© 2 0 2 4
User Interface Design

Types of UX Research Methods: The Complete Guide

Posted by Ravi Talajiya on 23 Nov, 2023

Whether you are developing a mobile app, a website, or any other IT product like software or web application, considering user experience is vital to meet your objectives and business goals.

Millennials or people belonging to Gen Z don't want good-quality products or services; they look for gratification while dealing with brands. If your website or mobile app does not offer them a sense of gratification, you might lose them. User Experience, often abbreviated as UX, along with User Interface (UI), determines the success of any product.

What is User Experience or UX?

User experience design is designing a valuable, user-friendly product that satisfies users' expectations and interests. In short, UX is all about enhancing users' overall experience when interacting with your product. They are your potential customers, and it is your job to help them find value, satisfaction, and delight while they interact with your product, either apps or websites.

An intelligent UX Designer will never design an app randomly. They will go for different types of UX research methods to conclude. These UX research methods help developers and businesses understand user preferences, interests, expectations, and other user-centric aspects. Keeping these aspects while designing an app will undoubtedly win you dividends.

Check some statistics to understand why UX research is crucial for any app development project.

A study reveals that 80% of people will pay extra for a stunning user experience.

Furthermore, another research states that 90% of users stop using a website or app due to poor user experience.

Also, another study reveals that only 1 out of 26 customers complain when unsatisfied with the brand.

A study by WebFX clearly states that 94% of first impressions of a website relate to its design and navigation.

What do these statistics tell us? You must consider UX for a product before you can proceed. Your designers must develop a unique, creative, and awe-inspiring design that offers a great user experience to your target audience. To develop highly satisfying user experiences for your project, outsource with the right UX design agency with a proven track record.

In this article will discuss various UX research methods and when to use them.

Types of UX Research Methods For Better User Experiences

There are different types of UX research methods available for designers. They can choose based on the type of project, scalability goals, and other vital aspects.

Qualitative And Quantitative Research

Any research you find on Earth is either qualitative or quantitative. In UX research, Qualitative research gathers subjective insights into users' experiences. Qualitative research focuses on an individual's personal reasons, motivations, and behaviors.

On the other hand, Quantitative research is not human-centric but data-centric. Researchers or designers focus more on patterns, data, trends, and importance here. Designers will use specific analytics and data obtained from these analytics are then converted into usable statistics. Some methods they use are online surveys, paper surveys, questionnaires, mobile surveys, online polls, systematic observations, etc.

The main aim for both UX research types should be how users think and behave and their motivations and needs.

Top-Notch Types of UX Research Methods

Now, let's check out some popular UX research types that designers and researchers use:

User Interviews

As the name suggests, user interviews is one of the types of research in UX. It can help understand user motivations and needs by taking their open-ended discussions.

Here, you need to ask a few questions to users and note their answers to understand what they look for or expect from the product. Here, you must make sure to make your participants comfortable to get the correct answers.

When to use this method?

The User interview method is typically conducted at the start and end of the project. You can have detailed answers and an understanding of what users want, what they expect, and how they interact with your product.

Field Studies

Field Studies are conducted in the user environment, not in offices or labs. Here, a wide range of research activities are conducted by researchers to uncover context, motivations, limitations, and constraints that can influence the user experience.

Here, users answer in their native environment, and they are comfortable. So they will likely find the correct and relevant answers. You will be able to understand their concerns and expectations.

When to use this method?

You can use this UX research method at any stage of the project, especially at the discovery stage and during usability testing, to test the usefulness of the prototype you developed.

Focus Groups

It is another qualitative research method in which you must study a group of people and their expectations, beliefs, and opinions. Focus Groups research is typically used for market research to get answers about the products.

With the Focus Groups Study, you can get answers like,

  • How users perceive your product
  • Understand the features that users want in the product
  • Problems users face while using the product

You have to plan a strategy while conducting this UX research method. You can also hire a professional UX research agency for the task.

When to use this method?

Researchers can use this study while they are working on the product concept. This method offers a wide range of answers like user preferences, their reactions, and unique ideas about the product.

Some researchers also use this method post-deployment to get their feedback and understand potential improvements in the product.

Diary Studies

Researchers ask users to log their activities, usage, and thoughts here. Users can note down things in a diary or take photos. Also, they can discuss activities and note down the scope of improvements.

The Diary Studies method helps researchers to understand how people interact with the product in their daily lives. They also learn about the touch-points and pain points while users use the product.

Here, you need to explain to the participants about the trigger- a specific time when they need to log their feedback. Some triggers are:

Interval-Contingent Trigger:

Users log their feedback at a specific interval, like once a day or once a week.

Signal-Contingent Trigger:

Researchers ask the participants about the time to make an entry and how to communicate about it.

Event-Contingent Trigger:

Here, participants make an entry when a specific event occurs during product usage.

When to use this method?

It is valuable when you want to know about users' behaviors, routines, and pain-points in detail, especially in real-time contexts. You can use this study when working on a concept or idea or trying to enhance an existing product and want to know what users expect from the product.

Card Sorting

Card Sorting can help researchers to create a unique and highly intuitive information architecture. Also, it helps in understanding users and their needs. Furthermore, this UX research method also allows researchers to generate new ideas and name conventions.

Here, the researcher presents some cards with different topics or information. Researchers ask the participants to categorise the cards according to their fine sense of judgment and wisdom.

There are three types of card-sorting

  • Open Card Sorting is where users organize topics into categories per their understanding.
  • Hybrid Card Sorting is where participants sort cards into predefined categories, but they can make their own categories.
  • Close Card Sorting, in which they are presented with predefined categories and asked to sort cards into groups.

When to use this method?

Researchers can use this UX research method at any given time during the product development process. It helps them understand how users perceive the ideas, prioritize solutions, generate name ideas, and their navigation preferences.

First Click Testing

This is one of the different UX research methods researchers use for a website app or prototype.

This testing aims to know users' navigation expectations and how they want the website to navigate when looking for information.

When to use this method?

You can use this method when a website or a prototype is developed already. This method will give you a detailed idea about the possible user-friendly navigation.

Expert Reviews

This is another type of UX research method in which usability experts are invited to share their feedback and suggestions on a website or app once it is developed. You can use this method to evaluate the prototype as well.

Here, experts evaluate the website regarding navigation, features, functionalities, usability, content, design, and other aspects. Then, they will share their feedback and suggestions to improve the product's overall usability.

When to use this method?

If you are unsatisfied with other UX research methods and their outputs and want experts' opinions on the final product, you can choose this method.

Parallel Design

Here, multiple UX designers design the product simultaneously but independently. Once they finish the design, the experts review all the designs to come to a common ground. The main aim of this UX research method is to combine the collective learnings to develop a top-notch product with highly engaging and immersive design. You can hire a UI/UX company to get fascinating UX experience for your product.

When to use this method?

Parallel Design method is generally used at the start of the project once the conceptualization is done.

Usability Testing

It is also a highly effective UX research method in which users use the product under the moderator's watch. This method's main aim is to discover user frustrations, pain points, and flaws in the product. A user performs tasks in real-time while an assigned moderator observes and notes his experiences.

When to use this method?

You can use this method when the prototype is developed, or the final product is ready. You can assess the functional or technical flaws with the product and fix them before the release.

Conclusion

Businesses employ various types of UX research methods to understand user expectations, needs, behaviors, and other aspects of user persona. Which research methodology to use depends on the type and scope of the project, scalability goals, business objectives, and various other factors.

UX research helps in improving user experience and increasing user engagement. Also, it helps to find and fix the flaws and limitations of the product. With these finest research methods, you can have a product that offers the best user experience to your target audience.

Index

Would you like to Listen?

Related Articles

Get the inside scoop on the latest UX industry happenings and trends from our expert UI UX professionals.

User Interface Design

Future of Enterprise UX: Top 6 Happenings to Watch Out for in 2024

AI Technology, UI/UX, User Experience Design, User Interface Design

23 Best AI Tools for UX Designers to Explore in 2024

UI/UX, User Interface Design

Conversational User Interface(CUI): Challenges, Solutions & Benefits