What is User Research?
User Research is the understanding process of target users and their principal features. It includes their needs and primary necessities related to market research. About this, designers get a perspective on how to make a bold and helpful design. User research looks for methods to solve potential problems and crucial factors.
Its purpose lies in placing the design process into context and making it real. It looks for solutions when facing problems to solve. It defines the market and target addressed to express what product or service is needed. So, it helps to get things done by understanding design from the mind and not just technologies.
User Research represents a fundamental insight into what we need for product development. When it comes to it, most people think they know what to cover first, but they ignore some crucial questions. What is essential for my project? Why do I need it for software development? How can you get research in this early stage? So, let's read this article to find out how to start user research and product development on the right foot!
Main Types of User Research
Attitudinal vs. Behavioral User Research
It checks user behaviors to understand how a user can react through examination. It helps to catch all the emotions the client experience when choosing a product. In sum, attitudinal research measures what your customers say, while behavioral research measures what they do. This analysis can be beneficial for developers and designers to get how users will reject-accept functions and features.
Quantitative vs. Qualitative User Research
In quantitative as opposed to qualitative studies methods, UX is studied in comparison. Qualitative Research relies on non-numerical insights like opinions and motivations. Meanwhile, quantitative research gathers data points in a measurable form. With the aid of using frequency and occurrence with deeper scrutiny, we usually cover it. This method seeks to locate the why at the back of the events and their frequencies.
The Context of Product Use
This one involves researching and investigating what the participants are getting into consideration. It refers to recognizing a product or service by asking for a first impression or showing other options. For these purposes, it considers both context and inquiries. In this sense, context analyzes users in their natural environment. Further, it focuses on everyday activities conduction. Moreover, inquiry involves researchers asking for information about why users do what they do.
User Research vs. Usability
The main difference between both is that user research analyzes who the user is. Conversely, usability comprises if the project gets what we want them to experience. This implies that the first one provides the main ideas while the other analyzes how they work.
User Research in Software Development Stages
User Research in Early Software Development
It is fundamental for each product development, especially in the early stages. It gives the importance of knowing what a customer thinks about a design to see if it fits what a client wants. Based on this, the principal features that help product development are:
1. Time Management. This means involving user research in development simultaneously with the other product stakeholders. It helps not to waste time and money without waiting for its final version.
2. Meetings. The essential part is the adaptability and flexibility that meetings have. Creating sessions should be helpful at the beginning to know where to start and when.
3. Adoption. The first thing to consider is not forcing adaption if no information is available. This represents the importance it has to know the audience your product has. User research can be beneficial at the early stages. Due to its impact, you can agree on getting aspects of competition, positionality, and unseen versions. Also, not creating a product without enough information cannot be successful.
4. Market and Partners. User experience helps to know what the market gets used to. This implies getting in touch with people you are unfamiliar with about their work. This stage comprises what the competitors and partners expect about your product. At the same time, this can be accompanied by advice or the best ways of thinking.
User Research in Development Stages
Product development requires more information for product development, including its initial stages. Regarding this, some essential steps that are affected by this method are:
1. Brainstorming. User research affects it because a client can change a complete design. This refers to suggestions that appear when a customer sees the possible product.
2. Technical Tasks. Another exciting stage that is affected is the technological approach. After receiving suggestions, a developer can use new technologies to get things done.
3. Testing Day. This is the most affected stage since it is when the product meets the client. At this point, everything can happen and start from scratch or not. This involves the final thoughts that user research can give and the possible ways to apply them.
The Benefits of User Research
What customers think about your product is essential for knowing what to expect. It can benefit your business since it helps test future user interactions. This is when we see the difference between what you think the client requires and what they need. Some of the most beneficial aspects that user research gives to businesses are related to cutting costs and time, optimizing task performance, and improving details and look of products. User Research is also esential to avoid mistakes, understanding business models better, and letting team members to get familiar with the product earlier.
User Research covers more than developers think to create a product. Analyzing experiences through this method is necessary to understand the needs and goals. Choosing the proper user research can help to shape an outstanding development at the right time!
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