5 Fundamental Rules of UX Research

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UX researchers have a lot to think about, these tips can help inform their decision-making

When it’s time to embark on UX research, there are so many things researchers might consider when deciding how best to proceed. From usability to reporting, to scale ratings, to randomization, researchers are contemplating many ideas. The following article shares some of the more straightforward principles to help you conduct user experience research with confidence.

The UX Researcher Guide to UX Research

  1. Research participants should reflect user personas
  2. As obvious as it may sound, testing the right users is critical to successful UX research. The U in UX stands for the user. We know that the people in the study should be reflective of the user persona that was created. AdobeXD shares,

    At their core, personas are about creating products with a specific, not generic, user in mind.

    When recruiting study participants, matching key characteristics with the persona such as age, demographic details, location, role or title, gender, sex, socioeconomic standing, etc. is key to getting representative users.

    The X in UX stands for experience. In order to understand the desires, motivations, pain points, and thoughts of the target user, make sure you do quality participant recruiting.

  3. Use multiple methodologies and tools
  4. When you are getting important data from your users, you may need to approach the research using several methodologies to paint the clearest picture. The following is a list of qualitative methodologies from my previous article published on Customer Think titled Insights into Invaluable Qualitative Research Questions + 5 Examples.

    • One-on-one Interview
    • Focus Groups
    • Ethnographic research
    • Record keeping
    • Observations
    • Case study research
    • Phenomenology
    • Grounded theory
    • The Point of Curiosity
  5. Large sample sizes increase accuracy
  6. We know that larger sample sizes increase accuracy. But do you know how many people you need to participate in your study? Interaction-design.org shares this gem advice,

    The bigger your sample size, the more likely your data is to be accurate. There’s a general rule of thumb that says to double the accuracy you have to increase the sample size by a factor of four!

  7. Share your research with the entire company
  8. One impactful choice is to make sure the entire company is aware of your research and therefore its influence on UX design. If there is a company-wide focus on UX and an understanding of how users feel about the products, the support to improve the user experience will be more consistent from the top down, from the bottom up, and in all directions.

  9. Finding problems is your job
  10. When conducting UX research, usability issues, problems, bottlenecks, and places where users abandon checkout are supposed to be found. The point of your research is to find room for improvement so iteration can take place. If a new feature rolls out and the users don’t like it, you should know about it to avoid losing users, make improvements to UX, and iterate. In other words, product development and user research go hand in hand to continuously improve UX to retain users and acquire new ones. Users have high expectations and are liable to flee to another product if we don’t deliver at the highest caliber every time.

Summary

Conducting user research is critical for the success of companies. By identifying room for improvement, testing the right people, using an appropriate sample size, using a multitude of research methods and tools, and sharing data company-wide, you increase the likelihood of successful product research, development, and customer acquisition and retention.

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