Customer Research User Experience (UX) topic overview/definition


Customer Research: Concept Definition

Customer research is conducted so as to identify customer segments, needs, and behaviors. It can be carried out as part of market research, user research, or design research. Even so, it always focuses on researching current or potential customers of a specific brand or product in order to identify unmet customer needs and/or opportunities for business growth.

Customer research can focus on simple demographics of an existing or potential customer group (such as age, gender, and income level). Indeed, these considerations are vital determinants of a product’s target audience. However, such research also often seeks to understand various behaviors and motivators—factors which place a product’s use and potential on a higher level of study. Thus, the goal of such research is to expose clear details about who is—or will be—using a product as well as the reasons behind their doing so and how they go about using it (including the contextual areas of “where” and “when”). Customer research may be conducted via a variety of quantitative and qualitative methods such as interviews, surveys, focus groups, and ethnographic field studies. It also commonly involves doing desk research of online reviews, forums, and social media to explore what customers are saying about a product.

While customer research is usually conducted as part of a design project, it is also often conducted in other departments of an organization. In some cases, customer research is part of marketing—for instance, to ensure that marketing campaigns have the right focus. In other cases, it can be carried out as part of concept development or ideation so as to identify opportunities for future products, services, or features. In any case, such research is an essential ingredient in keeping the end users in clear sight long before the end of any design phase.

For your convenience, we’ve collected all UX literature that deals with Customer Research. Here’s the full list: