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User Research – why is it important?

DSS Team
DSS Team
August 16
3 min

“Empathy is at the heart of design. Without understanding what others see, feel, and experience, design is a pointless task.” – Tim Brown, CEO of IDEO, an innovation and design firm.

 

User Research allows us to explore User Experience  before creating an application. It is a series of tests, experiments, and interviews with users that are carried out to prepare a high-level application design that meets the goals set by its creators and is positively perceived by its users. It is an application built in accordance with modern technological standards, with transparent and error-free code, eye-catching design in line with current trends, distinguished by good overall user experience.

 

An application with appropriate User Interface can only be built based on the results of User Research.

 

Why is this order important? By doing appropriate research and designing an application well, we can be sure that our solution is created properly and in accordance with the idea of User Experience and User Interface. We can then avoid situations in which the product is unintuitive and difficult to use, or even unnecessary on the market.

“According to the research published by Startup DevKit, 42% of startups fail due to not meeting the ‘product-market fit’ requirement.”

Marcin Połulich
Marcin Połulich
Manager of Digital Software Services, Hicron

User Research means understanding users

The most basic reason for conducting User Research is to discover the real needs of potential application users. This is how we can prepare its functionalities to meet these needs. As a result – thanks to a well-prepared User Research phase – we have reasons to believe that our application will be successful. A project that is not tailored to the target group is much less likely to succeed.

 

Thanks to User Research you will create tailor-made applications

 

Conducting interviews and observing potential users in the contexts in which they are likely to use the application is a common method of conducting User Research. These include methods such as experiments, texts, or questionnaires taking into account not only the needs of the user in relation to the application itself, but also reaching out to the socio-demographic data of the target group. The goal of User Research is to maximize the usability of an application. Using UX research we can verify whether the planned appearance of the application will be functional and intuitive to use. This gives us a basis for designing the interface of the solution in a way that ensures maximum usability, and thus – achieving the business goals set for the application.

 

Types of UX research

User Research consists of different types of research in several different variants. We select research methods based on, among others, the type of application, budget, availability to potential users, and time. The benefits of performing UX research are as follows:

  • improved application navigation
  • detection of potential errors (in the testing phase)
  • assessment of application reception (look & feel)
  • shortening the time needed to achieve the user’s goal
  • maximizing application usability
  • discovering typical user behaviors

At Hicron we use the following types of research:

  • Prototyping – creating simple screen mockups, e.g. in the form of sketchs, which are then assessed by various groups of recipients
  • In-depth interviews (IDI), which we mentioned earlier in the article “UX VALUE & STRATEGY – benefits of investing in an application
  • Heuristic analysis – exploration of the application in order to find potential errors or problems. We then analyze specific navigation paths based on good practices, own experiences, and intuition
  • Card sorting – method used especially for planning information architecture in an application, e.g. menu navigation
  • Focus groups – moderated discussions between participants with different opinions about an application, conducted according to a scenario that includes contentious points and key themes regarding the use and goals of the application
  • Usability tests – in a nutshell, such tests consist in carrying out several tasks based on known behavior patterns, such as purchasing a product in an online store or finding a specific piece of information or button in an application. In the next step, the participant performs the task under supervision, commenting on their actions and pointing out errors in the application. This is often done in combination with analysis of user session recordings and eye tracking analysis.

 

“There’s no denying that digitization and human-computer interaction will continue to progress, so it is worth designing the UX and UI area appropriately, because a child or a teenager will use different tools than a person who is 30, 40 or 50, 60 years old. In our current reality, human-computer interaction is everywhere.

Marcin Połulich
Marcin Połulich
Manager of Digital Software Services, Hicron

Do you want to learn how we can maximize the usability of your application? Contact our consultants via chat or fill out the form below.

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