UI and UX designing have occupied a fair share of the software industry. While UI(User Interface) design is developing an aesthetically pleasing interface for the user to interact with a product/service, UX(User Experience) design focuses on how the user feels about his or her interaction with the interface. Proper positioning of buttons on a page to avoid on-click overlaps, simple and understandable product add-on buttons, and smooth navigation across the interface are a few examples of a smooth UX design product.
Since UX design is primarily based on the user’s interaction, we need to learn what kind of interface the targeted users are actually comfortable interacting with. This helps in improving our designs. This technique is known as UX research.
What Is UX Research?
UX research is the process of gathering the needs, behavioural data, queries, expectations, and suggestions from the target users in order to analyze and come up with needed solutions. UX research plays an important role in the improvement of the designs as well as in rectifying mistakes if any.
UX research can be classified broadly into two types such as:
- Qualitative Research
- Quantitative Research
- Qualitative Research: Qualitative research is evaluating the user’s behaviour by conducting usability tests, ethnographic studies, surveys, interviews, and discussions. These facts cannot be computed in numerical terms, but it helps in breaking down complex information. It is a cost-effective approach with a huge success rate when implemented properly.
- Quantitative Research: Quantitative research is an exploratory approach when the researcher generates numerical data or data which can be converted to statistics. The methods to collect such data include surveys, longitudinal studies, online polls, and website interceptors. It may also involve the usage of analytic tools.
Quantitative studies alone do not suffice and should be combined with qualitative studies to avoid misconceptions.
Top UX Research Methods
Here are a few methods which are followed while conducting UX research:
- Card Sorting: A site’s information is grouped and sorted into a logical structure in order to ensure that it matches the way users think.
- Contextual Interviews: Observations are conducted in the user’s natural environment to give a better understanding of the working methods.
- First Click Testing: A navigation-based testing method is carried out on a wireframe, a prototype, or a website.
- Focus Groups: Group discussions are conducted in order to get a sneak peek into the user’s desires, behaviour, and expectations.
- Personas: A representative user profile with fictional personal information is created based on findings from user interviews and available data.
There are several techniques apart from the ones listed above. The techniques used depend upon the organization’s standards and policies.
UX Research and Startups
Today’s big-shot companies have reached this place as they develop a user-centred approach while designing their products and services. Investing in proper UX research methodologies ensures that all the products and services are suitably developed for the target users. This saves a lot of time, and resources and also increases user satisfaction, which startups often fail to achieve.
Startup companies are mostly built with a limited budget, which results in the companies often skipping UX research. This occurs mostly due to financial constraints. Many startups fail because their products and services do not meet the user’s standards or because the rebuilding costs affect the company in various aspects.
Why Do Sartups Overlook UX Research?
Startups skip UX research mainly due to the following factors:
- Financial Misconceptions: The mindset that UX research is a luxury is uncommon amongst startups. But in reality, UX research saves a lot of money as it helps to build the products in a user-friendly manner in the initial stages of development.
- Failing To Understand Users: Some startups have poor UX research methodologies which do not involve testing. Observations are created by analyzing brief data and personas. These assumption-based actions may not yield the expected results and often hit the bottom rocks. The idea that users do not know what they want is also misleading. It is the industry’s duty to be equipped enough to decode the user’s needs based on qualitative and quantitative approaches and experimentations which many startups fail to realize.
- Time-Based Misconceptions: People think that UX research is time-consuming but when we take a closer look, we can understand that testing a product before its launch saves a lot of time than rectifying errors post-deployment.
Benefits Of UX Resarch In Startups
The benefits of implementing UX research methodologies in startups are listed below:
- Understand The Users Better: While observing a user’s interaction with the wireframe or prototype or website, we can learn about the things which irritate the user and vice versa. We also learn that a clean design may not always be sufficient for a smooth user experience.
- Proper Validation Of Personas: UX research is a great way to put our assumptions to test. We can rule out the failed ones in future when a similar project is created. We must ensure that the personas are updated regularly to avoid outdated data.
- Saves Financial Resources And Time: UX research helps in getting a clear picture of the product or service which is to be built. It helps in implementing changes in the early stages of the development life cycle, which saves a lot of bucks. If a change is to be implemented in a later stage, the decoupling processes or the design of a new prototype altogether is a tedious process. This is time-consuming and sometimes may result in a delay in releases. However, this can be avoided with the help of UX research.
- Helps In Brainstorming New Product Ideas: UX research may also contribute ideas for a new product as we learn in-depth about the user’s needs. This leads to improvement in the creative and functional aspects of the company.
- Higher Success Rate: When a product/service is user-friendly, it tends to attract more customers and positive reviews. This results in great profit and a good reputation.
UX research plays a crucial role in the growth of a company. When implemented correctly, it can be a game changer for startup companies. In the end, customer satisfaction is the key to a company’s success and it’s always good to have a fantastic head start.