UX research – what is that?


In software development, decisions must not be made on instinct but must be based on data. This is exactly what UX research is all about: collecting data on the needs of the market and the preferences of a target group to act accordingly. This increases the value of digital products enormously and contributes directly to the success of companies.

In software development, decisions must be based on data.

Article by

 

Carina Glinik

Senior UX Writer
4 min read26 Feb 2024

User experience (UX) research refers to the process of systematically researching and analyzing people's needs, behaviors, and preferences when using a digital product, such as an app or website.

Why UX Research?

UX research aims to understand how users interact with a digital product. The findings are used to improve user-friendliness, satisfaction, and effectiveness.

UX research enables companies to make informed decisions on how to design their app, website, or platform. After all, a digital solution can only be successful on the market if it meets the needs and expectations of the target group and offers a positive user experience.

Find out more about the connection between UX research and corporate success.

How does UX research work?

There are various methods to better understand the (potential) users of a product. Some established methods are these:

1

User interviews

Seek a direct conversation about your product with real users. They can give you insights into their needs, challenges, and expectations.

At Mindnow, these are usually video calls. This has the advantage that we can interview participants regardless of their location, record the conversation for a detailed analysis and, of course, save costs.

If you’re looking for a tool for user interviews: Here’s a guide for Google Meet, our video call tool of choice.

2

Usability tests

Think about specific tasks and have test persons carry them out using your product. This will allow you to uncover weaknesses in the user experience.

This method is particularly suitable for existing products. If the product is not yet available, you can develop a prototype and test it. We strongly recommend doing this, as it allows you to uncover problems before resources are used in the wrong place.

3

Observation

Observe participants in your research using your product in their natural environment or an experimental situation. In contrast to the usability test, no specific tasks are set here.

4

Surveys

Structured questionnaires are suitable for broad data collection. This allows you to easily record the opinions and preferences of a large number of participants and obtain a meaningful sample. 

Another advantage is that participants can express their opinions anonymously. This prevents them from giving biased answers due to social desirability and motivates them to answer honestly and openly instead.

5

Analysis of usage data

Data can also be used to identify patterns and trends in the use of a product. Usage logs, click paths, actions, interactions, dwell time, search queries and transactions provide information on how users use a product.

However, we do not recommend data analysis as the only UX research method. Rather, it is a supplement to other methods in which users are surveyed. The combination of data and user opinions provides unbeatable insights into the user experience.

Use data to identify patterns and trends in the use of a digital product.
Image Source: Luke Chesser

What does UX research cost?

There is no general answer to this because UX research can never be “one size fits it all”. What works great for one project may be pointless for another. How much UX research costs depends on the method and the scope of the research.

Not doing UX research can be expensive in the long run. Surveying users and evaluating data is a smart investment and prevents you from being surprised by the market. Listening to your gut feeling may work for certain decisions, but when it comes to digital product development, you should definitely rely on hard facts.

“If a digital product is simply built to taste, without any data to support it, you can quickly shoot yourself in the foot by saving money.”
Kaja Fuchs, Junior Product Owner

Conclusion: If long-term success is important to you, UX research is the decisive step towards it. Otherwise, you run the risk of investing a lot of money in a product that doesn’t appeal to users. Instead, develop a product that is completely tailored to the target group. They will thank you for it – also financially.

UX Research at Mindnow

Mindnow offers a range of research packages that differ in terms of scope and offer. The basis is always certain standard services, such as competitor analysis. Depending on individual requirements, we expand our packages with additional services tailored to the unique challenges of a project.

This is also what UX Research is all about

Putting the user at the center

At Mindnow, we are firm believers in the concept of “user-centered design”. This means seamlessly integrating UX research and its findings into the entire design and development process. This ensures that the needs of the user are taken into account at every stage of product development.

Making knowledge usable

The best findings from UX research are of little use if nobody understands them and they are not implemented. Insights are not only important for the client but also for those who design and develop the product.

Therefore: Communicate UX research effectively, preferably with an easily digestible presentation. Allow enough time for questions and answers so that everyone involved really understands what this product is all about.

Expertise and intuition before team size

UX research does not require a large team. Expertise in UX design, psychology, and methodological approaches is required. If you can combine all of this in one person, you may not even need more than one UX research person in the team.

In addition to professional qualifications, human sensitivity is particularly important. Interviews in particular are unfamiliar to most study participants. This can cause stress and lead to inhibitions. Some are afraid of making mistakes or are uncomfortable revealing details. This is where the UX researcher must come in, recognize negative feelings, and counteract them in a targeted manner to obtain the necessary information.

Never stop learning

There are constantly new developments in the field of UX research. Keeping up with the latest trends and best practices is not that easy. That's why it's essential to read specialist articles, attend training courses, and be active in social networking groups. Or seek outside expertise.

There are constantly new developments in the field of UX research, so keep up learning.
Image Source: Thirdman

UX research is crucial

UX research makes a decisive contribution to digital product development. Valid data on user needs, behavior, and preferences is by no means just a nice-to-have. Rather, the systematic use of various UX research methods enables well-founded decisions to be made. Ultimately, a good user experience contributes to customer loyalty, creates a competitive advantage, and thus the basis for long-term corporate success.


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