Why user research matters to UX

Why user research matters to UX
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Here in Syndicode we do have strong skills in UX design. And we constantly improve them by staying in sync across various disciplines, including research, visual design, development, product management, and more. To share our experience with you, we’d like to tell about the importance of user research. Why user research matters to UX?

UX designer is a person with the power to attract the user and make him loyal to your product. That’s why UX designer is not only the one to create the wireframes and prototypes. He needs to understand who the user is and the way he could behave. To get the insights and create the solution for users’ needs UX designer should provide user research.

To highlight the importance of the user research we extracted some viable points from the observations made by IBM UX designer, Alissa Lee.

1. How user research impact and benefit UX design?

As you could notice, user interactions provide the opportunity for UX designers to get one step closer in thinking about the tools and data they can use to design products like information architecture, wireframes, prototypes, etc. Designer needs to be able to understand the data for representing it to user in a clear, hierarchical, scannable and scalable way. Usually, function takes priority over form. Therefore to gain a better understanding of the data UX designer should work with user research.

As the designer creates low to high fidelity wireframes, research will also progressively inform the complexity, depth, and scale of the data that needs to be represented through the designs. Content or data insights received from the user research are crucial and must be carefully delivered within UX design.

However, you have to keep in mind that there is a balance when gauging how much impact user research should have on UX. Design changes are often to be made instantaneously whenever users express unfavorably to a specific part of a design. And this is not reasonable. We recommend that changes should only be made once the design team has identified patterns or quantitative data for the appropriate fixes to the design.

2. User research is a teamwork

Depend on a project size it’s often hard to gain user data with a single individual effort. So user research should be provided with a team to spent a great level of time and effort required. To provide an accurate user research you need to do next things:

  • Gaining a baseline of knowledge about the business direction and the domain space
  • Devising a research plan that outlines the necessary steps to gain a better understanding of the problem space
  • Identifying roles that best represent the target users
  • Preparing questions and guidelines to assist in conducting user interviews
  • Documenting user feedback
  • Synthesizing user research to make actionable insights and identify areas of opportunity

When analyzing and synthesizing research, one individual’s opinion cannot be the driving voice to unveiling an insight. Here as in any other work, creativity is achieved through collaboration.

Apart from the help of UX, user research should include also other disciplines like visual design and development.

Additionally, having more people involved in the synthesizing phase enables them to internalize the data and gain a deeper understanding of user’s needs.

3. Balancing user research and UX

Having more awareness and gaining influence from areas that can better inform your work empowers you for leadership would and encourage your decisions. Obviously, participating in user research will take a lot of time out of your hands, especially if you have specific discipline-related tasks that need to be completed. In this case, you’d better prioritize your tasks to not lose the track. Make sure to check in when your priorities have shifted to creating wireframes. Anyway, as UX designer, you should insist your preference be a part of the research, especially during the beginning stages of UX research.

UX design and user research are co-dependent of one another. And to provide the best design you have to understand every single thing about your user.

Based on Why UX needs to partner with user research materials.

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