In the world of design, the question ‘What is UX research?’ is an important one to understand. UX or user experience is a key driver in how people engage with apps, software tools, software products, traditional products, and so on. The user experience is highly important because a product this is difficult or frustrating to use will not be a successful one.
In situations where the user experience is ignored, customers and clients will not want to engage with the software or application and in many cases will switch to another option. This loss of customers can be highly damaging to a business and is one of the reasons UX research is so important.
Here is a closer look at UX research principles and the value it adds.
What UX Research Tells You
First and foremost, UX research is customer-focused. It is centered around the user experience and how people engage with an app, software, or product. This serves as an excellent starting point because it gives you a base idea of the customer base and allows you to start building a general customer profile.
UX research allows you to further understand any conclusions you have made about a user interface and how correct these conclusions may be. The research will also help you identify any additional issues that need addressing.
A Practical Research Example
The user experience has been a part of product design for decades and nearly every major product you have used or bought has some degree of user experience research behind it. Take for example the rather commonplace ketchup bottle. As a consumer product that has been around for over a century, it has seen several redesigns across the industry.
A lot of these redesigns were based on customer feedback. While the classic glass bottle worked fine it was still annoying to use requiring banging and hitting to get the ketchup out. This led to the far easier-to-use squeeze bottles that have become the standard. The squeeze bottle was further refined into the upside-down squeeze bottle design which is now used by several types of condiments.
Why This All Matters
Ultimately, without the information, UX research provides, a lot of what you do during the design process would be based on assumptions. You could design a very useful product, but nobody will want to buy it because it’s hard to use, or worse, has design flaws that hinder the user experience.
Your competitors are spending the time reviewing UX research and taking that information into account when they design their products. To stay ahead of the competition and build your market share, customer feedback is a must and cannot be set aside or ignored.
In the design of any product, it’s very easy to get caught up in the fine details and sometimes lose sight of the customer. UX research provides input from the customer side which allows you to keep your focus not just on how a product works and what does but how it is used. A product that is both easy to use and solves a need will be one that customers want to buy and importantly want to use.