What separates amazing websites from average ones? Amazing websites provide an extraordinary user experience! And a deep understanding of a target audience is vital for designing a website visitors will love. Still, many web designers neglect the importance of user research during the development process.
In today’s article, professionals from Alpha Efficiency will tell you exactly how conducting user research can benefit you and how to do it successfully.
What is User Research?
User research is a method used in UX which allows you to understand the needs and behaviors of the people who use a product or website. It involves interacting with users to understand their needs, motivations, and behaviors so that you can make improvements to your design.
User research is a crucial part of web design because it helps to ensure that a website or app provides a great user experience and is easy to use by the target audience. You can perform it in many different ways, which often involve conducting user testing sessions with real people to gather feedback on a design. It should be the first step in building a product, which means it helps designers get their ideas off the ground.
How to Conduct User Research?
You can research your target audience in different ways, which are usually sorted into two groups: Qualitative and Quantitative research methods. They both have benefits and drawbacks, so for the best results, you might want to combine different approaches. Let’s see why:
With these methods, you will usually gather data by directly observing users. It will give you more abstract answers and an in-depth understanding of how test subjects feel when using your website.
Interviews are conducted one on one with users. You can ask them to describe how they feel interacting with your design, and to tell you what they would change and why.
In this research method, participants are asked to group different items, and even name those groups. This can help you organize your products by different categories in a way that will feel natural to end-users.
This group of methods is based on gathering results that can be quantified.
In A/B testing, you will set two slightly different versions of a website and show it to many users. This method can help you measure how each element that you change impacts the user behavior on the website. For example, you can get the exact number of people that clicked on both blue and red versions of a “buy now” button. But do not be afraid to even test completely different design approaches with A/B testing.
Surveys with structured questionnaires can help you gather data quickly. Many online tools can be useful for conducting surveys.
This type of testing will give you a clear picture of how easy your website is to navigate. Organize categories and subcategories, ask participants to find a specific product or a piece of content, and then measure where they click.
How User Research can help you
1. Create a Relevant Design
To create a website visitors will find engaging, you must first understand what your target audience wants. You can obtain a lot of valuable information by performing interviews with part of your audience. It will enable you to start the project in the right direction. Then keep measuring how your target audience reacts to every change you make during the design process. You must find out why users are coming to your website, and what actions they perform upon arrival. It will help you build deeper connections with your visitors.
2. Make a User-Friendly Design
Making a website easy to use is vital for ensuring that the user experience will be great. Usability tests can help you with that. People want to be comfortable using a website from the moment they arrive on it. Every element that proves as an obstacle that confuses visitors should be removed. But assuming that your website is simple to use just because you applied concepts of minimalism might not take you too far. It is best to conduct tests during the whole web design process to ensure that the final product provides the best possible user experience.
3. Save Time and Money
It will enable you to start the project in the right direction, avoiding mistakes that could prove costly. Taking wild guesses about how users will respond to your new design is not advisable. A website that fails to satisfy its visitors must be redesigned which requires additional resources. User research can save you a lot of nerves going forward.
4. Understand the Return on Investment of your UX design
Sometimes it is hard to prove that investing resources in UX design will pay off in the long run. Conducting user research can help you measure the improvement in sales that it could bring. You can perform A/B tests even after your website is launched, as it might help you make adjustments that would increase conversion rates. Achieving a good ROI is the ultimate test UX design must pass before you invest efforts and money into it.
User research is one of the most important parts of the website design process. It’s the phase where we get to talk to real people and learn about their goals, their problems, and their experiences.
It’s where we discover why our web designs are successful, and where we find opportunities to improve. That is why we believe you should conduct user research all the time. After all, your whole website is built for users to interact with your business, right?