Clayton Christensen, a renowned professor at Harvard Business School notes that every year, nearly 30,000 new products are launched. However, as many as 95% of them fail miserably.
This is because most businesses put all of their focus into designing and implementing a product, missing out on a critical aspect -user research insights.
For the uninitiated, user research is a detailed study of the target market. It enables businesses to understand what customers expect from a product and leverage these insights to develop better and more innovative solutions. It includes the use of various methods to identify and understand problem areas and derive critical information to be used in the design process. In fact, it is safe to say that user research is the only way to understand what exactly your target users require from your product.
Clearly, user research is non-negotiable.
In this article, we elaborate on user research tips, insights, methods, and a lot more.
Methods for user research
When done meticulously, user research tools can help us dig deep into user preferences, demands, and requirements. This allows businesses to build products that are easy to use and delivers exceptional user experiences.
There are several methods and tips to conduct user research and they are broadly divided into two categories – qualitative and quantitative.
Here’s an explanation of both these methods in detail.
Qualitative user research
Qualitative user research leverages descriptive and non-numerical data. It helps define the ‘why’ behind the product and understand the key drivers that would motivate users to buy it.
The different types of qualitative user research are:
It involves observing how actual users interact with a solution either at home or in their workplace.
Moderated and unmoderated usability testing
Moderated tests involve having a few test users carry out certain tasks in the presence of researchers who act as moderators.
Unmoderated tests are similar to moderated usability testing, except that there is no moderator involved. Both these methods are usually used in the early design stages of a product.
Users are asked to give highly descriptive interviews to researchers where they are asked questions about how they feel when interacting with a product. It allows researchers and developers to identify what’s working well and what’s not and is integral in visualizing customer personas and their user journey.
Perhaps one of the most popular methods of gaining user research insights, is that it involves gathering a very specific group of test users to discuss our product. The thoughts, feelings, interactions, and inputs from focus groups are recorded and are then used to further design and amplify the product.
Quantitative user research
It is quantifiable and is based on numbers and data. It is used to address the question of ‘what’ objectives users can hope to achieve using our product. Here are the popular quantitative user research tips.
A method in which researchers track the gaze of a user’s eye on specific areas of the product. For instance, many companies use heat mapping to track the various areas on a web page where users spend the majority of their time.
This is a great way to get a clear idea of what people actually like. it is especially useful in designing landing pages and deciding colors, fonts, CTA button placements, etc that lead to better conversions. Simply present different users with different versions of the product and track their interactions with both.
Analytics is an important way to get actionable insights into how users are leveraging a product. By monitoring analytics, it’s possible to get a jump start on the identification of any potential problem. It is also instrumental in gauging the demographics of users in detail.
User research tips
Now that we’ve understood the methodologies behind user research, we thought it would be a great idea to provide some user research insights and tips.
5 key user research tips
- Have clearly defined objectives: While conducting user research, it is important to have clarity on what we hope to achieve with it. This helps to have surveys or questionnaires with core questions prepared beforehand.
- Take diligent notes while testing: We need to ensure that important inputs and observations are accurately captured from test users. This helps in making informed design decisions.
- Capture insights in detail: Actionable insights will help us in analyzing the product and identify areas of improvement
- Set appropriate timelines: User research insights should not be a long, drawn-out process since that can affect results. We, therefore, need to establish clear deadlines as well as objectives for user research testing.
- Record testing sessions: During user research and testing, it is important to record key sessions. Later on, we can always go back to these user interactions and even use them as proof to validate our theories or ideas.
5 user research tools
User research tools are a vital part of our user research strategy. Here is a list of some of the most popular user research tools.
- Entropik Tech: This is a great tool to get truly unbiased consumer insights. Entropik Tech leverages Emotion AI technologies to pick up both stated and unstated cues from user research interviews for better decision-making.
- UserZoom: This is a user experience tool that allows us to test out our digital experiences and how users interact with them.
- Qualtrics: A great tool to capture the voice of customers using different types of surveys.
- Loop11: It allows us to perform both moderated as well as unmoderated tests for our user research. The platform offers preset frameworks to help us conduct user research tests.
- Usability Hub: It is a remote user research platform. It allows us to run various types of tests and helps design professionals create intuitive experiences.
Creating a robust product is no easy feat. However, with careful consideration and meticulous user research, we can understand our users’ needs and expectations. It allows us to think of our product from our customer’s perspectives and understand what’s working and what’s not. The powerful combination of descriptive insights and empirical data can help us design and optimize products that offer delightful experiences for our customers.
Remember to go back to user research and testing every time there is a new feature or a product under work to test out its viability.