User Experience / UX Research Cheat Sheet: Breaking Down the Methods Used

UX Research Cheat Sheet: Breaking Down the Methods Used

Andy Thorne
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Put simply, good UX research design means better business. The more we all adapt to the digital age, the more critical seamless UX design is (that’s user experience, by the way). A frictionless digital experience is an essential way to influence consumers to stay on your website, trust you and your brand, and keep coming back.

According to research, every dollar invested in UX has an ROI of $10-$100. Having a strategic approach from the beginning is the best way to promote this credibility longterm.

Once you’ve established quality UX design, UX research is the next step. UX research allows you to evaluate your process, see what’s working (and what’s not), and tailor to your user’s needs even more. This all results in—you guessed it—better business.

Here, we discuss the methods used in UX research (which conveniently break down into two straightforward practices). If you’re curious about improving your bottom line by turning traffic into sales, this guide’s for you.

What Is UX Research?

What is UX research?

UX research reduces those unknowns, helping you create a more solid foundation for improvement.

You likely understand the importance of the user experience. After all, that’s who you’re catering to, right? Your audience.

If your website is already optimised for the user experience, you’re heading in the right direction. But how can you know that your UX design is working for you?

There lies one of the significant challenges of UX—knowing what’s working, and coming up with new techniques to further deliver that positive experience. That’s where UX research comes in.

UX research helps reduce those unknowns, helping you create a more solid foundation for improvement.

UX research helps convert website visitors into loyal customers by keeping them satisfied and engaged with seamless, navigable design.

UX research helps answer crucial questions, such as

  • How do customers interact with my product or service?
  • How do web users interact with my webpage?
  • What are the gaps in my website that contribute to eroding conversion rates?

Using two different tactics, UX testing evaluates and assesses your current strategies and helps you improve upon them. This allows you to measure clear patterns and set new goals. Those two methods are generative research and evaluative research, and they each have their advantages.

Let’s break down these sophisticated techniques even more.

Generative UX Research

Generative Research

Used to test early stages of a project or validate a redesign of an existing digital asset or service.

We’ll begin with generative research, as this is best applied in the earlier stages.

If you want to rapidly discover if an idea has value to your business and your customers, you’d use generative research. This tests the early stages of a project and can validate a redesign or a preexisting digital asset or service. Simply put, this method of UX research

  • Defines problem areas in your website
  • Highlights any design and/or functioning flaws (i.e., things that hinder the user experience)
  • Identifies any issues that block UX
  • Looks at user patterns, habits, behaviours, and attitudes
  • Generative research does this in a few ways, based on your goals.

Generative Testing Methods

Generative testing methods

Generative UX Research involves looking at areas such as website user habits, online behaviour and attitude.

User Interviews
It may involve interviewing your customers. What are their problems? Needs? Answering this question helps you fine-tune your product to truly solve problems, increasing sales.

Ethnographic Studies
Ethnographic studies involve immersion in the community. In this real-life environment, the perspective becomes clearer, helping businesses better understand the problems users face and how to solve them.

Rapid Prototyping
Rapid prototyping is another excellent tactic that allows you to develop and test prototypes quickly—user feedback comes back faster, allowing you to make changes before wasting funds on product development. This makes your small budget that much more substantial.

Web design servicesProducing valuable products that solve the needs of your clientele is a crucial way to earn and keep their business.

Through generative research, these methods become more precise and more productive—allowing you to have more sales.

Evaluative UX Research

Evaluative Research

Used when you have an existing product, and you’re trying to evaluate what’s working and what’s not.

Next up is evaluative research, which is used when you already have an existing product, and you want to discover what’s working and what’s not.

This type of research is used in later stages to identify potential roadblocks—and then remove them.

At this point in UX research, you’ve got a clear understanding of problems your users face and how to solve them through quality design. A clear profile outlines how customers navigate your webpage or prototype. How does evaluative research come to these helpful conclusions?

Evaluative testing methods

Evaluative testing methods

This type of UX research identifies robust and measurably effective design solutions to solve problems your users face.

There are several methods for gathering this information.

A/B Testing
A/B testing, for example, is one technique that “splits” your audience to test different variations of your webpage or prototype. Say you’re checking a landing page—you can show one version of the landing page to audience A and the other to audience B, then compare results.

Screen Recordings
Screen recording is a method of real-time research. By seeing your audience interact with your site in this manner, you eliminate guesswork.

In this method, you can see how a user navigates, clicks, and behaves on your website, which identifies any potential usability issues.

Preference Testing
Another example of real-time testing is even simpler: preference tests. Here, you simply produce several different versions of something, then poll your audience to see which they like best.

Another effective way of using real people to get real answers is through usability lab testing. In this tactic, users are observed in a specific environment as they interact with your site, product, or service.

In a controlled research lab such as this, you can directly see what’s working and what’s not.

Turn Traffic Into Sales Today

As you can see, UX research breaks down in a straightforward, actionable manner. It’s equally as crucial as having seamless UX design.

Once high-quality UX design is practised, the next step is follow-through. UX research allows you to see what’s working, improve upon it, and leave unhelpful practices behind.

These tactics are sure to bring more sales, better customer retention, and improve your trustworthiness as a brand.

Contact us today to see how we can help you improve your bottom line.

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