How To Think Like A UX Researcher - 2 minutes read
Before a new website goes live, a lot of thought needs to go into how users will interact with it, which ultimately will affect their experience and influence whether it was positive or negative. The work of the UX (User Experience) researcher is therefore very important for a website. This blog will take you through what UX research is, what a UX researcher does, and how you can think more like them.
What is UX research?
UX research is ‘the systematic study of target users and their requirements, to add realistic contexts and insights to design processes’. While UX research can be undertaken at any stage of a website’s design, the earlier it is carried out, the better, as the research insights will help to shape the final design and work to improve a user’s experience with the website.
UX research can be in either a qualitative (interviews, field studies) or quantitative (surveys, analytics) format, with two main approaches, attitudinal (listening to what users say) or behavioral (observing what users do). Using both formats and approaches will often result in the richest data, which can then give designers a better idea of how to apply the research to construct the website interface.
What does a UX researcher do?
The role of a UX researcher is ‘designing, conducting, analysing, and reporting on user-centred design research and usability testing’, which includes ‘identification of user needs and goals, task and workflow modelling as well as unmoderated usability testing, and more formal, in-depth testing.’
A very important quality for a UX researcher is empathy, that is, thinking like an end user, listening to their views, and interpreting their needs and goals, to make a website user friendly. This comes about through first understanding the problem or challenge in front of them, applying certain methods to assess how users respond in the context of this problem/challenge, gaining insights that can be turned into practical ideas, and relaying this information to the design team to help shape the final design and user experience.
How can you think more like a UX researcher?
UX research is about more than just the surface design of a website, but instead looks at the system as a whole. A UX researcher aims to simplify a user’s experience, although this may result in a more complex system which the user doesn’t see.
Some of the main qualities of a UX researcher are curiosity, problem solving, and collaboration: wanting to understand a problem, finding ways to solve it, and then working with others to interpret how the system can best deliver the required results.
The best way to approach UX research and think more like a UX researcher is to place the user at the centre and understand that the responses you receive from users may not conform to your own preconceived ideas, so you may have to be flexible and adapt your approach based on the feedback you receive.
Testmate is a leader in UX research and user testing, working closely and collaboratively with businesses to help them find potential issues, improve conversion rates, and discover new ideas. Contact us to find out how Testmate can help you.
- User Experience