How to Fix UX Research: Why Startups Are Afraid to Invest in It
Market Research is a crucial cog of product development on the hardware and software front. While market research focuses highly on competitor research and existing product research, a smart company does not neglect the need for user experience research. User experience and its quality decides the fate of a product. Therefore, before the formulation and launch of a product, a company cannot go ahead without proper UX research. However, fewer companies will conduct pure research to improve their UX design services in the present scenario.
Whenever a UX designer or agency creates a design or a product layout, he needs to do so with user needs in view. Moreover, user needs and wants keep evolving with time and market scenarios. Therefore, UX research is very crucial to creating relevant designs.
How Does UX Research Help In Company Growth?
A user-centric product is a key to the flourishing of a startup into a leading company in its sector. Developing a user-centric product that caters to user needs is difficult. UX research provides a strong foundation for creating a strong, impactful, user-oriented product. Once a company gets its UX research approach right and incorporates it with the design process, every product from its launched line meets all the design and industry standards. Proper UX research helps companies maintain consistency in their products and services.
Why Do Startups Shy Away From UX Research?
However, UX research for startups has always been a tricky concept. Startups have always been tight on money and funds. Since UX research is a lengthy process and often needs money, startups do not usually invest in it. However, this can be a grave mistake if the aim is to create an impactful, user-friendly product. Often, a single product can propel a startup into a giant class of companies. Startups have to invest heavily in learning about user needs and wants closely.
Opposite to the common opinion in corporate circles, UX research saves a lot of money and time in the long run. The right approach to UX research helps the startup achieve its goals quickly. UX research can be the distinguishable and surviving factor for successful startups in an environment with innumerable startups in the business arena. With the bottom line that UX research is very important for the success of startups, let us understand why startups do not invest in fruitful UX research.
Costs Time And Money
The common notion in the entrepreneurial circle is that UX research is costly and takes a lot of time to complete. However, if done properly with an optimized, standardized process, the costs of UX research can be controlled. On the other hand, once you get the results, you save money and time in the long run. For example, if a startup is floating its first product without much UX research, it is going for a trial run that resonates with the trial and error approach.
However, when a startup goes for the trial and error process, it goes through failure cycles and suffers losses. Moreover, it has to go through multiple product development and improvement cycle before floating a largely viable and accepted product. Therefore, the ultimate costs are higher than UX research-driven development. Therefore, it is a misconception that UX research costs a lot of time and money. It saves money and time for a company.
Users Have A Flickering Attitude
Many startups believe that no matter how much you invest in UX research, the final results and the final product will still have room for improvement. The startup entrepreneurs say this because user mindset and needs change within a short period. When a product completes its development cycle and reaches the market, the user needs something else or an improved version of the original product.
Companies and startups believe that even if they create accurate personas for users, users’ final reaction only comes after the actual product’s launch. Therefore, they do not invest in user experience research studies before product development. However, user experience research can drive better product creation.
Inexpensive Smart Ways of UX Research
Here are ways in which user experience research can be done inexpensively. A user experience design consultant can follow these techniques to start UX research from a prospective user base.
1. Desk Research
The most basic and inexpensive way of conducting UX research is to conduct desk research. In desk research, you do not have to interact with the user directly. You can choose your user base and research on the internet. The internet has numerous articles and studies to refer to. Today, the internet is an extensive knowledge base you can use for research purposes. The internet and its websites will help you know your user base and behavior. Desk research can be the first step in UX research. Once you have gathered enough data and information from the internet, you can move towards other research methods.
2. Usability Research
Usability testing and research are more direct because it involves user interaction with your product. You can offer the product prototype to user groups from the base and see how they interact with it. Users test your product and react to it. The interaction level and initial reactions to the product prototype let you form an idea of product demand and reception. You can collect feedback from the users and know about the improvement areas for increasing its usability.
3. Guerilla Testing
Usability tests can happen in labs and testing facilities. However, hiring third-party labs can be risky and pricey. Instead, you can go to customer touchpoints like public places, cafes, and even family gatherings to test the product. This will also create the first impression of your brand in their minds. You can use this impression later for marketing purposes.
UX research is crucial for every company, even if the nature of products and services may differ. UX research is also a fundamental practice in a leading UX design agency or any other design-oriented company. It is time that startups recognize the potential of good quality UX research and adopt it as a part of their workflow and design process.