We all know that user research is very important when creating desirable experiences, and it is much simpler than people think.
We can’t talk about UX if we don’t interact with people since there is no UX without User Research. If we take this as a basis, it will be easier to understand the importance of discipline.
UX (User Experience)
UX (User Experience) is the discipline that takes special care of every aspect of an user’s interaction with a product or service, in order to achieve a positive perception.
UX is a technique that aims to improve the perception of users about a digital product through the experience they have when using it, and the only way to understand the user is through research.
The UX (user experience) is the experience resulting from users trying to resolve a conflict, pain or problem that arises in context.
In the context of the users they will always have problems or conflicts that they’ll have to solve through products (physical or digital), the resulting experience is called UX (user experience).
Therefore, product designers only have control over the UX area because they cannot influence the context or the objectives (pain).
To have more opportunities of success (mitigate the risk), a product should be:
- Desirable: According to the needs of the people and expectations.
- Viable: There should be a market and people who are willing to pay for the solution.
- Feasible: There is technology to build the product.
The important thing to keep in mind is that user research can find findings about desirability, feasibility and feasibility, so it is a very important issue to consider.
What is User Research?
User Research is a series of tools that we can use to analyze :
User research involves observing people in their context, interacting with products in order to solve problems in the experience and result of the interaction and thus be able to improve the UX by improving or creating features or new products.
User Research Myths:
User Research is very important, but there are some excuses for not trying to do research at least on a recurring basis such as:
User research is very expensive:
You don’t have to test your entire product in advance, you can test small parts, small prototypes with specific features. It is not essential to have expensive laboratories.
It is really very simple since there are methodologies to get almost any information about your users.
It’s someone else’s job
User Research is the work of the entire team and if there is only one person in charge of this task who informs his teammates, it is very likely that there will be communication issues. So don’t use It as an excuse that it is not your job.
It takes a lot of time:
You can test in a modular way, in a few hours you can get fundamental information for your project. Remember: IT IS NOT NECESSARY TO TEST ALL YOUR PRODUCT.
Does not work during agile development sprints
User research is also compatible with agile methodologies because research can be done and recommended throughout each stage of development.
Types of user research
The types of user research are focused according to the type of result they produce.
- Quantitative – it tells you how much, the type of interaction with users is direct, the analysis is deduced from the statistical and mathematical part. It tells you, where there are problems, but it does not tell you the reason why there are problems, this happens because the questions are closed.
- Qualitative – How and why, once you analyze a person interacting with the product it is possible to analyze and investigate possible improvements.
- Attitudinal – It tells you what people say and think, to understand the changes in people’s beliefs, it helps you measure opinions about what people think and say about your product, for example surveys.
- Behavioral – It tells you what people do, how people do things, we observe the specific behavior of users and see how people perform in their context, this type of research requires a certain degree of interpretation.
- Generative – It will help you to understand in depth the motivations and desires of people, in this type of research tangible objects are provided and from them promote creativity and in this way promote that people bring out their hidden motivations.
There are certain stages of research that will give you guidance on the process.
Strategic planning -> Produce materials -> Recruit users -> Prepare space -> Have the session ->
User research checklist:
- Camcorder or recorder
- Tasks guide and conversation guide
- Templates and work formats
- Work materials, carries all the tools that people will require for testing.
- Observers and note takers
- Symbolic reward
- Format for results
User Research Tips
To perform a user investigation remember:
- Validate as quickly as possible.
- Test small hypotheses.
- Make the research visible in the backlog, this will help prioritize the tasks and that these are assigned to someone and taken in the sprint planning process.
- It involves the whole team.
- Choose your research correctly
Stages of development of a digital product
The stages of development of a digital product are 4, Discovery, ideation, Validation and implementation and for each of them there are user investigations that can be implemented.
At this stage there is a lot of uncertainty, many doubts, many ideas and the workflow is messy because there is no clear vision, it is the stage of market and user research.
The research tools that can be used are: Contextual Immersion, Business Origami, Generative Research, Interviews and Surveys.
In this stage the ideas were filtered focusing on simple solutions, it is the moment of ideation of a prototype or MVP based on the product market fit.
The research tools that can be used are: Card Sorting, Participatory Design, and Kano Analysis.
In this phase the market is already understood in a better way, there is already a prototype that is the business vision, it is time to validate that the ideas solve the real problems of the users, it is time to do experiments to improve the UX and UI of the product.
This process is Iterative and the Feedback Loop can be used: Create, Measure and Learn. The research tools that can be used are: Usability tests, Heuristic Evaluations, First Click and PURE Evaluation.
In this phase the product to be made is already planned and the sprints are being worked on, this phase is about product development and improvement.
The research tools that can be used are: Heat Maps, Attractiveness Studies, A / B Testing.