UX Research Methods are essential in order to enable you to establish facts, identify problems, and identify the needs of users and the requirements of the website that you’re designing in order to create the best possible experience for your visitors and drive revenue for your business.
What is UX Research? UX research is the starting point of a process that ultimately ends with the completed design of your website. The research element of UX is the action where you investigate something systematically. Various techniques are applied in order to apply context and insight to the process of design.
The Top 5 UX Research Methods
There are a number of different UX research techniques that can be used to get the information that you will need to design your website:
1. UX Interviews
Interviews can be used to gather facts and ask questions of the people who will be using the finished item. When you interview users, you could speak to them face-to-face, using prepared questions. This method is useful in order to gauge someone’s immediate reaction, but a good alternative is to provide questionnaires that respondents can complete in their own time.
This approach gives people more time to consider their responses and means that you will often get more thorough and useful feedback. Questionnaires can also be sent out by email, saving you time and legwork.
When compiling your questions, try to cover all important areas that are relevant to the user’s daily work and potential issues that their current systems present.
3. Contextual Enquiries
Contextual enquiries are similar to interviews and are used to observe how users interact with the equipment and software that they use during their daily work. Contextual enquiries are useful because you can interview users while they are actually working.
This ux research method enables the users to highlight issues, preferences, and how long it takes them to complete tasks, presenting you with a picture of what the pros and cons of each process are. Start by asking what your website users want and you’ll retain more customers.
4. Card Sorting
Card sorting is a method that you can use to help evaluate a site and to help in its design. Topics are organised into categories and then divided into labelled groups. Card sorting is designed to help you get a handle on your users’ expectations and their understanding of the topics.
5. Usability Testing
Usability testing is on of my favourite UX research methods as it helps you to evaluate a service or website by testing it across a representative set of users.
Users carry out tasks while you watch and take notes. This process enables you to identify any problems before they are coded.
A great usability testing tool is Usability Hub – this allows you to test your designs with at least 25 real people before you develop your website. Helping you gain valuable feedback and ensure you remove problems before you spend time developing your website.
Why are UX Research Methods so Important?
UX research is important because it prevents you from ultimately designing the wrong website. Assumptions are also removed from the design process as you will have plenty of data readily available to back-up your design.
Thorough and correct research will save your business money and time, because you won’t have to go back and change elements of your design once the website is complete.
Further Reading & Advice:
UX Research Cheat Sheet by NN Group
As Susan Farrell says “User-experience research methods are great at producing data and insights”. This cheatsheet of UX methods and activities can help you decide which to use when.