Number 3 user research, user research is probably one of the most important aspects of UX, so how do we actually go ahead and do user research? There are of course different types of research. I am sure you have heard about primary research, secondary research, quantitative analysis, qualitative analysis all these are different devices that are used by UX researchers to understand who the user is?
So the first form of research that I would talk about is foundational research. Foundational research is what we are doing now at this moment. UX researchers do the foundational research before the design has started, when I talk about the design here I mean the UI design has started. In the foundational research you understand who the user is? Where are the users from? Why do you think those users are relevant? At this point you do both qualitative analysis and quantitative analysis. Which means you both look at data, so if need be you can actually take a data driven approach and you can also look at speaking to people and understand thoughts and actions, likes and dislikes from the user.
Then the next type of research is actually called design research. Yes, design research is the research that happens during the process of design. This is basically a lot of AB testing, I am sure you have heard about this word called AB testing, it’s very simple, you take a couple of design options of the same entity and you showcase it to different groups of people and you take feedback which design out of the two is right.
The last kind of research which is almost an on-going process is a post-launch research, So once the website or the app or the platform has been launched you still need to take feedbacks, no the job is not over then, even you incorporate those feedbacks into the design making sure that the design is perfect, remember in the first lesson I spoke about art converting into science in the post launch research that is exactly what will happen.
Next, how do we understand the user? There is no right answer to this. Every brand is unique and every brand has unique products so every brand has a different set of users, well how do we as UX researchers approach users? The perfect user will fit the right profile of the brand, every brand is unique again like I said, they target a specific group, they target a specific group of individuals, it is important to understand what and whom they are targeting to and anybody who fits in that particular group becomes a user.
For example, I will take the example of that online ice-cream shop that I spoke about that I am also demonstrating at the same time, let’s say the company says that they are mostly going to be targeting this to college students and young adults, so when I use the word college students and young adults I am actually targeting that brand to anybody between the age of 18 to 35, so anybody who is within that age bracket comes from the same region as brand is an user, so it is important to speak to anybody and everybody who comes from that particular age group and that particular geo location. The second point actually speaks about age group, so anybody who fits the target age group of the business in this case like I said the young adults and college students.
Third point is anybody who is impacting the business or being impacted by the business. Remember we did stakeholder mapping, so any and all stakeholders whether direct stakeholders or indirect stake holders… are users and needs to be contacted and spoken to and their feedbacks are important in order to proceed, we need to make sure that every person who is at all involved in the whole process or involved in the outcome of the business is an user.
Last point, anybody who has the similar mentality to that of the brand, so every brand showcases a particular individuality, some brands are high end, some brands are sophisticated, some brands target the mass, some brands are constructed in such a way that it would only target let’s say teenagers.
This also depends on the product that the brand is actually selling, if the product is something which only a particular group of individuals would be using it is important to talk to that particular group.
Next, well what is good UX research? Now that is a question that a lot of people are actually wondering, right.
Well, a good UX research is based on real data, we need to stop assuming things and actually gather real data. Real data comes from speaking to people, a good UX research is simple. None of the research outcomes should be difficult that the next team cannot understand, if the next team cannot understand that particular team will not be bothered about the outcome.
Third point, the research has to be meaningful and memorable, so the key points from the research needs to be jotted down and processed further. The only way to remember and make a research memorable is to break down the outcome of the research into subheadings and the UX researcher needs to take that particular aspect and take it to the design team where they would be designing the flows and eventually different screens.
An good UX research needs to speak to your audience and by the way also about your audience, remember the UX you are doing is not about you it is about your audience, it is about the target age group that business or the brand is actually targeting so you need to take yourself out of the equation and speak to people who actually matters to the brand, you cannot do UX research just from the comforts of your home, you have to go out, you have to notice movements, transitions, you have to meet people, you have to speak to people, you have to understand what their likes and dislikes are… Only then will you be able to understand what might work or what might not work.
All outcomes of your UX research needs to point in a clear direction, again I will go back to my sweet old ice-cream, online ice-cream shop so if research says that okay I am going to be targeting students. now, students…. have limited pocket money hence I cannot have very high end products if I am trying to target students and also students love discounts and offers totally, so I need to have discounts and offers in order to make that particular product more attractive and as an UX researcher and UX designer and later on an UI designer I need to make sure that those offers and discounts are highly visible on website.
Last, reinforcing the ownership and commitment of the brand, well every brand has a vision a mission, plans it is the job of an UX designer to take that forward and showcase that in whichever platform that particular UX is going to come around. If a particular company is trying to grow and they want to involve more people and they want to make it an extremely user centric product then probably a referral program might work really well or probably community service might work really well, so all these aspects make UX research what it is now.
Well, next the UX research process. The first thing is to plan the study, so what is actually planning the study? At this stage you formulate the right questions that needs to be asked, remember if you do not have the right questions then you are never going to have the right answers and if you don’t have the right answers then of course your outcome is going to go in a wrong direction from what the users wants, so asking the right question is extremely important, so at this stage you plan the kind of questions and kind of directions you are going to go when you start speaking to the user.
Next, you actually conduct the research. Well there are many ways of conducting the research which we are going to learn in the next few slides.
Step 3, analysing and synthesizing the result, now this is extremely important, we need to understand the different users we are talking to, some of them might have similar answers, some of them might agree with the point some of them might not agree with the point it is important to probably make baskets so bring together who has similar opinions and form different baskets. So while analysing the result you would have to be very clear what the exact answers and feedback were.
So let’s say all positive feedback comes up from a particular group and then we start assessing okay. So in one question let’s say everybody or for one of the questions everybody agrees but a lot of people probably disagrees with the next few questions. So it is important to analyse the answers and make sure you sort of group the answers according to the kind of content.
Step four talks about sharing and promoting the insight, this is a very easy thing to do. This is where you share your analysis and report to the next team which is an UX designer and in cases UI designer depending where you are actually working.
What is primary research, I am sure you have heard about this particular term primary research and secondary research, in UX it is extremely important to do primary research, primary research is nothing but actually speaking to real individuals, whether you are speaking it to individual or to group or maintaining a focused group it is important that we talk to people, at this stage during primary research we talk to people.
So step one you formulate the questions, I already spoke about that if you don’t have the right questions then you are never going to get the right answers.
Step two meet the right users would be interested in the product that your company and the brand is selling, the age the right age the age which your brand is actually targeting, comes from the right geographical area, let’s say you have a particular brand in Pune and you are interviewing someone who is in Banglore it will never workout, so you need to make sure that this particular user is near the business or near the delivery scope of the business.
Step three, well step three is asking the right questions. Now this becomes really really critical in this process, we as UX researchers, as human beings, as individuals all have our own biases, it is important to keep our biases within us and not showcase that or not influence the users while asking questions. Let’s say while asking a particular question if you start nodding a head to a right answer or let’s say you have a particular facial expression when the users are sort of gives an answer which we as individuals don’t like it is important to no0t do these actions in front of users when he or she is actually answering your questions. If you do that we start influencing the user and the user only gives those answers which we like. That is something we should not encourage at all, so we should be polite, we should be direct and we should quietly record all the feedback that the user has to give.
The primary research happens in lot of different ways you know, you can speak to an individual face to face, you can send out a survey, which has its own pros and cons, in lot of way survey may not work, we can also do focus groups, we can actually talk to a group of individual and we can actually discuss certain things, every single research methodology has its own pros and cons and it depends on what you are working with? What is the product? What are the goals, needs and the ambitions of the business? And take a call accordingly.
The fourth step is to make sure you record all the answers without any biases, believe me when I say this, when we start recording answers even without us actually realizing we start adding biases to the answers, this especially happens when we are doing face to face conversations. The way you write it also showcases whether you agree with it or not agree with it. So as a UX researcher it is important to record answers without these biases, just simply record… what you have heard about it alright.
The next kind of research that I am going to be talking about is actually secondary research, well secondary research is an added research this is the stage try and gain more knowledge about the brand, the product, the service so you go to the internet you search about existing brands you read books, you read journals, you go through articles, this step is as important.. to understand everything that you need to understand about that brand.
So let’s say I will again go back to the example of online ice-cream delivery shop, in primary research I would of course meet the users, I would talk to them, I would understand their needs their wants, in the secondary research I would understand the ice cream making process for example, if I don’t know the ice cream making process I would never know how long it takes to actually makes an ice-cream, how do you store ice-creams, if I don’t know this I will never be able to come up with a delivery plan of ice-cream from their store or the warehouse to the user.
So it is important to know what the world is doing, I would also know if there are any such ice-cream delivery options across the world, I would get to know what is the difference between making artificial flavoured ice-creams to natural ice creams, what are the problems that a company or a brand actually face? If I don’t get to know these things I will not be able to convincingly deliver ice creams all the way to the users, well that’s about research.
Next we are actually going to do persona mapping so when we get the data from the primary research, how do we analyse the data is where persona mapping would come into play. See you then.
Finally we come to the discussion time, click on the discussion button below and connect to fellow learners. I am really curious to hear your take on UX design and research. It is also important for you to learn and understand what others have to say about UX design and research.
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User research can be conducted by the company itself or by an external agency. There are different types of user research methods including observation, interviews, surveys, ethnographic studies, and heuristic evaluations.
User research is important for every business to make sure that they are providing the best possible product. It helps them understand what their customers want and what their customers are thinking about their product.
User research helps companies to understand the needs of their customers and users, which in turn helps them to improve the quality of their products.
Some companies might make a mistake by asking too many open-ended questions, or they might not ask enough questions to get valuable insights. The goal of user research is to understand what your users want and need, so it's important to ask the right questions.
The answer is not that simple because each tool has its own strengths and weaknesses. This article will help you understand the pros and cons of each tool so you can make the best decision for your project.
VERY VERY USEFUL
well designed course very clear indeed
Excellent course at all, concepts are well explained.
The best Course
i think there should also be some visual question.. instead of theory