User Research is a path to achieve the goal of a great UX Design. It is the process to understand the user’s needs, behaviors, experience, and motivations through various qualitative and quantitative methods for solving user’s problems. As an integral part of the UX design, it helps uncover important and useful insights about the users and their needs. Keeping users at the centre of the entire process, it provides answer within the context of our product or service for the following areas:
> Who your users are
> What their needs are
> What they want
> How they currently do things
> How they would like to do them
UX Research is done primarily through observation techniques, task analysis, and other feedback methodologies. Various qualitative and quantitative methods are used for conducting this research. Some of the popular methods are given below:
Guerrilla testing: Fast and low-cost testing methods such as field observations, reviews of paper sketches.
Interviews: One on one interviews that follow a pre-set selection of questions prompting the user to describe their interactions, thoughts, and feelings in relation to a product or service, or even the environment of the product/ service.
Focus groups: Participatory groups that are led through a discussion and activities to gather data on a particular product or service.
Field Studies: Heading into the user’s environment and observing while taking notes (and photographs or videos).
In-lab testing: Observations of users completing particular tasks in a controlled environment. Users are often asked to describe out loud their actions, thoughts, and feelings and are videoed for later analysis.
Card sorting: Used to help understand Information Architecture and naming conventions better.
User surveys: Questionnaires with a structured format, targeting your specific user personas.
Eye-tracking: Measures the gaze of the eye, allowing the observer to ‘see’ what the user sees. This can be an expensive test and heat mapping is a good cheaper alternative.
Heat Mapping: Visual mapping of data showing how users click and scroll through your prototype or website.
A/B testing: Comparing two versions of a web page to see which one converts users more. This is a great way to test button placements, colors, banners, and other elements in your UI.