Harnessing user experience research can deliver significant benefits during product development, but unless you have a handle on this process you may not appreciate these advantages.
To remedy that, here are a few of the main reasons that thorough investigation into UX is so essential for any business with a product in development.
Reveal unmet needs
Most products are designed to fulfil the needs of users, whether slotting into a competitive niche or exploiting an as yet untapped area of the market. However, even if your product is driven by an innovative idea, you may not appreciate the areas in which it falls flat in terms of customer satisfaction until you invest in user experience research.
By analysing the interactions that real users from outside of the organisation have with your product, you can pinpoint the things that work as well as the problems which were previously invisible. You could even establish that there are other needs that your product meets which were outside the remit of its original design but are nevertheless valuable as an avenue to pursue going forwards.
Make data-driven decisions
While you might like to follow your instincts and listen to your intuition when cooking up a fresh product, doing so might either lead you to make unforced errors or give you a tougher time when trying to convince others to go along with your ideas.
With the data generated through UX research, you will have direct evidence to support the decisions you make, which will be all the more reassuring if your initial inklings are borne out in the testing figures.
Sure, there are expenses associated with UX research, but the idea is that by investing in this upfront you will be able to lower costs in the long run and ultimately avoid mistakes that might have become a financial burden further down the line.
For example, if you are developing a product which has comparatively high manufacturing costs, finding out as soon as possible that there is some unforeseen design flaw through UX research will let you iron out issues long before you ramp up production or have to deal with recalls in the future. Different industries have different development spending habits, but all will want to make savings where possible.
It is rare for a product to evolve from a single design which is consistent throughout the development process; most will branch off at various points as two or more competing designs are tabled to be considered.
While in certain cases there will be one obvious choice, in others there can be internal deadlock as disagreements over which iteration works best develop.
UX research can solve such conundrums quickly and efficiently, leaving little doubt as to which design will deliver the highest levels of satisfaction to the largest number of end users.
Develop products quickly
All of the aspects which UX research can benefit ultimately coalesce to deliver an overarching advantage, which is that your development of products can be catalysed without making sacrifices.
The less time you spend on development, the quicker you get to market, the more chance you have of succeeding.