A comprehensive guide to conducting user experience studies

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Organisations, even today, may not choose to conduct user research, as they are unsure about the cost, time and effort it takes to recruit the required experts. Therefore, they may not consider research important enough, which, most of the time, proves to be a huge mistake.

A product or service can be considered successful only if it addresses an actual customer problem, and user research helps gain insight on preferences, motivations and goals of customers/the target audience.

User research refers to the actions undertaken to understand the target market, audience and product, and design the user experience. User surveys were traditionally conducted in-person, but online channels have gained significant popularity in recent years, accelerated by the pandemic.

Simply put, organisations conduct user experience research to gain thorough knowledge of how their target audience/customers react to the product or service offered or new concepts launched, and to develop their strategies in line with that understanding.

User experience research helps prevent entrepreneurs and business owners from making decisions based solely on their ideas and experience, which may not be the same as those of their users. It helps them resist this temptation and develop designs and business models that are more user-centric. It also helps businesses identify design and usability mistakes, helping save substantial time and effort and maximise profitability.

Types of user studies

The type of user study that should be conducted depends on factors such as its application, the product or service being studied, the timeline and the environment. The following are common types of user study:

  • Generative research

  • Evaluative research

  • Quantitative research

  • Qualitative research

How to conduct user studies

User research must be conducted properly to gain accurate insight on users’ pain areas, problems, needs, desires, preferences and overall behaviour. The process of conducting user research is illustrated below.

Step1: Set objectives

Step 2: Define hypothesis

Step 3: Choose a research methodology

Step 4: Conduct research

Step 5: Extract insights

Research methods

It is essential to use the appropriate methodology when conducting user research to save time, resources and effort. The following are some of the most common research methods:

  • Interviews

  • Focus groups

  • Surveys

  • Card sorting

  • Usability testing

Acuity’s value proposition

With more than two decades of experience in the sector, we understand the importance of user research for business. We are sector-agnostic, and our research is anchored in empathy-driven responses for B2C studies and data-driven insights for B2B studies that help businesses understand the crux of the problem and make informed decisions.

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