The starting point for any UX (User Experience) project should be the UX research phase to ensure an enhanced experience on your website.
The Purpose of UX Research
The purpose of UX research is to teach the UX designer about the end user and their goals, needs, wants and motivations so that an effective user journey can be mapped and, ultimately, provide an optimised experience.
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This step is critical to any project; no matter how good a UX designer is, it’s the end user that matters. What a UX designer thinks is intuitive might not be so for the end user. For example, you may be dealing with an audience that isn’t as technologically savvy as you might think, and therefore it’s of the utmost importance that their lack of technical knowledge is taken into account and the journey is as easy to follow as possible.
The 3 Main UX Research Methods
There are a number of methods to carrying out user research testing, including:
1. Individual User Interviews
An in-depth discussion between the UX designer and a potential user who meets the target demographic. For best results, this should be done whilst the interviewee uses the product so that questions can be asked about what they like or dislike. You can also ask them to outline their ideal product and use that to inform the final design.
2. Focus Groups
Similar to an individual interview, but with a group instead of just one person. This can provide a number of benefits as often you might find that a group will offer a more insightful and detailed combined experience. It will also allow you to gain multiple perspectives in a shorter time.
3. Online Surveys
Online surveys are made up of a set of pre-determined questions that you send out to your target demographic. The benefit of this method is that it allows you to gain information from a wider demographic, especially advantageous if geographic location is a factor.
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A great user research process might use a combination of these methods, as well as others. It’s important to collect as much information and data as possible and use that to create a website that’s optimised to your audience.