Don’t skip research — ever!

March 27, 2023

Prepare, prepare, always prepare! This is one of the most important lessons I learned during one of my negotiation courses in university as well as throughout the rest of my student life. Doing research and preparing yourself for tests, meeting new people, applying for a job or having a discovery call with a new collaborator. What all these have in common is research.

“Research is formalized curiosity, it is poking and prying with a purpose.” — Zora Neale Hurston

The importance of research can’t be overemphasized especially nowadays when information is one tap away from us. And if you do not search for it, it might come across that you are a tiny bit unprofessional or even ignorant. That is why research is a vital component in creating a good user experience for digital products. Without it, we the designers may miss key insights about user behaviour, preferences, and needs that are necessary for creating a product that truly meets your users’ needs. And yes, that’s the reason why a project may take longer than estimated.

Searching for answers — Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

Often research is step one or two as part of the designing process, but as the project progresses, it is possible to be a constant or recurring step.

Research also can take many forms, but it generally involves gathering data and insights about users, their behaviours, and their needs. This information can be used to inform decisions about everything from the product’s design to the features it includes. Some common methods of research include user interviews, surveys, user testing, and analytics. I love reading online reviews of digital apps and products and seeing what people find useful and unnecessary. Because there they are unfiltered and say what they exactly need or don’t.

When we talk about experiences and research Google Maps reviews is the one I use the most in my daily life. Whenever I want to explore a place (mostly restaurants) I check their online presence but mainly the Google Maps reviews as the most accurate source. But an important statistical approach I use is to sort the reviews by the latest so I can gather a more clear picture of what kind of experiences other people have had recently.

One of the primary benefits of research is that it helps us create a truly user-centred product. By understanding your users’ needs and behaviours, we can create interfaces and features that are intuitive and easy to use. We can also identify pain points in the user journey and work to eliminate them, creating a smoother and more enjoyable experience for users.

Pain points are areas of difficulty or frustration that users experience with a product or service. They can be related to usability, customer service, pricing, or any other aspect of the user experience. —

Research can also help to reduce the risk of designing a product that ultimately fails to meet its users’ needs. By collecting data and insights before development begins, we can ensure that the product we create will be a good fit for our client’s target audience. This can save time and resources in the long run, as it reduces the chance of needing to make major changes to the product after it has been released.

Another benefit of research is that it can help to uncover opportunities for innovation. By studying user behaviour and needs, we can identify areas where there is an unmet need or an opportunity to create something new and in some cases innovative. This can guide us to the development of new products and features that genuinely meet the needs of your users and set your product apart from your competitors. This can make your product stand out and give it a specific “flavour”. ✨

To wrap it up, research is a crucial component in creating a good user experience for digital products (and not only). It helps us as designers to understand your users’ needs, behaviours, and preferences, which can be used to inform every aspect of the product’s design and later of course the development. By investing in research, businesses of all sizes can create products that truly meet the needs of their users, reduce the risk of failure, and uncover opportunities for innovation.

So don’t skip research, take the time to do the exploration of opportunities, because you never know what might come out of it. 😉

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😊 Have a great week!

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