In the previous article, we focused on UX audit, a way of revealing areas in need of improvement on any website. We talked about the importance of analysing the data gathered from Google Analytics, Hotjar funnels and heat maps. We briefly mentioned UX design research and analysis stages. This article aims to expand on these essential components of the idea implementation process.
UX design research and analysis
UX design research is an important tool that can help you to determine problems your customers face and ways of solving them. New data gathered from research can provide insights into how your product can be developed to better serve the needs of your audience. Surveys, interviews, and questionnaires all provide valuable information that allows you to come up with new ideas and validate proposed solutions for a high-quality product.
But what makes a high-quality product? It is not just a well-structured product development process and quality control that make it ideal, but a product that is convenient, accessible, and valuable to its consumers. Will it be able to generate positive feedback and referrals? But most importantly, is the amount you are going to be charging your customer for that product correspond to the quality and usability of its key features?
For a B2B market, will your product or service be able to optimise your client’s business processes and fulfil objectives to increase profitability? B2C and B2B markets have vastly different criteria for what makes a successful product.
Directional and foundational research
For existing products, directional and foundational research can help to evaluate the condition of a product or service to gain an edge in a competitive market. Directional research is a short-term study (less than two weeks) to answer a single question or a specific hypothesis. The enquiry can be connected to improvements in usability, interface, or product functionality. The end result should consist of a yes or no answer or a short recommendation.
Foundational research is a broader study of consumer wants, needs, goals, and motivations. New trends, technological and market developments constantly influence businesses and their respective products. Timely forecasts come from current information, hence you should strive to perform foundational research on a regular basis and remain in touch with your consumer base.
You can establish an evolving parallel UX loop by combining directional and foundational research.
As a business, we run on certain resources: budget, people, and deadlines for product development or improvement. More often than not these are limited. Therefore, we must utilise them as efficiently and productively as possible. Unfortunately, too many resources are often spent on product features that bring no value to consumers. To make sure these assets are used productively, it is better to spend time on preliminary user and market research to better understand what your customers truly require.
Concentrating solely on programming and rushing through or skipping development stages can all lead to a flawed product. Insufficient testing, quality control, design, and customer research will increase the risk of deteriorating a great idea and a potentially successful product. As a result, statistics show that more than 70% of start-ups are not successful.
Any business initiative relies on many man-hours of hard work. For it to be efficient, project information and insights, problems and solutions should be shared and discussed between departments in a timely manner. A programmer with more information about the intended use of a product will deliver a better end result than a programmer with limited data.
A UX designer that understands system opportunities and limitations is more likely to account for and prevent them from affecting a deliverable. Furthermore, sharing a UX designer’s research with a marketer and vice versa will result in a far more successfully targeted marketing campaign. Thus, a marketer would not have to dedicate valuable time and resources to efforts that will yield little to no results.
Information architecture and navigation design
Quality research, analysis, and limited resources will all help to set priorities in developing Information Architecture (IA) for web platforms. IA identifies and defines site content and functionality and the relationship between the two. Compelling visual elements and effortless interaction form the components of high-quality user experience.
Navigation design, on the other hand, is used to help consumers find information and encourage them to take desirable actions. Unorganised content, no matter how good it is, makes navigation difficult and inexplicit. An unpleasant first impression on any website may result in adverse feedback and higher customer churn rates.
Comprehensive research, systematic analysis, and constructive teamwork will yield an understanding of how your product can fulfil the unmet needs of customers. Evolving product development and sector expertise will help your company to stand out in even the most competitive markets.