This video discusses the key reasons that UX research helps a business: saving development or process costs, increasing customer happiness and loyalty, and uncovering opportunities to earn more. Research helps inform design decisions and ensure that a business is meeting and exceeding the expectations of users.
- User experience is all about catering the design of a product or service to fit the needs of users. User experience research is all about thoroughly understanding who is involved with what you're building, their needs, goals, and the context in which they'll interact with your product, how well you're serving their needs, and, uncovering opportunities to create something that better fits their needs. Research helps inform design decisions and ensure that a business is meeting and exceeding the expectations of users. There are three major ways that UX research helps a business.
Saving development or process costs, increasing customer happiness and loyalty, and uncovering opportunities to earn more. One of the largest motivations for companies to invest in user experience research is that it can help save development and process costs. Uncovering the true needs of users means that you better understand what solutions will work for them, so you never waste development time on features that won't be valuable to them, and you'd account for requirements from the beginning.
We often summarize this kind of research as making sure you're building the right thing. Having a clear goal from the beginning of a project allows decision making to happen faster and avoids the possibility of rework. Many studies show that code changes become increasingly expensive to implement the later in the development process they happen. Some estimate that changes made after deployment is up to 100 times more expensive than fixing during the design stage. It's definitely worth investing and making sure that you're building the right solution for customers.
Additionally, you can perform research throughout the course of development to ensure that you're implementing the solution in a way that is easy to use. Sometimes we call this building it right. Iterative testing also helps you uncover changing needs of customers, so that you can pivot if necessary. Again reducing the chance for wasted development time or rework. User experience researchers might also be able to identify and help address internal solutions that are costing the company money.
For instance, if a researcher performs interviews and uncovers that users of an online tool are constantly reaching out to support call centers because they don't understand how something works, they could suggest contextual help, or a new way to present the information that is more clear to users, so that they don't call in. The company would then save money by not having to have as many call center representatives. A UX researcher could apply that same methodology to internal tools, such as the contact management system that a call center representative uses, and they could recommend changes that would save each call center representative a few moments per transaction, which over time adds up to significant savings.
Validating your idea from the start and iteratively testing the implementation details can help you save significant development costs. Applying the same level of attention to internal tools and processes can also help companies refine other costs, such as support tasks, or process efficiency. Customers and users have ever-growing expectations for positive experiences with products and services. Providing a baseline good experience is no longer a differentiator, but rather the expected minimum, especially for digital products.
Study after study shows that users are willing to leave a website or application if they have trouble finding what they're looking for, or they run into a usability problem. Businesses can use UX research to ensure that it is easy for customers to perform key actions, such as purchasing, or signing up. Ensuring ease of use means it's less likely that customers will go to a competitor for the same service. To truly create passionate users, you need to go above and beyond, and anticipate and serve the users' needs.
There are many examples of companies becoming wildly successful by focusing on providing good experiences. Just think of places like Apple, or Uber. Apple fans line up to purchase the latest gadgets at full cost, because they constantly have a good experience. Users who have an overwhelmingly positive experience with your brand, product, or service, are less likely to switch to a competitor. They're more likely to purchase from you again, and they're more likely to encourage their friends or family to purchase as well.
User experience research can help you uncover opportunities for improvements or new features and functions that you wouldn't have otherwise known about, but can help you provide considerable value to your users. Connecting ongoing usability tests, interviews, and ethnographic studies on existing products, allows you to understand how users are actually interacting with your product or service in the wild. This allows you to see both what is resonating well, and what could be better about your product, in the context that it really gets used.
For instance, you might notice workarounds your users have for difficult tasks, or notice that they use another tool to fill a need that your product doesn't serve. This sort of information can help you plan future fixes, or features that you can prioritize, and new solutions to offer that you may not have previously considered. You can also evaluate your competitors just like you might evaluate your own products, which can give you another perspective on what functions users find valuable, or understand weaknesses that you can improve on.
Some of the most successful products are not completely new ideas, but rather, they make it easier or more streamlined to complete goals. Some of the most valuable outcomes of user experience research can be insight about the goals and needs of users, and an analysis of how to better serve those users.
This course introduces the fundamentals of user experience research so that anyone can understand the benefits and start integrating research into their everyday design and development process. Start watching to learn how to use UX research to find the answers to the most basic questions about your customers—who, what, when, why, and how—and drive better user experiences and business outcomes.
- An overview of research methods, including usability testing, interviewing, eye tracking, surveys, and many more
- A review of the main types of research, including quantitative and qualitative, behavioral and attitudinal, and moderated vs. unmoderated
- Determining the right methodologies based on organizational environment, client type, and project stage
- Targeting the right research participants
- Crafting the right questions in the right way
- Analyzing and presenting your data