An Introduction to User Experience Research
What is UX research?
User Experience (UX) Research is the practice of observing your target audience to document their goals, desires, and needs, as well as identify any pain points they experience while engaging with your organization, your products and services.
How does it work?
Before you begin any UX research initiative, you must first be able to answer these three questions: 1) What are our goals or desired behavior? 2) Who is our audience? 3) What problem or need are we trying to solve?
There are many methods to UX research, each tailored to a specific task of gathering data about a given segment’s individual behavior and attitude based on their first-hand experience using your product or service. These include, but are not limited to:
- Discovery: field studies, user/stakeholder interviews
- Exploration: design reviews, persona creation, card sorting, prototyping and feedback
- Testing: user testing, benchmark testing, accessibility evaluation, A/B testing
- Listening: surveys, analytics evaluations, heatmaps, retrospectives, focus groups
It is important to emphasize two key metrics in UX research: qualitative and quantitative testing; It’s both important to understand the ‘why’ (qualitative) and the ‘how many’ (quantitative) throughout your testing to get a true understanding of your target audience. In addition, it’s vital to both understand attitudinal (what people say) and behavioral (what people do) perspectives, as well as the context in which it’s used.
What are the benefits of UX research?
Knowing both your leads’ and customers’ needs and pain points allows you to align your products and services to satisfy their desires head-on. This insight provides you a leg-up on the competition and lays the groundwork to target each segment with highly focused and specialized marketing to increase customer satisfaction and engagement.
What role does UX research play in your marketing strategy?
Since virtually every aspect of your marketing plan depends on knowing your audiences, their goals, and how each align with your product and services offerings, the data and insights UX research provides is invaluable. It represents the cornerstone of your from which your digital house is built, and is the foundation that your UX design and UI design, as well as all of your digital marketing and social media marketing, rely on for success.
Learn more about related tools, methods, and best practices in the Marketing Toolkit: