User research is a modern way of improving the design with user-centered processes.
These processes contain techniques, analysis, and other feedback methodologies to understand the user’s needs, experiences, and motivations. In this way, companies can create solutions as their products.
The user research should depend on the type of product that you are developing, the time you have, and the environment you are in.
Whether you are looking for improvements on an existing product or developing a brand new one, user research is what you should be working on. Let’s take a look at the user research and the way to succeed at it.
What is User Research?
User research is used to understand the lives of people so that well informed and influenced design options can be provided according to the needs, experiences, and motivations. Different types of methods can be used to avoid the user’s problems during the process.
The most significant advantage of user research is that it reduces the ambiguity of the needs of the users. Thus, it benefits the product, the business, and the users altogether.
Why You Need User Research
User research helps you be precise and useful with your service and product. All these benefits from detailed research bring you long-term success.
Here are the 3 ways User Research helps your business:
Offer real solutions
User research enables you to design products that solve problems.
When you know more about the user’s needs, experiences, and motivations, you can come up with real solutions.
That is the key to have loyal users, which is one of the best ways to increase the benefit of a product.
A better development process with purposeful steps results in satisfying and high-quality products, especially in competitive sectors.
Companies with such products can set reliable and realistic strategies to gain and retain their users. Your users should be the main focus of your business plan to set your priorities strategically for the sake of ensuring success.
Become a love-brand
It is a known fact in the business world that people try products that relate to them.
Love brands such as Starbucks and Nutella succeeded because they tell stories to connect with their audience through emotions.
Here is the secret of telling the most touching stories: understanding your target audience.
And that is what user research exactly provides you with.
How to conduct user research
There are multiple ways to conduct purposeful user research. I recommend you to proceed step by step without rush whichever way you choose. Below, I will define my favorite path of user research.
1. Ask the right questions
The research process is when we look for answers to the question as we try to clarify ambiguity within a task. Starting with the right question increases the success during the rest of the research.
5W and H (what, who, when, why, where, and how) questions can be helpful to draw the route and to understand the needs of the users better.
Setting the questions simple also leads us to a broad and pleasant prioritized beginning. Put your questions on the table and set off on the adventure!
2. Learn more about alternative methods
Now that you know what you are looking for in this research, you may consider methodology, which might support you at most to achieve your user research.
For instance, your method could be quantitative, which gets measurable information and allows you to compare the results; or it could be qualitative that analyses the encouragement behind the reasons.
While conducting your quantitative or qualitative research, you can choose to focus on how users feel about their experience or the purposes for which they use your product. Every case is unique, so you need to find a method that suits your case thoroughly and customize it for the best results.
3. Conduct your first version
You are halfway there since you have set the questions and decided about your method. Now it is time to test your draft in the field for conducting your research.
In the field, you can capture and analyze the notes, photos, and videos while interviewing with the users. Your first version will help you realize the challenges that you have not considered before. If everything goes well, you can conduct this baby version with a lot of users and collect a considerable amount of data.
4. Analyze or improve if necessary
If you could collect data during the first time, you can analyze them to end up with useful knowledge. According to your analysis, you may choose to amend the method or questions for better results and re-conduct the research.
You will know if your research is sufficient or not considering if you can answer your research question with the data you’ve gathered in the field (or not). That is where you turn data and information into knowledge that will help you have seamless products for specific user groups.
The user research guides us to design smarter with the data collected.
When the user research is done right, it grants to more exceptional design with the support of the needs, experiences, and motivations of the users.
Different methods also differentiate the design solutions that can help you to improve your product, too.
Frequently Asked Questions
👤 Whose job is it to conduct and manage User Research?
Although User Research benefits every team of a company, product managers or the team that designs the product should be in charge of conducting and managing User Research.
❓Why should I conduct User Research?
User Research is a must in order to smartly and precisely design products that people love.
⌛️ When is the right time to conduct a User Research?
User Research should be conducted and analyzed before the design of the product, in order to understand its audience.