Many of our clients come to us with a general knowledge of web and mobile technology. They understand the implications of the end product, but are unaware of amount of user research involved in designing the product.
Studying user behavior is an exciting and enlightening part of our process. Not only does our research reveal the behaviors users exhibit during certain actions, it also helps determine a more thorough and efficient use of available design trends and technology. Many factors are involved in satisfying a user’s expectations while he/she is using a software product. The processes involved in gaining insight into those expectations help create an effective way to increase the overall user satisfaction and experience. To start, let’s take a look at the scientific method, slightly modified for purpose of UX Research.
1) Ask A Question
Here we start collaborating with the client and product team to devise multiple questions about the client’s business model, design and copy variations, as well as available technologies that may or may not improve the user experience.
2) Research Now it’s time to conduct background research from similarly tried approaches, competitive analysis, thought-leadership, and books. We also refer back to data produced from previous experiments and similar use-cases to determine if they may be a good fit for the current project.
Now it’s time to conduct background research from similarly tried approaches, competitive analysis, thought-leadership, and books. We also refer back to data produced from previous experiments and similar use-cases to determine if they may be a good fit for the current project.
Now it’s time for us to hypothesize using the information gained from research as well as our professional experience. E.g., “Changing the menu list orientation will increase (or decrease) engagement by x%.”
Use analysis software and in-house methodologies to analyze and interpret the data. We then apply these interpretations to produce the most optimal outcome.
Digging a little deeper, some questions our team may ask are; “Is a user more willing to login/signup before this screen, or after?”, “Does this menu animation increase interaction for this button, or distract from the determined user goal?”, or “Which access point (or call-to-action) within this app is the most effective at converting users?”. With these questions in mind, we start with our intuition, research, feedback, and user personas to help develop a list of hypotheses. Then we test and analyze hypotheses with our methodologies and software. Then iterate the product design based off the gathered data. Now it’s time to interpret and communicate those results via an iterative design process and the optimal user-flow.
The first thing we do as we dive into research is to hypothesize the designs we and the client feel best direct users towards a desired outcome. We determined outcomes during our client Creative Meetings. Outcomes could be a user submitting a form, adding credit card information, or creating an account. Using information from research, we create 3-5 iterations of designs that may or may not affect conversion rates. Design variations may entail varied information architecture, text vs. icon labels, color variations, or varied application screen-flows. We then developed the variations, plug them into our analysis software, and wait a few weeks to gather data.
Iterate, Iterate, Iterate
No project ever feels complete. Our process involves continuous iterations as we gain further insight into our users. One month may show an influx of users that use an app one way, but another month may show something completely different. This is where the value of an agile approach presents itself. Being on top our analytics ensures user satisfaction, and thus client satisfaction.