UX research as a way of studying user interactions leverages many UX research methods before designing software development products. What to learn from UX research? Read below.
The practice of UX research has evolved significantly in recent years. To develop software development products, you must know your users' portraits and their needs. It is where UX research or user experience comes in. The definition of UX research has changed continually.
UX researchers need to study end-users to collect and analyze data that informs the product design process. UX research serves various purposes via the design process. It helps identify and prove the assumptions and recognize the needs and goals. Overall, UX research informs our workflow, boosts understanding, and improves work results. Firms offering software outsourcing services consider the application of UX research for their custom software development.
What is UX research?
UX research includes numerous investigative methods to add context and insights to the custom software design process. Unlike other sub-aspects of UX, people didn’t develop much research on the other fields. It mainly translates from other forms of research. It means that UX practitioners have applied many techniques from scientists, market researchers, and others. Nevertheless, some types of research are unique to the UX research world.
The main goal of UX research methodologies is to inform the design process from the perspective of distinguished end-users. The purposes of UX research and user-centered design are to design with the end-user in mind. Thanks to UX research, people know who that person is, what context they use this product or service, and what they need from customers.
UX research has two parts collecting and synthesizing data to improve usability. At the beginning of the software development project, UX research focuses on learning about project requirements from stakeholders and learning the needs of end-users. UX researchers conduct interviews, collect surveys, observe prospective users, and review data or analytics.
Through the design process, the UX research shifts to usability. UX researchers can conduct usability tests or A/B tests, interview users about the process, and test assumptions that improve the design process.
What does a UX researcher do?
We have provided you a better understanding of what UX research is, let’s find out what you might do as a UX researcher?
Significant tasks and responsibilities
The job of a UX researcher will vary based on the project you are working on or the software development company you are working for it. Here are a few of the responsibilities and tasks they may perform on the job:
- Cooperating with designers and stakeholders to find out user needs and requirements
- Defining research questions and choosing suitable methods of data collection
- Planning budgets and timelines for research projects
- Recruiting participants for the research process
- Carrying out design research studies and analyzing data
- Transforming findings into understandable insights
- Showcasing your findings to designers, developers, and other stakeholders
Skills and tools for UX researchers
The UX researchers develop a set of skills to gain insights into current and prospective users. If you want to be a UX researcher, there are a few skills you need to focus on now.
- Communication skills: The job of UX researchers involves working with a design team and communicating with research participants to answer questions.
- Empathy: Understanding the end user's expectations, frustrations, and goals help you develop solutions for the user's needs.
- Design thinking: Each stage of the designing process offers the opportunity to learn more about target audiences
- Problem-solving: Thinking critically about what questions helps you select the appropriate UX research methodology.
- Curiosity: A sense of curiosity prompts insightful questions and explores meaningful insights.
- Collaborating: You are working with software developers, designers, product managers, and others to bring the best software development product.
Various UX research methodologies
UX research has driven a culture of user-centered design from the product itself to marketing campaigns. Let’s take a look at some of the popular UX research methodologies that help software development teams collect insights for every role.
Remote usability testing
Amongst different UX research methodologies, usability testing is one of the most popular methods. Remote usability testing helps people conduct effective UX research. This UX research methodology uses a platform to record the screen of test participants.
Since they can interact with your software product or experience in the natural environment such as at the home, office, and a specific location. Firms offering software outsourcing services should use the UX research method to develop software development processes.
Designers, product managers, and UX researchers can explore and understand how people respond to custom software products and experiences. Through usability testing, people can get the areas for improvement. The valuable insights are now eye-opening.
Diary studies are another UX research methodology for the software design development process. It is a form of longitudinal research, allowing users to self-report their activities to create a log of their activities and thoughts. This UX research method helps capture organic feedback on past activities that are repetitive, or unpredictable.
Card sorting - A qualitative UX research methodology
Card sorting helps group, label, and analyze information more efficiently based on various feedback from end-users. This UX research method requires you to create cards to represent items. People group or categorize these cards in several ways that make sense to them. Besides, card sorting helps navigate the website or the organization's content since it helps evaluate information architecture.
Through questionnaires, surveys allow you to emphasize end-users to collect quantitative insights that are invisible to developers, managers, and marketers. Listening to and understanding customers helps you exploit new ideas, solve problems, and gather feedback. This UX research methodology makes the UX design process more efficient and receptive.
Last but not least, interviews are one of the popular UX research methodologies to collect qualitative insights. Dynamic discussions allow us to observe verbal. non-verbal cues, ask open-ended questions to explore details that other UX research methodologies cannot. Interviewing is an effective UX research methodology for understanding complicated feelings and experiences since it allows you to ask follow-up questions.
Benefits of UX research
Making informed decisions with data: One of the extreme benefits of UX research in the design and software product development process is to make informed decisions based on data. It helps you understand end-user behaviors and make better decisions in business operations.
Removing bias from the UX design process: Psychologists might identify over 100 cognitive biases that can influence your decision and the software development projects we are building. Thus, an effective way to remove bias from the UX design process is to ask questions. Furthermore, when you communicate with others early and consistently to understand their mental models, it helps remove biases and improve the software product.
Testing and validating concepts: UX research empowers you to test and validate ideas without waiting for launch day to collect feedback. Thus, testing and validating concepts is one of the benefits of UX research for saving time.
Providing solutions that bring real value to clients: Another benefit of UX research is that UX research allows product managers to manage risks. On the one hand, the software development team wants to understand various problems that users have faced. So, it helps offer plans and solutions that satisfy clients with different needs. On the other hand, people ensure they monetize in a sustainable approach to further invest in the software development product.
Successfully delivering software products to market: UX research plays a crucial role in helping marketers understand clients’ needs and effectively communicate the value to the market. The more you comprehend your clients, the better you create products or services that meet expectations. Besides, you tailor your strategy to customers' specific needs and increase the chances of success. Thus, the benefits of UX research help software development teams successfully deliver software products to the target market.
Different types of UX research for best practices
Qualitative vs quantitative research - Common types of UX research
When it comes to understanding your end-users, you may consider which types of UX research regarding qualitative and quantitative. Since two types of UX research helps discover very different insights into the UX research process.
To get the whole picture of the UX research process, you should analyze where and why it happens. If you only have quantitative information, that leads to missing out on essential insights that help understand end-users better. Moreover, if you only carry out qualitative research, which is unuseful, it can’t be representative of a whole popular world, leading to biased information.
Attitudinal vs. behavioral research
Like quantitative and qualitative research, attitudinal and behavioral research are other types of UX research when assessing concurrently. Attitudinal research engages in the assessment of users’ preconceived attitudes towards experiences. For instance, it involves asking an end-user why they like and dislike features on the site before using it. However, behavioral research is another type of UX research focusing on what the end-user does.
Designing another parallel followed the difference between quantitative and qualitative approaches, behavioral research allows you to know what’s happening. Meanwhile, attitudinal research helps provide reasons why. Firms offering software outsourcing services should consider attitudinal and behavioral research in the UX research process.
Generative vs evaluative research
The purposes of generative and evaluative research are various. Generative research helps define the issue you are designing a solution for the software development process. While evaluative research allows you to evaluate an existing design such as prototype, final, and others. Therefore, both types of UX research should be beneficial for the software development process, especially the UX research process.
UX research tools.
- Dscout: When doing exploratory UX research for product innovation, it is essential to understand your end-users, their daily context, and their needs. So Dscout is one of the UX research tools that experts should consider. Dscout enables you to organize massive data with visual data filtering and sorting different capabilities and provides automatic video transcriptions.
- Miro: As one of the most common UX research tools, Miro has become an important tool to plan and prepare for the UX research process, organize, and socialize findings.
- Hotjar: People use Hotjar for user testing and insights. It features interactive heat maps to visualize actions. This UX research has also introduced the ability to define polls and feedback from users based on user attributes.
- Axure: This UX research tool allows users to test more complicated interactions with users early on in a project. Thus, Axure is the only product that provides us the flexibility in the UX research process.
So what makes UX research essential to product success? We have just given you a detail of what is UX research, its types, UX research methodologies, tools, and its benefits. Readers might have some ideas to apply to their UX research process and improve end-user experiences. As an outsourcing software company, we are always trying to focus on every aspect of the software development process, especially the design process.
Top comments (0)