To deliver good and useful experiences that solve real user problems, strategic user research is essential. User research helps you understand your audience, which in turn allows you to design better product and brand experiences. It allows you to take a user-centered approach, from product design all the way to your website.
Know your audience; know what they want
User research ensures that your product and UX decisions are based on actual user needs. At its core, it’s about the ability to empathize with your audience, and then turn that empathy into tangible outputs that help you make improvements.
Companies who research their users perform better on the stock exchange, have more engaged employees, and deliver greater revenue. They’re able to test ideas, ask meaningful questions, and eliminate biases to make better product, messaging, and marketing decisions.
Eliminating misconceptions about user research
Despite established benefits, user research still falls victim to misconceptions that can hurt your brand.
- User research is not just usability testing. Usability testing is one component within the larger concept of user research. User research is designed to have business impact beyond improving product usability.
- User research doesn’t provide all the answers. It doesn’t give you a foolproof roadmap to business success. While user research helps you understand your audience’s goals and needs, you still requires strategic thinking to satisfy them.
- Product research is not just impactful for designers. Product engineers, marketing teams, customer support, and even the executive team all benefit from its insights and takeaways.
- User research is not the same as market research. Market research tends to be larger and more quantitative, whereas user research focuses on smaller groups of people and delivers more qualitative results. A mix of both is most beneficial to companies building comprehensive audience personas and products that solve real audience problems.