Product research is an integral part of production and design as it helps businesses address consumer demands more efficiently. Different products like technology, performance, usability, and bugs are usually tested before a product is launched.
One significant part of product research is user experience (UX) research. This type of research focuses on the consumer end of products. It involves several steps to test attitude, behavior, problems faced by a user, and finding opportunities and other solutions to enhance user experience.
To understand the specifics of UX research, follow this complete guide.
UX Research In Detail
As stated, UX research is user-centered. Researchers always have a target audience, which is usually those to whom they intend to sell their products. The research helps make the product user-friendly by adjusting the design to fit expectations and the user’s demand rather than the developer’s.
UX research is divided into two parts which help identify a user’s perceptions of a product. These are quantitative and qualitative research.
- Quantitative research: This research type is used on any numerical data that need to be collected from users. Such data included the number of users and the number of people who could access a site. It helps test statistical assumptions by analyzing unbiased, objective data. Designers can then develop a pattern on the target audience to test the viability of the product. However, it doesn’t provide an in-depth analysis of a user’s opinion or feeling toward a product.
- Qualitative research: This form of research tackles the why—why users do what they do or why they have a particular perception about a product. Qualitative research is usually done in the form of one-on-one interviews and ethnographic studies. Qualitative analysis has downsides, however, as you primarily collect personal opinions from individuals that don’t necessarily reflect the truth about a product. Feedback can also be influenced by the presence of a researcher, affecting the integrity of the study.
Other significant categories of UX research are attitudinal and behavioral studies. This helps researchers get deeper insights into a person’s attitude toward a product by listening to them and observing their behavior during interviews.
These methods can help researchers gain a broader and unbiased view of a user’s experience. The problems that arise from these researches can then be studied so solutions can be found. The solutions are then incorporated during the design process as part of a tremendous customer-driven strategy to achieve growth of the company.
Benefits of UX Research
Research offers several benefits to any production process or any study, and UX research is no different. Firms stand to benefit significantly by conducting user research on their products and adjust the production accordingly.
Such benefits include the following:
- Cut Costs
Assumption accounts for many reworks in product development as errors may arise. When these products don’t meet the developer and consumer expectations, so much money is invested in reworking the products to get it back on the market.
User experience research helps businesses develop a clear roadmap of what they’ll develop. UX research helps find consumer problems and address them by implementing changes in the design during production. Such avoidable costs incurred due to assumptions and negligence are significantly reduced when user research is conducted.
- Increase Chance of Success
The success of a business largely depends on the number of satisfied customers. By conducting research, a business can convert the sample users to buyers by addressing their needs fundamentally. If you develop a product based on user feedback, you stand a higher chance of success as you’ll solve their issues.
User experience testing also gives you a better insight into the market and the gaps that can be taken advantage of. Instead of developing a product that you hope will sell, you can actualize the success by utilizing the opportunities in the market.
- Improves Understanding Among Team Members
Teamwork is an integral part of a business as it results in productivity. Therefore, there needs to be an understanding among all the members who are involved in the production. By conducting user testing, a team manager can come up with a more cohesive goal. The goal will address issues such as the development process, for whom, and when.
When teams are fully aware of all the steps to be taken, communication is likely to be better. Errors in designs are also adequately addressed as they arise, since the ultimate goal guides everyone.
- See Users in Action
Users can sometimes be frustrated when using a site or software that seems so complicated. These frustrations can make users avoid your product, opting for simpler interfaces that are easy to use and understand. Most users aren’t tech savvy, and assuming that they are could be fatal.
However, when you conduct UX research, you can see your customers’ real-time reactions. You’ll empathize with them, seeing how frustrating it can be for them to find ways through your application. You can then modify your product for it to be more user-friendly. A product designed with the customers’ need in mind is more likely to excel in attracting and retaining customers than the one built blindly.
- Adaptability to Market Changes
The market is usually an ever-changing platform, and you need to be adaptable enough to match consumer needs and upgrades by competitors. By conducting user experience testing, you can get a better insight into what customers want or what they think is best for them. This information could place you in a better position to outcompete your competitors and be the first business to meet new demands.
You’ll also be able to phase out products that no longer appeal to consumers. Cutting production will help you save resources and increase the returns on investment. User testing can also help you quickly make changes to a product before launching to meet the latest technology in the market.
Any business that seeks to enter the market or retain its market power should consider doing UX research. This places them in a better position to win over customers and stay competitive. While setting up a user-testing program could be costly, in the end, it usually proves its worth. Therefore, before you begin investing in any product, you need to conduct detailed research to test its success viability.