UX research is the most essential part of the UX design process. If you don’t find out what your users want (or need); it is nearly impossible to provide them with the right user experience. That often means that we need to build a team of researchers that can be thrown into action when they’re needed by a client. Here are 5 great tips to get more from your UX research:
Team Diversity is Really Important
We don’t just mean the kind of diversity that is needed as a standard for all businesses to reflect the needs of their communities; we mean academic/career diversity too. You want researchers with experience of the topic in hand and those without, for example. Why? Those with experience may be able to drill down in depth with your users to get a deep understanding of their issues. Those without, on the other hand, may pick up on issues that more experienced people miss because they make assumptions based on their experience.
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It’s also a good idea to try and get someone from your client’s team to join the research team; this offers the client reassurance that their ideas and opinions are always important to the research.
Rapport Building is Critical
Your users need to be comfortable in order to fully contribute to your research. That means your team needs to be capable of creating rapport with users quickly.
A simple routine for this might be:
- Introduce yourself and what you do
- Explain that the user should treat you like you don’t know anything at all about the product
- Ask some simple questions that show a keenness to learn about the product in detail
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Learn to Ask More Questions
It can be hard to work out what someone means by their words and even body language alone. In other cases it can be hard for someone to express what they mean in words. The more questions that you ask, the easier it becomes to explore what someone means. “Why?” is a very handy question to ask and you can ask it often to drill down farther into someone’s meaning.
Videos Can Make a Huge Difference
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It is really difficult to observe someone properly when you’re talking to them. You’re trying to listen to them, you’re trying to make notes, and you’re trying to ask relevant questions – there’s too much focus on other things for you to watch someone. If you can start to video your interviews, you’ll be amazed at how much they reveal when you play them back. They can help inform not just the current research but also help you tweak your behaviour for the next research too.
Leave Your Solution at Home
Yes, you’re probably really clever. Yes, you probably have ideas of what you think would fix problems. Yes, you need to stop being clever and keep your ideas to yourself. If you have a pre-designed solution; you need to resist pushing it on your users. The point of research is to find out what someone thinks not to hand them something and say; “This is great! Isn’t it?” – you may get the answers you want but not the answers you need this way.
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