Why UX Research is Necessary for a UX Design Process
Posted: Sep 21, 2020
Where design is a need, research plays an important role. Research can, in fact, be as creative as the design process. Thus, in UX design, UX research plays a vital role in developing an idea for a product or service.
UX research means gathering data from potential users by using a set of research techniques. This data is then analyzed to understand the users to improve the usability of a design. Different techniques used to conduct user research are interviews, focus groups, card sorting, user surveys, web analytics, A/B testing, etc.
The importance of UX research is often underestimated in the design process. In this article, we will see how much of a role UX research has in design.
The goal of UX research is to provide a perspective on users’ understanding. It means to base a design on real user views instead of building it on expectations or assumptions.
Three major reasons for implementing UX research in the design process are:To create relevant design
Relevancy is very important when it comes to design. You can create a truly spectacular design, but it will not be a success if it is not relevant to the target audience. And to understand what makes a design relevant to the users, you need to understand the users and their thought process.
In a UI UX design process, the first step is to empathize with the user. User research is the best tool to achieve this. By creating contexts where people have to interact with your design and observing them and by conducting interviews with potential users, it is possible to step into the users’ thinking process.
Often, this type of research is done at the beginning of a design process so that it can set a relevant direction to the design. But as the project progresses, it is essential to ensure that the design continues to be relevant. This can be achieved by continuous interaction with prospective users, by getting their views on how they perceive a design, validating your ideas, or involving them directly in the design process. Because if a design isn’t relevant, it won’t sell.To achieve usability goals
Usability is a driving factor of UX design. While interacting with a product, a user expects to be able to achieve their goals without having to put a lot of thought process into it. To achieve a high level of usability, user tests can be done.
When user tests are integrated into a design process from the early stage of development itself, and the product goes through several iterations relative to the user tests, you will have an efficient, appealing, and user-centric end product.
To perform early testing, prototypes can be created. There are several best prototyping tools available using which prototyping can be done in an efficient manner. Performing user tests on prototypes help to find areas of improvement and user pain points before the design reaches an almost finished stage. Thus, it helps to improve usability as well as save time and cost.To understand the effect on ROI
Although the need for a good UX design is accepted today, its value is still overlooked. Clients often prioritize investing in other areas over UX research and design for products on a strict budget. It is because the consequence of not having a good UX isn’t felt until the product reaches the market.
To show the changes that UX can have on ROI, research can be made of use. Qualitative tests can be done to measure the effect of design on sales, efficiency, and acceptance by users.
During the development stage, A/B testing can be done on different versions of a design to understand the impact of a design change on transactions. Analyzing different user patterns after a product release, using web pages and apps, can also help to understand the design influence on sales.
Thus we see that user research should be done at all stages of a design process. The UX research should ideally begin even before the UX design does. And it should be continued even after a product release to measure the effect of the design on the users.
Natalia Jane is a freelance app developer in India. She loves to read a lot. She is really passionate about her coding skills.