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Why UX research is so important — and how to do it right

Learn how investing in UX research can help your business grow — plus a few other benefits

Wondering why UX research is so important for product design? We’ve got you covered. In this blog post, we’ll not only explain what UX research is and why it matters, but we’ll also give you three tips to go about it like a pro.

Ready to take your UXpertise to the next level? Let’s dive in.

So, what is UX research?

UX research — or user experience research — is the process of gathering information about your customers’ needs, preferences, and behaviors, all with the goal of designing more effective and meaningful products for them. When you know what your customers want and need, you’ll have a clear sense of why you’re building them a product, and therefore, why you’ll want to make certain design choices instead of others.

It’s an essential part of the UX design process, and it’s an important step to take even before you create wireframes or design the user interface. And there are plenty of ways to conduct UX research too. Some common techniques include carrying out interviews, surveys, and user testing.

An image of post-it notes to illustrate why UX research is important.

There are plenty of ways to conduct UX research, including interviews, surveys, and user testing.

But really, why is UX research so important?

We already know that UX research is key to creating a meaningful user experience, but let’s take a closer look at the specific benefits that come with it. Here are three reasons why user experience research is so important.

1. It helps put your users first

As its name implies, the craft of UX design is all about creating a user-centered product and experience. So what better way to guarantee that than by conducting extensive research about your intended audience? By taking the time to understand their needs and interests, you can build a product that directly and thoughtfully addresses your audience’s pain points — and that’s bound to be a hit!

2. It can help avoid unnecessary costs

Design is an iterative process. But that doesn’t mean we’ve got all the time and resources in the world for redesigns. To help you stay on top of teammate dependencies and client deadlines, it’s worth eliminating as much uncertainty as possible early on in the design process. That’s where UX research can play a key role.

As the old saying goes, it’s better to be safe than sorry. And the more time you dedicate to UX research upfront, the less likely you’ll find yourself starting from scratch.

3. It keeps your product competitive

It’s no secret that today’s digital marketplace is a little crowded — not to mention competitive. And while it may be tempting to react to the competition as quickly as possible, it’s worth investing in proper UX research if you’re going to keep up with your customers’ evolving needs.

In fact, research shows that prioritizing UX altogether can make a positive impact on a company’s finances. In other words, you’re better off not skipping the UX research process.

An image showing post-it notes for UX research about a bike share company

Taking the time to get to know what your customers need can not only improve their experience but also help your business grow!

3 tips for getting UX research right

Now that you know why user experience research is so important, here are three tips to get it done like a pro.

1. Define your research goals

Just like you’d do before diving into any research process, it’s important to be sure of what you’re trying to figure out ahead of time. Knowing what questions you’d like to have answered can help you dive into the UX research process with a clear sense of what data you need.

Here are a few to get started — and feel free to tailor them to the product or service you’re designing:

  • How do people – not just your customers – feel when they’re attempting a task?
  • What motivates them?
  • What worries them?
  • What frustrates them?
  • What intrigues them?
  • What do they see, miss, or gloss over?

But you don’t have to tackle it alone. In fact, involving your teammates can help you identify key questions too. And when you know exactly what you’re looking for, you’re less likely to spend time gathering irrelevant information and potentially cutting it close to project deadlines.

2. Choose the right research methods

Know your UX research goals? Time to identify the right research methods. There are tons of different techniques you can use, including surveys, interviews, and user testing. And if you’re not sure how to go about them, there are plenty of tools out there to help you get started.

GoogleForms and SurveyMonkey, for example, are easy ways to set up surveys and send them out, while sites like UserTesting and dscout are great platforms for getting people to try your product out and give you feedback.

But if you’re looking for something specific, it’s always helpful to find out what’s worked for other UX researchers. So why not start a thread in our community forum? You might just find the exact tool or tip you need 😉

3. Make use of existing data

We live in a world with an endless amount of data. So on top of conducting your own UX research, why not consider what’s already out there too? The more information you have to work with, the less likely you’ll end up guessing what your users want. Plus, if the data you’re looking for already exists, that’s even more time you get to save in the UX design process!

As Simon Sinek says, everything becomes a little clearer when you start with “why” ✨  And understanding why UX research is so important is the first step to making more room for it in your product design process.

And when you get it right, you’ll be on your way to designing exceptional products — ones that aren’t just easy to use but also keep people coming back.

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