There are several core foundations to designing systems and creating products such as software and apps that people will use. These foundations of human computer interaction include user research, user-centered designs (UCD), user interface (UI), and the user experience (UX). All of these areas of design tend to overlap and are all part of the common thread of design. But the UX research area is where much of the important data used in the design process will come from.
1. The Purpose Of UX Research
Every system design needs a purpose, and you the designer may give it one. But who will actually need your software or system? How many people would stand to benefit from it? And what unique needs would be met or problems solved by it? These are fundamental questions behind the need for user research. The process involves gathering data either by asking the intended users directly about their needs, or observing them and understanding why they use the product the way they do.
2. UX Research For UX Enhancement
Maybe you have a product that can meet user needs, but it’s not delivering the overall experience they want. For example, users may want an app that allows them to track their money and budget it, but if the app has too many menu buttons taking up the screen space on it, users may find that annoying. Using effective data gathering in user research allows you to get a better feel for the overall UX that your users want, and can help tweak and improve designs to better enhance the UX. It can also make your product more relevant to certain user groups.
3. Quantitative Data In UX Research
One way to gather your data in UX research is as quantitative data. This data categorizes user needs by using a lot of raw data and numbers. This data tends to be gathered more from research conducted using surveys, web analytics, and in-app data gathering measuring things like how many times a user used a certain feature, or what percentage of users preferred an app. Quantitative data can overlap sometimes with qualitative data.
4. Qualitative Data In UX Research
Qualitative data can be gathered in similar manners as quantitative data, but the information gathered here is quite different. This data uses information based on questions answering the what, when, where, how and why. The data tends to be gathered from one-on-one interviews, focus groups and other question and answer sessions to get a feel for how users really feel about a product design or user experience.
5. The ROI Factor Of UX Research
One of the most important reasons for using UX research in the design process is because it will eventually lead to returns on investment. By getting to know your users and creating the UX that matches them, you’re more likely to see better feedback from them, and an increase in sales revenue. When budgeting or making cuts for your various departments, you should recognize the importance of UX research in your business, and how it’s important to generate leads and retain customers.
At the end of the day, UX research is what will drive how well your product will work, and it’s the factor that will keep it relevant and sustainable. You also don’t need to have a large budget to make UX research effective.