The technologically matured world of today holds a vast blanket of applications, processes, software, instruments, and so on. Everything under this umbrella will require proper scrutiny and amelioration to provide an excellent experience for its users. The standard of any commodity or service can be maintained only when the provider is aware of the necessities and comfortability of the users.
One of the possibilities to understand the users' expectations and requirements is through UX Research.
What Is UX Research?
UX Research is a technical pathway or an approach adapted to deeply understand the user's demands whenever they utilize any system, product, or service. UX Research is a pattern of studying the users' attachment to any product or service and constantly upgrading the same for better user usage.
UX Research Methods and Approaches
As UX Research relies on understanding the users' mentality towards a product or a service, multiple methods and approaches have been adopted to gain the best output of the research. Here let us dig through the various research methods for a logically successful analysis.
Quantitative Research Methods:
As the name itself suggests, quantitative research methods depend on the quantity of data being used. Quantitative research involves collecting and analyzing the mass of data, numbers, and statistical values obtained through user tests.
The quantitative method is applied in most cases to interpret the range of usability of the product or service. This method will also help identify how much a product stays compared to its competitive products.
The quantitative method itself further classified into various strategies as follows:
Analytics is a quantitative approach that deals with data collection like the number of visits by a user to a website, duration on a site, words scrolling down, etc. The best-known analytics platform is Google Analytics. From this information, the UX researchers can conclude the trafficking of a site, trends of any product, etc.,
2. Mouse Mapping:
The mouse mapping technique is a methodology where the user's action on a particular website can be mapped to identify the valuable and futile parts of a website.
The movement of the user will explain the parts that are being ignored and being of great activity, which will help the UX researchers to finalize the usability of a particular site.
3. Funnel Analysis:
Funnel analysis will help UX researchers to identify the range up to which the user can access a website. It shows how many users happen to cross through all steps in a website to get something done.
Analyzing this data will form a funnel-shaped plot, starting from the first point broad and narrowing down to the final point.
4. User Testing:
User testing is a more direct approach where the users are directly involved in giving feedback about the product or the service. Much user feedback is collected, and the data is processed to identify the part of the defect if any. It will help UX researchers to develop any product towards a better end.
Qualitative Research Methods:
Qualitative research methods are antagonists in technique to quantitative research methods. In qualitative research, the information collected is non-numerical, like comments, opinions, behavioral patterns, etc.,
This research method focuses more on understanding every individual user rather than concentrating on a group of users.
There are, again, multiple qualitative approaches, and here are a few.
1. Grounded Theory Approach:
The grounded theory is an approach where the view is hypothesized after examining the non-numerical data obtained from the users as opinions, comments, or whatever.
The grounded theory approach will work by plotting out the user's thinking through their feedback.
2. Card Sorting:
Card sorting is another relatively simple technique. The users are provided with a set of cards that involve specific topics or concepts or categories and asked to sort them out based on their opinion.
The order of sorting will reveal the order of experience the user expects from a particular product. Hence, it will help the UX researcher develop a module that satisfies the user's expectations.
Surveys are a widespread type of qualitative approach, and surveys will help understand the idea of the user precisely in their words or comments.
Surveys gather the users' expectations in the form of data, and UX researchers can process this data to design a better user-friendly product.
Interviews are a much better qualitative approach because the users are individually assessed. The data obtained through interviews are very reliable as they don't have any error opinions.
What Does a UX Researcher Do?
UX researchers hold many roles and responsibilities, and UX researchers are expected to have specific skills and knowledge. Here are the tasks of UX researchers.
Tasks and Responsibilities of UX Researchers:
- Collect data for research.
- Design approach to collect data.
- Reach out to the users for data collection.
- Analyze the data recruited.
- Develop insights out of the data.
- Device plans for product development with the research output.
Essential Skills and Tools
1. Analysis Skills:
The first and foremost part of being a UX researcher is analyzing the data provided. So analysis skill is an essential requirement for a UX researcher, and they must be able to interpret the data through thorough analysis.
2. Empathizing Skills:
The UX researcher must empathize to understand the users' feelings and behavior and be able to put themselves in the users' shoes to get a clear view of the data collected from the user.
Passion is very Essential for this job because only with passion will the researcher be able to get deep into the user's point of view.
Passion for this job will help the researcher to develop unique techniques to understand the user mentality.
4. Ideating Skill:
The UX researcher must be outstanding in creating new ideas and techniques. This is very Essential in this job as it will help to make a clear picture of the user data.
5. Team Playing Skill:
A UX researcher needs to be a team player, and this is because it will enable them to take inputs from other researchers and implement them to get accurate results.
Other Roles in UI/UX
There are various other roles under the roof of UI/UX, as follows:
- UX Writer
- UX designer
- UI designer
- UX manager
- UX strategies
What Are the Benefits of UX Research?
- UX Research will provide a penetrative perception of the utility of the product by the users.
- With its insight, UX Research will help develop successful and enhanced products and services.
- UX Research will be a cost-efficient approach as it gives a clear view of the user's needs.
- UX Research reveals the negative aspects of a product as well
- UX Research helps efficient product development with its inputs.
Best Practices to Conduct UX Research
Mark the Target Audience:
The best technique in UX Research involves demarcating the target audience. It is vital to select the same group of the target audience as it has a significant impact on the outcome of the research.
Jot Down the Stage of Research:
It is always advisable to divide the UX research into multiple phases as follows:
- Reaching out
- Collecting data
Small study groups of users will always provide more accurate data than involving a large number of people.
How to Become a UX Researcher?
Get a Degree in Human or Behavioral Science:
As UX Research is closely Related to understanding the users' behavior, feelings, expectations, etc., it is desirable to get a degree related to human or behavioral science, say,
- Artificial intelligence
Develop User Research Skills:
User Research, as explained earlier, requires many skills. Some of the skills listed here will help you become a UX researcher.
- Learn to conduct surveys
- Have hands-on training about the Google Analytics
- Engage in UX Research programs
- Practice using data analysis tools like Matlab, Simulink, etc.,
Gain User Research Experience:
It is significantly necessary to gain UX research experience, and this can be done by
- Involving in surveys conducted by other UX platforms.
- Joining the team of any non-profitable organization and conducting research.
- Participate in any UX research contests available online.
Develop Your Portfolio:
Once you cross through the above three steps, creating an innovative portfolio that impresses recruiters is time.
List the skills you possess to be a UX researcher. Include the projects that come to terms with UX research.
Register your portfolio on various job websites like Upwork, Fiverr, LinkedIn, and so on.
Grow Your Network:
Finally, it is crucial to expand your circle. Try coming in contact with people in the Ux Research profession. This can be done via LinkedIn and many more platforms.
Networking will help you improve and reach out to a good position.
Why Pursue a Career as a UX Researcher?
UX Researcher Salary:
Recent research states that a UX Researcher's salary ranges from 10 Lakhs per annum for a beginner to 30 Lakhs per annum for a senior UX Research analyst.
The average salary in the US is expected to be $ 100,778.
The position of UX researcher stays among the 100 best jobs listed by CNNMoney.
This job seems to have progressed tremendously in the past decade and would be a high-earning occupation in the near future.
UX Researcher vs. UX Designer
The UX researcher is supposed to come in contact with users, collect opinions and form data, interpret the information and provide suggestions on the development of the product.
The UX designers take up the inputs provided by the UX researchers and implement them to design a user-friendly product.
How to Build a Network Within the UX Research Industry?
If you are already in the UX Research platforms, try expanding the circle by contacting your co-workers. Discuss more often and gain details from the senior co-workers.
Try finding out the future employers on job platforms and social media like LinkedIn, Twitter, Upwork, etc.,
Upload your portfolio and invite people in the same field for discussions on those social media platforms.
Online UX Communities:
Join online UX Communities available on social media platforms. Here are a few for your reference:
- Give Good UX company to a friend- Facebook
- UX Researchers Association- Facebook
- User Experience Design- LinkedIn
UX Research Organizations
Join UX Research Organizations like
- Mixed Methods
- Designer Hangout
- Hexagon UX
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Hope this article was able to give you a thorough understanding about what is a UX researcher and what are the different career perspectives of this domain. If you are looking to strengthen your UX research skills further, we would recommend you check Simplilearn’s UI/UX Design Expert Masters Program. This course will help you enhance your skills and make you a skilled UX researcher.
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