Choosing the Right Study for UX Insights
Getting the right insights means asking the right questions.
In our previous article we discussed how to formulate the right UX research strategy for your company by aligning company-wide goals with product and UX research roadmaps. In this article we’ll take it a step further and give you insights on the right type of research study to get the UX insights you’re after.
Ask, and you shall find
As with most things, starting can be the hardest part when it comes time to develop a UX research roadmap. Your product roadmap might include the fact that customers aren’t very willing to recommend your site or product to friends and colleagues, but you’re tasked with finding out why and increasing that likelihood.
This is when asking general questions is beneficial, questions such as: Can users complete core tasks? Do users understand the language being used? Can they find what they need? By asking questions such as these, and realizing whether or not there is sufficient data around the answers, a team can start to define which studies are needed to gain the UX insights they’re after.
We’ve put together a chart of common UX questions as well as types of studies to find their answer:
By knowing what questions need answered, teams can start to define what studies are required and begin to form a timeline.
A healthy mix of qualitative and quantitative
While building out the roadmap based on your questions, it’s important to keep in mind that a combination of quantitative and qualitative studies are needed for truly actionable insights.
For early stage phases, qualitative studies can help validate design direction, provide early usability insights via prototypes, and can be used to discover pain points throughout the design and iteration phase.
Quantitative studies are great for when you want to collect specific data points and/or use a larger sample size to drive decision-making based on statistically significant data. This can include:
- Voice of the Customer surveys to gather feedback about visitors experiences, identify who’s coming to the site / using your product and why
- Benchmarking to establish a baseline study of the current site experience, and measure if there’s improvement in your KPIs after iterating
- Competitive benchmarking and research to understand what’s working on your competitors sites and how your KPIs stack up
- Information Architecture studies such as Card sorting (to understand how your target audience groups and categorizes information) or Tree Testing (to validate a current IA or test different methods of grouping and categorizing information)
From Roadmap to Research
In the end, after asking the right questions and formulating a list of which studies or methods are required to find the answer, you might have a roadmap that looks something like this:
The reason why Product and UX Roadmaps are effective is because they systematically define what areas need improvement, which can be further refined into deliverables needed to enable success, followed by a proposal of which studies are needed to achieve these deliverables, and offers a timeline that multiple teams can adhere to.
While deciphering which deliverables are needed, and the best study to acquire them, can be a challenge, often times all it takes is asking a few pointed questions to get you moving in the right direction.
Phil got his degree in creative writing, where they told him he most likely wouldn’t be able to use his degree for his career. He obviously won that round. When not working with UX researchers he can be found teaching martial arts and working on his fiction novels.