When it comes to building a good user experience for your customers, both UX design and UX research are important parts of the process. While both aspects of UX are key to developing a strong user interface, they both play different roles. In this article, we will discuss UX research and UX design and the key components of each.
UX research is the process of collecting qualitative and quantitative data about the user journey, interaction with the user interface, and overall user experience of a mobile app or website. Through UX research, UX researchers are able to pick up on flaws in the in the interface, workflow, and navigation of their design. From there, UX designers are able to make changes that are centered on what users actually want or need to see.
Types of UX research
There are several types of UX research that any UX researcher can tap into. It all depends upon what information they wish to learn from the research. Here are a few types of UX research:
Card sorting is a form of UX research that focuses on information architecture and early-stage structure. Users sort different aspects of your site or app into categories, based on what they feel is the most intuitive way to group them. This form of UX research requires very little in the way of development, which allows you to get first looks into your customers’ minds.
Prototype usability testing
Prototype usability testing is a type of UX research that features a more fully fleshed out design, although the user interface may be incomplete. With this, users can easily identify early issues with navigation or the user journey. From there, UX designers can make decisions about how to refine and perfect the app or website’s UX.
There are many apps and platforms out there that give insight into user behavior on your website or mobile app. Google Analytics is obviously the big one. UX researchers can use the data points that these platforms offer to assess user behavior and figure out where and why users are exiting their site or app without converting.
This is the process of comparing two versions of a website or app to discover which one converts the most visitors. This is a fantastic tool to experiment with button locations, colors, banners, and other UI elements. UX designers can implement feedback based on which set of users responded the best to the user experience.
UX design is loosely defined as designing a product with user experience at the forefront. This is all about prioritizing accessibility, navigation, workflow, and the user’s journey, rather than focusing solely on the layout, colors, and other user interface elements. UX research and UX design go hand in hand, in that UX designers take the data collected by UX researchers and apply it to future iteration of the interface. Basically, you cannot have UX design without leveraging UX research.
UX research and UX design steps
There are various strides to go through while creating a user experience. The following are some essential steps to begin with, when implementing UX research and UX design:
Creating a user persona
The initial phase in the process is getting to understand what your listeners might be thinking. This permits you to foster experiences that connect with the voice and feelings of your users. First, you will need to create a user persona, which is a representation of your ideal client.
Making a user persona comprises plunging into client information and identifying who is using your site or app. If you are in the early stages of development, this may look more like generating an ideal client profile, based on the needs you intend to meet. A portion of the demographic qualities you need to consider as you foster your user persona include:
- Identity demographics (age, location, familial status, income, etc.)
- Interests (hobbies, favorites, etc.)
- Professional demographics (profession, industry, job title, etc.)
Furthermore, you can look at additional data points that will assist you in getting to know your users.
Testing the user interface
While you’re developing a user interface, the more information you can gather, the better. Direct a review to look at the viability and nature of user experience between various user interfaces, including your ongoing site. Something as minor as changing a solitary word could influence the viability of your page.
Interview existing and expected users of the framework to acquire an understanding of what might be the best plan. Since the user’s experience is abstract, the most effective way to straightforwardly acquire data is by examining and collaborating with users. A component on the page that you believed was working could appear to be totally imperceptible to the user, so a firsthand perspective on the manner in which they communicate with the site can give significant experiences.
UX researcher and UX designer
UX research is the process of extracting information about the target audience. This includes all the people that would probably be exposed to your app/website and its UX design. The main role of a UX researcher includes:
- Quantitative and qualitative analysis of information to identify and analyze the target audience and performance of the traffic.
- Conducting interviews in which they ask users different questions to investigate certain aspects of the website/app. UX research experts may ask some pinpoint questions to identify specific aspects or just observe users’ behavior to identify their natural impression.
- Administering online surveys to get the opinion of users on a new update or an existing service.
- Completing prototype usability testing to evaluate the UX design in terms of usability, aesthetics, and performance.
On the other hand, UX design experts focuses on how the user interface will look and function when the users interact with it. This involves using sketches, drawings, and wireframes to display the working of the app/website. The main role of a UX designer includes:
- Creating rough sketches and wireframes to identify the functionality of the app.
- Developing a prototype for usability testing.
- Implementing feedback into a final product after several usability tests and good results.
UX researcher skills
While hiring a UX research expert, you should always keep the following things in mind:
- Ensure that the person has adequate knowledge of different research methods.
- UX researchers must be able to craft significant, meaningful questions and also have the skills to research all sorts of questions and their answers.
- The researcher must enjoy solving problems; otherwise, it would become a burden for them
- Able to analyze, summarize, and prioritize information according to its importance. Must also be a good communicator to communicate with the management teams.
- Knowledgeable of statistical tools to solve complex information and generate reliable results.
Apart from these skills, UX researchers don’t necessarily have to get a degree in any specific program to get a job anywhere. Most of these experts are self-made.
UX designer skills
Any UX designer needs to have the following skills to be hired by a firm:
- Adequate experience in UX design
- Creativity to be flexible while the design process
- Fluent in conversing and explaining the design
- Excellent drawing skills on and off-screen
- Must be a good team worker and should be able to partner with developers
- Expertise in wireframes, sketches, and design software
Once again, you don’t require any specific degree for this particular role. You can learn these skills from different platforms, but you must be fluent in your work.
We have briefly elaborated on UX research and UX design in this article. We hope that, after reading this article, you have a better understanding of these two different components and how they are connected to one another.