You’re about to start working on a web service for your customers. Question now is whether or not your project will meet your user’s expectations. Any company that has ever worked on a product or service has always needed to do market research. It’s the process which will allow the company to gathering information about consumers’ needs and preferences. User Research is similar in which it’ll allow the company to gain knowledge on what are the expectations of the customer and how to meet them. So, now you need to ask yourself, “Is it worth it to do User Research?”
How We Got Here
Let’s start at the beginning. What started all these types of research processes? Back in the beginning of the website age there really wasn’t any need for user research. True, the websites of those days were archaic and crude, but there was only one way to view them; on a computer screen. The smartphone then came into the picture, yet still the design process was pretty much the same as for the websites. Then came the age responsiveness and the design world got turned upside down! The design world were pushed to make websites respond to various screen sizes and then came the apps! Users began to demand for better user experience using the products being given.
What is User Experience
In the words of the father of User Experience, Donald Norman, “Human interface and usability were too narrow. Coverage of all aspects of the person’s experience with the system is user experience.” Meaning, how the end user experiences any type of emotion is how they interact with the product; otherwise known as User Experience. User Experience, also known as UX, is a team effort. UX encompasses all aspects of the end-user’s interaction with the company, its services and its products. UX is very broad and requires a team effort to provide a great experience to the user.
Because it’s a team effort, everyone can affect it:
- If a developer introduces a bug, it impacts the UX.
- If a product manager doesn’t take into consideration user needs, features users don’t need might be prioritized; adding unneeded man-hours to a task that won’t be used in the end.
- If a sales team member lacks great customer service, the user may not purchase the product or service.
- If the design is not intuitive, the user will get frustrated and move on to a different service.
Benefits of User Research
User Research is just that, research of a user. User Research, or UR, is a process that allows a project to meet user’s expectations. Because it is a process of a project’s creation, it is in essence part of the User Experience tree. There are some people out there that believe that User Research is not necessary. That can be true in certain situations, but unless you have endless amount of funding it would be best to conduct user research.
- Saves money! Building a product or service people don’t want or can’t use is expensive and time consuming.
- Anyone can do it.
- Allows for better project management.
- It can be done at any stage of the project.
- Allows your product/service to meet user’s expectations.
User Research is a vital step in your company’s reputation of products and services. Customers will appreciate that you are taking the time and putting in the effort of listening to them. In the end, people don’t want what they can’t use.