of the most versatile UX research methods available so you can pick the best one for your needs.
What Is UX Research?
Before explaining the various user research (UX) methods, it is essential to know what UX research is and why it matters to businesses today.
UX research is the study of target users, particularly what they need from a product, and then using that data to design the final product. There are a number of different UX research methods, and they are critical for effectively implementing a data-driven design approach.
Incorporating various UX research methods and data-driven design enables brands to shift their focus from using assumptions that might only benefit the business. Instead, by leveraging research insights, they can put the focus on the customer and make their experience as enjoyable as possible.
Types of UX Research
Given the assortment of UX research methods, there are also a few different ways to categorize them. Here are some of the most common:
Generative: Generative research, otherwise known as discovery or exploratory research, is used to develop a deeper understanding of users so that you can identify potential opportunities to find solutions to problems.
Evaluative: Evaluative research is used to assess a specific problem in order to determine its usability and ensure its related to the wants and needs of actual users.
Descriptive: This research method is used to describe the characteristics of the demographics, population, or problem being studied. It focuses on addressing the what rather than the how or why.
Causal: Causal research is used to determine causality, or whether or not there is a cause and effect relationship between two situations.
Qualitative: Qualitative research is a process for uncovering non-numerical data that explains why something happens using observations and recordings.
Quantitative: A process for collecting and analyzing numerical data to find patterns and averages.
7 Top UX Research Methods
Within each type of UX research, several different user research methods are available. However, here are nine of the best ones that can be mixed and matched depending on the scenario.
1. Usability Testing
Usability testing is a method for determining whether or not a product is easy to use. It uncovers what users are able to understand about a product and where they get stuck when using it. When multiple testers discover repeat problems, it helps UX teams know what areas of the product need to be improved.
2. Card Sorting
Card sorting is a method for creating a logical structure and information architecture for websites. It ensures that the structure of the site matches user expectations and has a sound hierarchy.
Surveys are a standard UX research method that goes beyond just UX teams. Surveys are structured questionnaires that provide more information about your target users. Surveys can be conducted in person but are often done online or via mobile devices to increase the reach when gathering information from audiences.
Interviewing users through one-to-one discussions helps you to have personal interactions with users and gather their pain points. The personal nature of interviews enables UX teams to get a deeper understanding of how individuals view their product. Interviews are useful supplements that offer more insights to accompany other UX research methods.
5. Focus Groups
Creating a focus group involves a moderated discussion with groups of users. Participants within a focus group usually have similar characteristics such as the same age group, educational background, occupational experience or other demographic characteristics.
6. Parallel Design
Parallel design is a UX research method where multiple designers create user interfaces independently but based on the same requirements. Parallel design generates a range of ideas that can be tested with users so that the final product includes the best from each design.
7. Diary Study
A diary study is a UX research method that enables teams to learn more about the thought process of a user during a complex process. It involves users keeping a journal and recording their feelings, thoughts, and habits over a period of time. Unlike similar research methods that occur at one point in time, diary studies allow data collection throughout the entire process.
Conducting User Experience Research with Content Bloom
For any organization, the UX research method used will depend on specific scenarios, use cases, and the resources available. Your experience with certain methods could also determine it compared to others.
At Content Bloom, we’re well aware of the different requirements when conducting user experience research and can adapt to suit a wide range of use cases. Our approach isn’t just based on a gut feeling but involves a data-driven approach to conducting research and designing the final product. With our expertise, you can ensure that whatever journey your customer is going through that it is specifically tailored to their unique needs.
Interested in delivering a better experience for your customers? Then look no further than our UI/UX design services. Contact us today for more information.
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