How to Get Started With UX Research

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The importance of scientific research cannot be overstated. User research is crucial to the success of any UX design, and this article will explain all the reasons why.

But first, we will explore what UX research is and how it can give you valuable tools. Then we will analyze why user research is an ongoing, dynamic process.

By the end of this 5-minute read, you will know every efficient research method (qualitative and quantitative) and how to choose the right one(s) for a new or existing UX project.

What is UX Research?

In a few words, we could say that UX research is about observation techniques, feedback methods, and analysis of the whole user experience of a project. As in any scientific research, UX research analyzes how users think and what their motivations and needs are.

The research methods of UX can be divided into two main types: quantitative and qualitative.

Quantitative Research Methods

These methods are all about statistics and focus on numbers, percentages, and mathematical observations. UX designers later transform such numerical data into useful statistics that you can use in UX designs.

To be precise, there are numerous data collection platforms that UX designers use like Google Analytics, Google Data Studio, etc.

Qualitative Research Methods

Qualitative research aims to understand people’s needs and motivations through observation. This includes numerous methods: from interviews and usability testing to ethnographic and field studies.

In general, qualitative research is crucial for us UX designers because it is easier to analyze than quantitative and we can use it quickly in our projects.

Why is UX Research an Ongoing Process?

Suppose you are about to create a UX wireframe. The process is pretty simple. You start with research, proceed with sketching, then prototype and build. But how many times have you gone back to the previous step of the process?

A UX design is completely dynamic and rarely finished. For this reason, UX research should be viewed as an ongoing process. When I stopped worrying about going through this loop over and over again, I immediately became a better UX designer.

Why Should You Invest in UX Research? 

There are many reasons why you should always conduct UX research before you start sketching and prototyping a wireframe:

Stay relevant: Via UX research, you will ensure that you understand what your users need and tailor your product accordingly.
Improve user experience: With comprehensive UX research, you’ll be one step closer to delivering a great user experience.
Clarify your projects: With UX research, you can quickly identify the features you need to prioritize.
Improve revenue, performance, and credibility: When you successfully use UX research, you can boost the ROI (Return on Investment).

9 Effective UX Research Methods  

It becomes clear that UX research is very important to the success of any UX project. All successful approaches derive from three basic foundations: Observation, understanding, and analysis.

So let us take a look at the most popular and effective qualitative and quantitative research methods.


UX designers can conduct one-on-one interviews to communicate with users and analyze the context of the project. This is a very effective UX research method. You just need to set your goals.

Difficulty: Medium/Low
Cost: Average
Phase: Predesign, During Design Phase

Surveys And Questionnaires

This is a very effective approach if you want to gather valuable information quickly. There are many tools like PandaDoc and Wufoo that allow you to create engaging questionnaires and surveys.

Difficulty: Low
Cost: Low
Phase: Predesign, Post Design Phase

Usability Tests

Usability testing is an essential method if you want to test your product in terms of user experience. It can be applied during or after the creation of an app, site, etc.

Difficulty: Medium
Cost: Average
Phase: During Design Phase

A/B Tests

A/B testing is by far the best way to overcome a dilemma. If you do not know which element to choose, all you have to do is organize an A/B test and show each version to a number of users. Based on their feedback, you can then decide which version is the best.

Difficulty: Low
Cost: Low
Phase: During Design Phase

Card Sorts 

With card sorts, you can help your users by providing them with some product content categories (labeled card sets). This is a very cheap and easy way to understand what your users prefer and how they interact with the content you have just designed.

Difficulty: Medium
Cost: Average
Phase: During Design Phase

Competitive Analysis

Analyzing what your competitors are doing differently is critical to the initial stages of a UX design. This will help you identify their strengths and weaknesses and optimize your product.

Difficulty: Medium
Cost: Average
Phase: Predesign

Persona And Scenario Building 

Creating a user persona and a specific scenario for your project is critical. First, you need to build a user persona by integrating the motives, needs, and goals of your target audience.

Then, you can create a scenario that leverages all of this valuable information to deliver a top-notch user experience.

Difficulty: Medium
Cost: Average
Phase: Predesign

Field Studies 

Although a field study is a very effective UX research method, it is also expensive and difficult to conduct. However, there is nothing like field research when it comes to obtaining real-life data.

Difficulty: High
Cost: High
Phase: Predesign, During Design Phase

Tree Tests

Tree testing is a UX research method that you can apply to your designs during or after the construction phase. The process is fairly simple: you provide users with a text-only version of your product and ask them to complete certain tasks. This tactic is a great way to validate your product’s architecture.

Difficulty: High
Cost: High
Phase: During and Post Design Phase

How to Choose the Right UX Research Method?

Good planning is the most important thing for us UX designers. If you know exactly what the UX problem is, you can solve it quickly.

The methods analyzed above are just some of the research tactics used by UX designers. Choosing the right user research method for a project is not easy. To do so, you should first define your goals.


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