What Is User Research? The Essential Guide For UX Designers
UX meaning User Experience is becoming a well-known word now in the Information Technology industry. It literally means the entire experience through which the user passes while accessing a website, app, software, ecommerce portal etc. In this connected world, when it is hard to find a person not using a phone, a brand’s visibility on the internet is of vital importance. It is the face of the brand primarily used by consumers to access information, making buying decisions, shopping, after sales service and rating and reviewing the product for others. This means that the experience a user goes through while accessing product information on the internet is of prime importance if it is not easy and satisfying there may be many who would skip to a better experience out of inability to find required information or due to developing a reduced liking for the brand. UX is getting increasingly popular with time and it is expected to be one of the most critical aspects of a brand’s web presence in the times to come.
UX means the overall experience that a user gets while using the internet face of the brand or product. It should help users spend more time and make a fearless buying decision. It is targeted at converting first time users into a loyal regular client for the brand. This means that the process of developing UX for any particular brand is at the center of the marketing process. If this process is not followed properly or devoid of objectives, there are chances that the future business may suffer drastically.
Before commencement of any small task or a long term project, it is most critical that the final objectives that are required to be achieved are crystal clear. The objectives should not only be clear, should be put in words describing it in one of more brief understandable statements. These statements would be able to describe the primary objectives in a simple lucid language. It has to be very well ensured that all the people working in the team are clear about the objectives of the project they are pursuing. There may be varied objectives. This objective may include building a particular personality of brand in user perception, motivating visitors to buy the product, creating a high sense of security to a user for making financial transaction, encourage client to spend more time on the site, influence client to refer and become opinion leaders for the brand.
There are two important components of your project which need to be understood.
- The User
- The Brand
It is most important to know the persona of the user who is expected to use your brand or product. The UX design would be different for an app that is going to be used by a high flying executive then for an app that is going to be used by kids. You also need to profile the users in detail, their likes, dislikes etc. At the same time, you should know how your brand aligns with the users. The assessment of what are the objectives and mission of the brand that you need to achieve is required to be clearly defined.
Once the objective and needs are clear, there are lots of things you need to know about the project that you are working for. Some of the activities that would help us to do this are listed below:
Some of the target users have to be talked about with to know how they really perceive the whole thing. You would be able to get a 360 degree view of the project after this interview. The interviews can also be taken on the phone, but face interviews with or without technology are preferable to get the right perspective.
2. Key needs
To get the idea about the key needs, wants and demands of the users. This will enable us to design the set of offerings.
3. Competitor research
A survey on who are the leading competitors for the products/services and what are their USPs will enable us to decide our placement in the matrix.
4. Mass survey
Mass surveys are useful to derive analysis. Surveys are easy using internet third party portals. They are available in free and paid modes. The bigger the audience clearer would the results.
The research would help us how to decide the final points based on which the entire UX would be designed. Freezing the user persona with key elements like their behavior and spending habits will let us decide what are the elements required in the UX design to best suit the target audience. Several other things would help us decide the technology to be used and design subjects like colors and layouts.
This is the stage when the Design team comes into action. The design is made in such a way that the user flows through the application of the website seamlessly as per the flow decided by the management, leading the visitor to the decision stages as required. The users would have to be given a sense of security and cheerfulness with the exact UX design in place. Making the optimum use of latest technology could be helpful in improvising the user experience, however, excessive use of technology could be a hurdle for some people who are less conversant with technology or have less liking.
The final stage of implementation is most critical to the entire process. The whole design should be implemented on a test platform before going all-out live. The test platform needs to be used by target groups so that we come to know, if there are any flaws in the design. The Feedbacks of user groups have to be carefully analyzed and appropriate changes need to be incorporated and tested before the action begins. Ongoing testing and analysis is a part of the project. A dedicated team for the function is suggested.
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