The major problem that prevails for most of the product owners is the presence of too many similar products present in the market that claim to be the best version of all competing products in the market. There are little things that make a difference in how one product excels over the other. In this digital age, companies must thrive to improve their customer experience and the user's journey while minimizing hassle.
Companies that understand this invest heavily in developing websites, mobile apps, and more to make sure that all customer touchpoints are seamless and intuitive to a point that pursues a customer to complete their action on their digital platform.
Cause & Effect of the Absence of User Research
There are a number of ways to conduct user research. There are a few of these that are money and time-intensive and for smaller companies, the goal is to get out a working product as soon and as hassle-free as they can. Intensive research methods can be slow and the implementation can take more time than expected. Sometimes, companies do not have the expertise to conduct user research. However, not investing in conducting user research can prove to be one of the most consuming, threatening mistakes.
Importance of User Research
User research plays a pivotal role in the success of any digital product. It helps identify loopholes, performance issues and improvement areas as per a common user's preference. User research has been advocated by product specialists across the world as it does wonders to the capability of what a product can do for its users. There are multiple ways from which a team can adopt to conduct user research. A great place to start research is secondary research to get a head start.
It is crucial to make sure that you incorporate the psychological and behavioral response and expectation of a user into your product to ensure that it resonates with the goal of a user with your product. Cross-sectional industrial research can also help you gain substantial answers. However, primary and secondary research are both of utmost importance and the results of either cannot be undervalued.
Methods of Conducting User Research
Here, we will study the methods one can adopt for conducting user research to bring a life into their product:
1. Usability Testing
This method refers to evaluating a product or service by testing it with representative users. Typically, observers take notes and listen while the participants complete certain tasks that help product teams evaluate the product. The goal of this activity is to identify any usability problems and determine a user's satisfaction with the product.
Usability testing helps in learning if the participants were able to complete the desired action successfully and within a limited time constraint. Through this, product owners can identify the satisfaction level of their potential users and analyze the performance to see if it meets the usability objectives. It is also useful in identifying improvement areas that can help elevate user satisfaction.
2. A/B Testing Prototypes
A/B testing, also known as split testing, helps product teams to identify improvement areas in their models. The participants are usually presented with two or more prototypes of the same product with slight variations to see what the feedback is. The users create a list of the pros and cons of both prototypes. The 'A' refers to the control of the original testing variable while the 'B' refers to the variation in the original testing variable.
A/B testing helps product companies increase their core conversion metrics since the method is useful in solving customer pain points, thus helping them to achieve better ROI from the existing traffic and reducing bounce rate. A/B testing has been proved successful in helping product teams make low-risk modifications to their concepts which lead to increase future business gains.
3. Focus Groups
Focus groups are conducted with a group of potential users belonging to a diverse demographic group where all of them gather and the product teams moderate the discussion to gain maximum output in the form of arguments, differing point-of-views and leading discussions. The purpose is the ensure that you gain feedback from all kinds of users and your product is designed to fit the needs of each and every one of them. Focus Groups are one of the oldest yet greatly helpful methods to gather user feedback and incorporate in the product.
This does have been criticized for its propensity to encourage group thinking and ignore individual needs but what is being extracted out of the activity heavily relies on the ability of the moderators or product teams.
4. Surveys & Questionnaires
This method is commonly used by companies of all sizes across the globe because it is an inexpensive and simple method. The convenience of this method should be utilized to its fullest by investing time and thought in creating these surveys and including questions that would yield actionable results. There is a multitude of online tools available for preparing online surveys like Google Form, Typeform, etc.
Preparing a well-thought survey can actually help in uncovering the customer's needs, desires, and pain points. The quality of response that is attained through this research depends heavily on the type of questions asked and the quality of audience targeting.
5. Remote User Interviews
Unlike focus groups, individual interviews help in promoting one's own thoughts and feedback. These interviews don't give the volume of data other methods do but they would still help you gain a different and separate perspective from a couple of users. Online tools like Zoom, Google Meet, etc. have made scheduling and screen sharing really easy so not that it is just a cost-saving method but is time-efficient as well.
The method being moved to online sessions has become less of a hassle and people have started to practice this more as in the past, this was not one of the most favorite methods of product teams because of the time that this took.
6. Field Research
This method is a low-cost field study. This study targets the areas where the audience likes to congregate and they are usually happy to share their technological experiences when they are a bit more relaxed. This type of user research is always fun, informative and productive.
During this, you might find some people to be indifferent to your product but they might actually produce some really good feedback. Expanding the target demographics and taking in feedback from casual users is a great way to enhance your product and its overall experience.
Quantitative methods are thought to be more accurate because of them being backed by numbers and evidence. There are a number of tools that help you measure the analytics of your digital products and test their current capability and weak areas in a multitude of perspectives.
If you are a startup and understandably, working on a tight budget, start by using Google Analytics to collect data for your quantitative research. You can gain insights into what page is getting the most clicks, what time is it performing most and watch visitors in real-time and analyze their activity to make further iterations to improve the user experience.
8. Tree Testing
This method helps product teams to evaluate the hierarchy and find-ability of topics in a digital platform. The data helps product teams identify where the users intuitively navigate first. This is an effective way to gather insights on information architecture, a website or mobile app. It specifically helps with defining issues in the navigation of an interface and improve on it further.
Conducting user research is an extremely vital part of building a digital product. It helps product teams define underlying issues and enhance their concepts to a point where they perform in the best possible manner that suits the needs of its user. If you are looking for support to conduct these activities to derive results from user research, our team of product experts can help you. Schedule a free consultation with us now! https://venturerepublic.net/contact/