Over the years, we’ve worked with companies and individuals to develop and design profitable custom software. One part of the design process that many people overlook is user experience research, although it’s an incredibly important part of most custom software projects.
UX research is the starting point for a project. Research teaches you about the users and their behavior, goals, motivations, and needs. It also shows you how they currently navigate a system, where they have problems and, most importantly, how they feel when interacting with a product.
Why UX Research?
In short, user experience research dissolves any uncertainty regarding what users are looking for in a product. Custom software projects are a serious undertaking and no one wants to go into it blindly guessing what features should stay and which can go.
UX research provides data about the end-user of the product, how and when the user will use the product, and the main problems the product will solve. User experience research is also helpful when A/B testing different designs.
When the proper UX research is done and a product is created that mirrors what the users asked for, it will be more profitable. Not to mention, the need to redesign over and over will be diminished when good UX research is done.
Asking someone their honest opinion of you or your company sounds scary, to be sure. However, it’s necessary to evolve the user experience and your business. This is one of the greatest values of UX research. When users become part of the design process, everyone wins.
Types of User Experience Research
In a focus group, users are shown a product and interviewed on their likes, dislikes, and suggestions for the product. Focus groups will also speak to how the product makes them feel and how likely they would be to purchase or continue using. Focus groups are a helpful user experience research method when a company needs a lot of insight in a short amount of time.
During usability testing, participants will be asked to complete specific tasks while someone else observes and takes notes. The main goal of this user experience testing method is to identify usability problems, collect qualitative data, and determine participants’ overall satisfaction with the product.
A survey is a research tool that typically includes a set of questions used to find out the preferences, attitudes, and opinions of your users on a given topic. Today, surveys are generally conducted online and in various lengths and formats. Data collected from surveys is received automatically, and the survey tool selected generally provides some level of analysis, the data from which can then be used for user experience studies further down the line to inform your product.
A user persona is a fictional representation of your ideal customer. A persona is generally based on user research and includes the needs, goals, and observed behavior patterns of your target audience.
In conclusion, the purpose of user experience research is simple: to discover patterns and reveal unknown insights and preferences from the people who use your product. It basically provides the context for the design. Research also helps fight the tendency to design for ourselves and returns the focus on designing for the user.
If you want to turn your software ideas into a profitable reality, reach out to us. We’ve created user-centric custom software solutions for 19 years, and we’d love to hear your ideas.