| Naveed Ullah
What is UX Research?
User experience (UX) research is about diving deep into how customers interact with your product, functional level, and observing how easily they can complete their tasks and achieve their goals. UX research—or as it’s sometimes called, design research—serves many purposes throughout the design process. It helps us identify and prove or disprove our assumptions, find commonalities across our target audience members, and recognize their needs, goals, and mental models. Overall, research informs our work, improves our understanding, and make our work better.
There are two types of UX research:
- Quantitative research - is any research that can be measured numerically. It answers questions such as “how many people clicked here” or “what percentage of users are able to find the call to action?” It’s valuable in understanding statistical likelihoods and what is happening on a site or in an app.
- Qualitative research - is sometimes called “soft” research. It answers questions like “why didn’t people see the call to action” and “what else did people notice on the page?” and often takes the form of interviews or conversations. Qualitative research helps us understand why people do the things they do.
Methodes Used for UX Research
- Observation: The first step to conducting research is learning to observe the world around us. Much like beginning photographers, beginning researchers need to learn how to see. They need to notice nervous tics that may signal that their interviewees are stressed or uncertain, and pick up on seemingly minor references that may reflect long-held beliefs or thoughts that should be further probed.
- Understating: Much like observation, understanding is something we do all the time in our daily lives. We strive to understand our coworkers, our families, and our friends, often trying to grasp a point of contention or an unfamiliar concept. But for UX researchers, understanding has less to do with disagreements and more to do with mental models.
- Card sorting: Study participants organize topics into groups that make the most sense to them and create labels for these groups. With this information, designers can create apps and websites that are more intuitive and easier to navigate.
- Usability testing: Participants try to complete a task with a product while you observe. This lets you measure how successful users are at completing a task, how quickly they complete it, what problems they encounter, and how satisfied they felt with the process.
- A/B testing: This tests two versions of a product against each other to see which the target audience prefers. This can be done with a live product by showing different versions of a webpage to different visitors or sending two different versions of a mailing to different recipient lists.
- Interviews: One-on-one interviews are a tried and true method of communication between a researcher and a user or stakeholder. There are three main types of interviews, each of which is used in a different context and with different goals.
Follow the People
Many people have contributed greatly to the field of experience design research. Here are just a few that readers may choose to follow, to learn more. If you are just starting your journey into user experience / UX Design you may be a bit confused by all the terms and methodologies that our out there. There many online courses available to help and guide for UX research.
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