User Experience Research - Hero

User Experience Research

Weave user feedback throughout the entire design process

Weave user feedback throughout the entire design process

By collecting user research during each phase of the production, including concept creation, design/development, and after the product goes live, we can focus entirely on the user and the experiences they have with our products.

User interviews

After defining the target audience through data collection and stakeholder interviews, it is time to understand your archetype users. One of the most straightforward methods is the user interview. They can manifest in the form of one-on-one sessions or phone calls. Regardless the format, the essential part is the set of conversational questions created to learn about the participant’s goals and aspirations, as well as the path to reach them. During the interview, ask open-ended questions, and be sure to allow the awkward silence to occur. It is at this moment that you will learn about the real pain and joy felt by the participants. In the end, personas, profiles, and user journeys can be created based on the empirical data collected.

Field studies

As the saying goes, “there’s no place like work.” Okay, maybe that’s not the exact phrase, but for many professionals who spend 60+ hours in the office, work can feel like home. Because of this, field studies performed in the participant’s place of employment produce the most accurate results. While there, be sure to take note of the outcomes the participants are working to accomplish instead of the features used to achieve them.

Diary studies

While usability tests are an excellent option for quick task-based behaviors, diary studies allow longitudinal data collection. Let me provide an example. While at Nintendo, we were tasked to improve the game development experience, which was composed of many software tools for a variety of roles. Think Adobe Suite for game development! Testing these individual products would have been a futile task without actually producing something with them due to the in-depth knowledge required to use the tool. So we did. Our department created an in-house game development team for the sole purpose of eating our dog food. Each day, the team members would compose diary entries for the UX Team. These compositions included their daily goals and the pain they experienced reaching them. We would then divide the feedback into a variety of categories from software bugs to unintuitive interfaces. Bugs would go to our quality assurance team for development improvements, while experience issues stayed with the design team, allowing us to dig deeper into the problem. For our purpose at Nintendo, diary studies became a pinpointing tool in a very complicated process.

Archetype personas

All of the user interviews conducted should be empathetically displayed for the team to remember their product audience. The most straightforward method for this is the creation of a persona: the incorporation of empirical data into a set of fictitious target users. Each persona is to be made up of multiple participant interviews and include the archetypes’ needs, goals, and concerns; their background like age, gender, and technical proficiency; as well as an image to represent them.

Social media monitoring

In today’s digital age, customer feedback is readily available at the tap of a screen. Whether companies review them or not, customers are continually rating and reviewing their services and products across multiple social networks and websites. As User Experience Designers, this content is an easy solution to better learn and engage with our audience.

User surveys

Whether needfinding or collecting user feedback, surveys are an excellent research option with many methods available to accomplish the goal. Take for instance a mobile app. An intercept survey could be used to initiate polls asking about the usability of particular application features. Many companies also send out customer satisfaction surveys through email at the end of a service. Then there is the needfinding survey produced before or after qualitative studies to gain quantitative knowledge.

Clickstream analysis

This research technique can be a bit tricky for applications with proprietary knowledge stored behind a firewall, but it is the perfect solution for public-facing websites and apps. My two favorite clickstream analysis applications are Hotjar and Crazy Egg. Both have a free version for personal or low-traffic sites. After gathering a sufficient amount of data, designers can use this information to make informed user interface changes. With both companies mentioned above, you can see how far users typically scroll, what areas visitors click, and while on desktop view, the placement of their mouse.

Design Process

To guide the path forward

Design Process

To guide the path forward