UX research strategy

Experts say “UX without Users is just X.” It means a design without keeping users in mind is a huge cross. Don’t do it.  Because creating products in a vacuum is no longer an option for any organization. Before purchasing a product, consumers are becoming more and more competent at conducting their own research online. It’s also becoming easier to get into most industries, which means that more products than ever are up against more competition than ever before.

When it comes to developing products that resonate with their target customers, product teams today need constant guidance and feedback from those users. To put it another way, any company hoping to bring a successful product to market needs to conduct user research. Similarly, to bring out a fruitful outcome from user research, it needs a properly planned UX Research Strategy.

What is UX Research Strategy? 

In general,  a research strategy is a step-by-step plan of action that helps the researcher figure out what to do next. It lets a researcher do the research in a planned and organized way. The main goal is to explain the most essential parts of the study, such as the research topic, areas, primary focus, research design, and research methods.

And research strategy in UX  is a detailed plan to match a company’s brand identity with the user experience it wants at every point where a customer interacts with the company.  A good User Experience strategy helps you pick the most memorable experiences and ensure they happen at every point where the user interacts with your product. The following points will help you understand the importance of UX research strategy:

  •  It develops a culture of ongoing learning, establishes milestones, and emphasizes the value of research. 
  • It makes sure that the team’s resources are in line with the team’s vision, users’ needs, and technical resources. Also, make sure that the key players are focused on solving the most important problems for the target users. 
  • It provides concrete success metrics. Knowing what success looks like and how it will be measured from the start makes it much easier to quantify the impact of design decisions to keep the product on track.
  • It makes people think about the user first. Validated user research helps the UX team learn more about the user, such as what makes them unhappy and what their goals are.

When do You Need to Create a UX Research Strategy?

It’s a common misconception that user research is only needed for new products; however, it’s also necessary for existing ones. The research analysis is used by various stakeholders in the organization in the following ways,

Developing New Products 

According to a recent report from AppDynamics, 50% of those surveyed would be willing to pay more for an organization’s product or service if its digital services were better than competitors.  So the key to building a successful product is that it has to be better than its competitors.  Understanding market gaps and working on them continuously is the key to being in front of the row.  

Revamp Existing Products

Every product has a life cycle. After running successfully for some time, they decline. It can be for many reasons, such as market changes, demographic changes, and new innovations penetrating the market. From those small-box televisions, we now have large flat TV screens. We don’t only watch channels anymore on TVs. The usage has also changed. Now it is used for gaming, Video calls, presentations, surfing, and so. So to redesign products to cope with market trends, you need solid research strategies to stay agile. 

Expansion of Business

Customer retention alone will not result in growth. You must find new ways to grow, including a combination of user research strategies and tactics. The crux of growth experimentation is UX research and usability testing. You can enable and disable specific features for specific users based on the results of usability testing.

Companies like Netflix and LinkedIn maximize customer value through product development experimentation based on a solid user research strategy. This strategy goes beyond conversions, customer acquisition, and retention to make your product indispensable in the lives of your customers, resulting in growth.

What are The Core Elements of UX Strategy? 

1. Business strategy: This includes the company’s competitive advantage, income sources, and high-level business goals. It also includes the company’s guiding principles.

2. Value innovation: Businesses strive to provide value to their customers while also lowering their costs.

3. Validated user research: Rather than assuming what is valuable to a customer, get direct feedback from your target users before starting a design. Designers and businesses can avoid wasting time, money, and effort on a product that no one will buy by doing so.

4. Killer user experience design: After putting the other principles into practice, it’s time to create an outstanding user experience that highlights the salient aspects of the product. The customer should receive value from this interaction in a seamless manner.

How to Build a Successful UX Strategy? 

Now that you have understood how important it is to an organization let’s start building it. Shall we?  Walk through the following steps to create a concrete one: 

Define Your Stakeholders and Align Business Goals

To develop an effective UX research strategy, you must first identify your research stakeholders. Anyone from the CEO, who understands the overall business strategy to the junior developer who will build that really cool feature that the research helped find, could be research stakeholders. Depending on the focus and scope of a given research study, the stakeholders may vary.

Involve early on the decision-makers and company leaders in your project. Ask them relevant questions: How do you position the product you’re designing in the marketplace? What are the company’s primary objectives and goals? How do stakeholders evaluate the product’s success? What’s the budget? How many resources are allocated for this task? 

Answering these questions beforehand ensures that when you focus on the user, you do so with the brand and business in mind. The best way to do research on stakeholders is through meetings and interviews. So, if two people have different ideas or priorities, they can be settled right away. Once that’s done, it will be much easier for the team to move on to the next steps of strategy development because they’ll have clear goals to follow.

Conduct Market Research 

Once you know how to match your design to the company’s brand and strategy, you can start to figure out where the product fits into the market. To get someone to use your product, you’ll have to give them something of value. From where will that worth come? What makes you better than your competitors?  Find out what’s already available on the market to meet this user’s need, and think about the key features that will make your design stand out. 

Read Also: The History And Purpose of Branding

Evaluate customer reviews, social media posts, forum comments, and any other information you can obtain. It will assist you in identifying the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors and determining how you can differentiate yourself.  Other than competitors, know your target users thoroughly. The greater your understanding of your target audience, the more likely you are to develop a successful UX strategy. 

When we talk about classic market research, it is to comprehend purchasing behavior and preferences associated with products and messages. Its purpose is to contextualize the factors that lead to a sale. Market research in UX, on the other hand, focuses on the interaction between customers and products. It also investigates how to improve the target group’s user experience.

Form a Plan Based on Your Findings 

Once your research is complete, you should analyze all of your findings and compile all of the pertinent data onto a single document. You currently have the UX goals you want to achieve; what’s lacking is a strategy for how you’ll carry out the goals. 

You might want to concentrate on prioritizing features in your app’s interface at this point. Usually, they’ll be the ones your users have shown the most interest in, so it’s best to make them simple to access.

Therefore, when writing down your UX strategy, you need to consider the entire user journey. After all, if you only concentrate on the experience that your particular software offers, you’ll ignore a lot of other factors that could have an impact.

 For instance, If you have a website, that could be a touchpoint. Your interactions with contact center staff members and social media accounts are acceptable. So be sure to take into account all the possible channels through which a user may interact with your business, whether inside or outside of your software solution.

Choose The Right User Method

When you start your research journey, you will uncover a lot of potential for issues and opportunities, as well as a lot of questions that need to be addressed. To find the right solutions, you must select the best user research methodology, which includes everything from data mining to usability testing. Finding the most suitable one can be challenging as there are numerous ways to do this.  

Which is The Best Research Method?  

The UX research method that offers accurate, comprehensive responses to your research question is the best. The best approach to take depends on the stage of your research project, the objectives you want to achieve, and the available resources. The following instructions are a basic framework to pull it all together. 

  • Use quantitative methods to quantify something or test a hypothesis. The quantitative approach includes  Surveys Analytics, A/B testing, Benchmarking, Tree testing, Card sorting, Eyetracking, and Desirability studies. 
  • Use qualitative methods to investigate concepts, ideas, and meanings.  Qualitative approaches include Ethnographic studies, Focus groups, Interviews, Usability testing, Contextual inquiries, Diary studies, Participatory design sessions, Open-ended surveys, or questionnaires. 
  • Use secondary data if you want to study many easily accessible data. Collect primary data if you want customized data for your needs and control how it is produced. Use experimental techniques to establish cause-and-effect correlations between variables. Use descriptive approaches to gain an understanding of a study subject’s qualities.

Track The Metrics and Iterate on The Feedback 

UX metrics are a set of numbers that can be used to compare and track how a website or app’s user experience changes over time. They are very important for making sure that decisions about UX design are based on facts and not just opinions and that the team is going on the right track.  In this section, I have discussed a few standard matrices that are used in IX. 

Customer Satisfaction Score 

CSAT is a customer loyalty metric that businesses use to determine how happy a consumer is with a specific encounter or overall experience. This measure is synonymous with excellent customer service. In reality, satisfaction goes a long way—a 10% rise in a company’s CSAT score corresponds to a 12% gain in consumer trust. 

 In order to determine the customer satisfaction score, customers are asked to judge their overall satisfaction with a product, service, or particular experience on a five-point scale, with 1 being very unhappy and 5 being very satisfied. The calculation looks like this: (The sum of responses 4 and 5) x 100 = The proportion of contented customers.

For example, you should use a CSAT survey to assess the experience at the start of the customer journey, which covers the discovery and exploration stages. Here, your buyer is deep into the research phase, learning about your brand and comparing it to others. For example, you may inquire about their satisfaction with the ability to obtain answers to their questions on your product page.

Emotional Rating Stars 

Ever given Google Map a rating? Ratings range from happy to sad faces. We refer to this as emotional rating begins. It can also be measured using stars or a range of expressions, from happy to angry. The Emotion Scale can be used to determine how people really feel via a number of research methods, including usability testing, diary, longitudinal studies, focus groups, and out-of-box investigations.

This will make it easier for them to remember how your product made them feel. For researchers to acquire empathy and create user-friendly products, the Emotion Scale was created to record and quantify user emotions during UX research.

This matrix makes sure that your products interact with one another. Every industry can benefit from using the Emotion Scale to understand the relationship between consumers and products better. It also makes it possible to have more profound discussions with the customers who are most important to your company.

Customer Efforts Score 

It is a touchpoint matrix that is used to measure how well something works. The Customer Effort Score (CES) is a customer service metric that measures how much effort your customers have to put in to reach their goals during a certain interaction with you. To figure out the CES, you just have to ask, “How easy was it to talk to us?” On a seven-point scale, customers rate their experience from “Very Hard” to “Very Easy.”

According to Harvard Business Review, 94% of customers would repurchase from the company, and 88% would spend more if it required less work. Customers who are satisfied are also more inclined to upgrade or add services and are less likely to cancel them.

CES is a useful statistic for gauging Consumer Effort scores and providing meaningful customer input. However, two significant drawbacks have made it impossible for worldwide enterprises to utilize CES as a benchmark:

  • Participants/respondents did not always interpret the Customer Effort Score Question and answer accurately.
  • The word ‘effort’ does not translate well into other languages, causing confusion in specific geographical areas.

Net Promoter Score 

It is a relationship matrix that is used to assess long-term client satisfaction and loyalty. A net promoter score is a single survey question that can be used to measure how happy customers are. At different points in the customer journey, a business can ask this question: “On a scale from 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend our company or product?”

Check out Intercom’s ux research methods cheat sheet that help in planning your research message is a three-step process that will help you send the right message, at the right time to the right person.

Your NPS can be used as a crucial indicator of your customers’ overall view of your brand. NPS is the finest anchor for your customer experience management (CEM) program because it is a leading indicator of growth. When you combine NPS with additional data and insights from various points throughout the customer journey, you have a complete, actionable picture of your customer experience performance.

Respondents are divided into 3 groups:

  • Promoters (scores 9-10) are loyal clients who will continue to purchase and suggest others, hence fostering expansion.
  • Passives (scores 7-8) are clients who are happy but unenthusiastic about their purchase and are open to competing offers.
  • Detractors (scoring 0-6) are unsatisfied customers who might damage your brand and impede growth by spreading negative word-of-mouth.

Conclusion

Planning for user research is crucial at every stage of the product development process, including requirements collection, UX design, development, and post-launch. All UX research initiatives serve to further a particular research objective at any stage of the product development lifecycle. 
The specific objectives of UX research will be to define or improve a business problem, identify and comprehend a target audience, and define the parameters of early product launches. To get the most accurate outcome, you need a reliable UX research team and designer who will give you the best possible solutions you need for your business.  If you are looking for one, you can contact us. We would love to hear from you!

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