Good design has its roots set in both the user as well as business needs, this isn't a statement that requires too much validation. It's just a fact at this point in time. The tools however required to reach a stage where the design is functional as well as effective in what we are going to be pondering upon.
In a users market, no product can be expected to thrive without research that precisely points to the pains and the solution to answer those pains in bold letters. This is where user research enters. The pathway to creating design solutions that are grounded and focused on the user experience.
User research is fundamental to understanding your audience and not just inform change but rather drive it.
What is it?
A study to figure out every user's characteristics, aims and behaviors for creating an optimal design that caters to the target users is what user research is all about. It involves the continuous evaluation of the impact of the created designs on the intended users, not just during the development stage but rather even after long term use of the designed application.
As part of the research process both qualitative as well as quantitative data is collected in relation to the product. Usually, a set list of general questions is what drives this research
Who your users are
What their needs are
What they want
How they currently do things
How they'd like to do them
Why it is important?
Context. This is the miracle word that drives design philosophy. Understanding precisely what the users want at every given point of time, charts the growth matrix for any product that is released into the market. Research helps you move away from assumptions and engage with real users. Without doing so you are virtually going in blind praying that a particular product would work.
It helps you design better products
Research helps design better. It's a fact. You are at the end of the day trying to design a product that people would actually use. The mantra in the UX world has always beensome research is better than none.
It saves money and time
Skipping this step has never helped anyone. If a product is created without due diligence of the market, it will have usability issues & design flaws both of which are preventable. The competitive edge that a product would receive is also unparalleled. Running on real insights and facts is important, not blind guesswork.
Why do people skip user research?
Assumption of the users wants
The assumption that you already understand your user may lead you to skip out on conducting user research. This is a definite set up for failure. When Google+ was launched it was assumed that there was a gap in the market for another social media platform. The assumption that because you're the developer as well as a potential user, you understand the market is a false one.
Costs related to user research
User research is a massive undertaking with far-reaching effects and that also makes ita process slightly heavy on the pocket or so one assumes. Lack of research createsanincreased likelihood of the fact that the design and usability of the application may notbe optimized for the correct demographic. So to save time and resources in the future for iterations it is important that user research is carried out. Research in contrast to the preset beliefs can actually take place on a minimal budget.
It seems daunting
Receiving criticism for any person is a difficult task but when it is in relation to something you have been working on, it becomes even more difficult. But without userinput, there is no way that a product can be successful. User interaction helps in pointing out the flaws at an earlier stage and save money in the future.
How to Ensure Effectiveness
Once you have gauged a broad overview of what user research is all about, now comes the time to ensure that when it is feasible to execute the research with ease and optimal efficiency. One needs to ensure that the users they select to partake in the research will the ones using the product in the future.
Now that you know why UX research is important and how to make it more effective, itis also essential to remember that research is a never-ending process starting early to right before the launch. It is the bridge between the customer and the brand. The market is a dynamic field, constantly evolving to create spaces for newer technologies.Every product that you create needs to move hand in hand with the same or else risk extinction.