What is UX research? – Top 9 Methods
User experience (UX) research is drawing the attention of many companies and accurate UX research methods are questioned. Before we start to explain how to conduct UX research, we need to simply ask this question: What is user experience (UX) research?
Hint: It is more than just finding some good research interview questions.
USER EXPERIENCE (UX) RESEARCH
UX research is a systematic investigation of target users and their needs in order to provide genuine insights to design processes. To find challenges and design opportunities, UX researchers use a variety of methodologies.
THE DIFFERENCE IN UX RESEARCH
User experience (UX) research can be divided into two parts: quantitive and qualitative.
Quantitive research: It is basically any type of UX research that can be quantified. It's useful for deducing statistical probabilities and determining what's going on with a service or a product.
Qualitative research: Another part of UX research provides solutions to queries. Interviews or discussions are often used. Qualitative research of UX aids in the understanding of why individuals act the way they do.
TOP 9 METHODS FOR A GREAT UX RESEARCH
1. Card Sorting: Ask users to organize information into a logical structure and try to create a dendrogram (category tree). You can easily create a dendrogram using an online card sorting tool.
2. Use Cases: Document the possible interactions between users and the system with use cases. Keep in mind that it is good to create different scenarios with alternative paths and various users.
3. Contextual Inquiry: Observe users in the relevant context which provides deep insight into how users behave.
4. User Testing: Ask a user to perform tasks and observe their behaviors. It is important to understand usability issues and user concerns.
5. Task Analysis: Observe the steps and approaches of users to complete a given task. Try to understand what users genuinely want to achieve.
6. System Usability Scale (SUS): Offer a questionnaire with 10-questions with options from "Strongly Disagree" to "Strongly Agree" in order to evaluate the usability of a product or of a process.
7. Interviews: Make conversations with users to understand how they think about a site, a product, or a process. It is crucial to choose the right users and the right pre-determined questions!
8. Prototyping: Design a mock-up of the site, product, or service, the design team may test ideas before adopting them, and also it is a good way to collect feedback from users and to show the visualization of the product or service.
9. Surveys: Ask a set of questions that you ask many visitors of users of your service to learn more about the individuals that use it. Asking accurate questions is the key! Your survey questions should include task-driven feedback questions, open-ended and follow-up questions. Try to avoid yes or no questions or leading questions.
QUESTION SUGGESTIONS FOR AN UX RESEARCHER
As we mentioned before, if you find the right user to use some questions then it is really important to ask good ones! So we listed some of our picks for you.
- Tell us a little about yourself and your background.
- What does your typical day look like?
- Tell us about your role in your company.
- How is this product relevant to your daily life?
- What is your first impression of this product?
- When and where do you think someone would use this product?
- How could you improve this product?
- What's the most and least appealing about this product?
- How would you go about performing a task?
- What do you expect before you perform this task?
- What was the easiest and hardest thing to accomplish?
- Does any of your thoughts or expectations change while or after performing the task?
Long story short, any UX researcher should take into account that these methods and questions can differ from one product or user to another. It is important to choose the right one to start or to improve your user experience (UX) journey and then you will realize that you customize some methods and questions by taking some steps on your journey!
Featured image by Jason Goodman on Unsplash