Have you ever asked yourself where the UX Research takes place in your digital interface development?
At Hi Interactive, it all starts in the first step of the Design Thinking methodology. And the UX research is the main step of it! That’s why we are able to deliver the best end products to our clients.
So, why do you need to do user experience research?
UX research is used to understand the user’s needs, behaviors, experience, and motivations through various qualitative and quantitative ways. Those ways are no less than the 5 essentials UX research steps that will inform the user’s problem-solving process.
Giving that, it is the systematic investigation of users, business and requirements, in order to add context and insight into the process of designing the user experience.
It is also a good opportunity to include the user in the design process. That’s the power of UX Research! By doing that, you are practicing user-centered design, which is crucial to creating a successful product for your users, and giving a solid base to work on!
The thing is, by having the user working alongside the designer throughout all the UX process, you drive your product to the ones that really matter. And that’s only possible with UX Research!
Why, when and how you should do UX research in your project?
Before we get to those topics, you need to know that it is very important to understand your user. And that in the UX research process, you need to put yourself in their shoes!
That way it is easier to extract the pain points to be more concerned about. And also to drive your focus to what's really important for your users.
Why you should do UX Research?
Well, we figured out 3 simple reasons.
The first one is that you need to know what are the problems your users are facing. And this leads to the second reason, being that you need to create relevant and meaningful experiences for your user. Which is the principal reason for you starting the project in the first place.
And last, but not least, you have to create an easy and pleasant experience for users.
Because, knowing your users is the key to a great UX. You simply can’t design a custom experience unless you have an understanding of the one’s using it. When you know your users, UX becomes a market differentiator because your product is designed to your users needs.
When to do UX Research?
UX research can add value at any stage of the digital interface development. There are no universal patterns of exactly when what practices UX researchers need to employ. They must determine their specific objectives and find the best way to explore those. Therefore, we at Hi Interactive have UX research in mind at all stages of the product building. That’s our UX research team guideline! Here, the user is the one of the most important persons to validate the work we do in every UX project!
How to do UX Research?
Like we said previously, UX research is the systematic investigation of users, business and requirements, in order to add context and insight into the process of designing the user experience.
So you should do it by getting in touch with the people that really matter for your project. Not only the end-users but also the stakeholders. And finally, the day-to-day product handlers.
Once you figure out the why, when and how for your UX research, you’re ready to go deeper! You’re set for the 5 essentials UX research steps. So let’s get to them!
The 5 steps to produce a quality UX research
1- Stakeholders interviews:
Understanding the stakeholder’s vision is crucial to start your UX Research. They are the ones who’ll give you the first impression and feeling about the problems they are facing.
A Stakeholder is very often an expert in the field we’re stepping into, having context about a lot of issues and needs.
For instance, did you know that the information we can get from stakeholders allows us to quickly familiarize with the digital interface topics?
The goal of those interviews is to understand each stakeholder’s vision individually in order to get their honest concerns regarding the project. Which will start building the track for the project to be built.
2- User interviews:
This is one of the most important steps of this UX Research process! You must be aware that this part dictates the building of the product!
Interviews give insights into what users think about the site, application, product, or process.
They can point out what content is memorable. What people feel, and what ideas for improvement they may have.
So, with user interviews, the goal is to inform the personas, the journey maps, the feature ideas, and the workflow ideas. At the end of the second step of UX research, you will have enriched the contextual inquiry study by supplementing observation with descriptions of tools, processes, bottlenecks, and how users perceive them.
3- Ideation Workshop:
Workshops, in UX Research, are practical sessions that seek to involve the various participants. It is done in order to assist in:
- problem identification and resolution,
- promote the active participation of stakeholders and users,
- avoid later iterations in the process by ensuring that the views depart in line.
That provides more integration and diversity to the UX Research!
The attendees of these types of workshops are the persons, such as yourself, involved with the project interface/digital product, the project leader and people impacted by the project after its completion.
Here, you get the stakeholders evolved on building a shared vision on what the product will look like.
In UX Research, personas are fictional characters designers use to reflect user types, pinpointing who they are and what they need. This is the time to start building the solution after you’ve collected all the required information in the earlier UX research steps.
This is one of the crucial aspects you need to take seriously in the user experience research of your project.
Designers, like you, create personas from the user data, to understand user characteristics, needs, goals, and gain valuable insights into user journeys. Later, you’ll be able to test prototypes that will be better related to the user’s needs and the stakeholder’s ideas.
5- Customer Journey Maps:
We finish the UX Research with Customer Journey Maps. Journey mapping is the last step! It starts by compiling a series of user goals and actions into a timeline skeleton. After that, the skeleton is fleshed out with user thoughts and emotions in order to create a narrative. Throughout this journey, you can identify pain points and improvement opportunities. Those ones you’ve gotten from the four user experience research steps discussed earlier.
UX Research leads to a clearer vision of the project
After the 5 essential UX research steps are completed, you can now say that you have a solid base to work on your UX digital interface. UX research is the key to having an easy and appealing design, as well as to understand what really matters to your users. Knowing that designers have the most powerful tool to produce the best work to their ability!
UX without its research, ain't UX! That’s why we never neglect its importance, neither put it in a secondary role. With us, research is always on top of our priorities and is the one thing to be done in every step of the UX project. We hope by now it will also be yours!