A product that is made for the ease and accessibility of the user must satisfy the standards of user demands. How do you know the user demand? Yes! via user research and this makes user research an imperative topic of discussion.
What Is User Research?
Research is the systematic study to improve knowledge in a particular area. Research has several meanings in different contexts but in user research it means to find out the target market of the product and its interests. Data is collected from real users and the information provided by them is analyzed and according to the results, the design team tries to generate solutions matching the interests of their audience.
This designing team gets into the shoes of the user and tries to think with his perspective. The accessibility and usability factor is added by thinking as a non-technical person.
What Factors Affect User Research?
There are a number of factors that can affect user research and the results drawn from it.
- Preferences and psychological peculiarities.
- Color schemes
- Stylistic decisions
When Is User Research Applied?
User research is applied at different levels of the creation of the project.
This is done at the initial stage of designing when the development team is convincing the investors and stakeholders, collecting data to review the public response and suggestions, and selecting right tools for the implementation. The feasibility study of the project is done in this cycle.
It is done at different stages of the development process. Usually, users are provided with options and they are required to give their suggestions based on their interests.
Real Product Research
This is done to find gaps among the competitor products relevant with your project. This way a research person can seek what features are present in the existing systems and how users are taking benefit from them. This helps you to think of ways to make your product stand out in the market.
What Methods Can Be Adopted?
Today, user experience design has already expanded to the widths of the globe, which have resulted in an extensive set of different research methods. Let’s discuss research methods that can benefit you to induce empathy for your users.
Conducting interviews from the target customer is the most widely used method. The face to face communication even makes you eligible to read the facial expressions. You can show a prototype of your product and then see how the customer reacts about its interface and usage. Both closed and open statement questions can be asked in the interview.
User personas are just like marketing personas. Researchers collect the data from the target market based on psychological and behavioral preferences and create a bunch of imaginary users with these characteristics. On the ground of this data, the UX designer models users’ interactions with the product and possible issues that can arise in the process.
This technique is effectively applied in cases when designers deal with the products presenting complex interfaces and variety of diverse content. The users are asked to categorize the content and set the hierarchies. In this way, the designers obtain the data showing how users see this sort of content and what way of its organization would be efficient for quick and easy navigation around the app or website.
It is an orthodoxical method to stagger customer opinion. These days an online questionnaire is provided to the customer. He has to click the options and an auto generated opinion chart can be observed at the admin side.
Popular method presenting the moderated discussion of the product, its features, benefits and drawbacks within the group of people potentially close to the target audience. Altering some characteristics of the group, for example, age, gender, education level, technical literacy, researchers can receive the variety of data and see how these features can influence user behavior.
Scrutinizing the most clickable buttons of the layouts with the aim of clear interactions.
The users deal with one variant of design (version 1.0) for some time and then another variant (version 1.1) while the researcher collects the information along the necessary metrics and makes the conclusion about the efficiency of the versions.
The users are offered statiscally and visually different versions and their opinion of preference is taken. And the reason of preference is also asked.
Choice of user research method depends on the type of market and business. Choose the methodology wisely that is convenient for you and your customer.