The 4 Main Components of Usability Research

Many young designers work very well on UI and graphic design however they lack in problem solving skills, this is quite a serious issue if you ask me. Just think about the last time that you were called upon to solve a tough problem, what did you exactly do? Did you first consider the right method to resolve the issue or was it more about the right appearance? I can only recall one occasion where this actually came into play and it was at a commercial exhibition UX problem solving. Here are some things that I can remember about that commercial exhibition I just recently attended.

First they announced that they were going to be doing a User Research Survey. They then explained that they would be looking at how the existing customers perceived the design of the new digital products that they had in the pipeline. This User Research Survey was to inform them about whether or not the new digital products that they had were actually meeting the customer needs. The second thing that they informed us in the User Research Survey was that they were going to be doing an audit of all of the websites in the UK. So the obvious question that I posed to them was; how much user research have you done on all the websites in the UK?

If you are thinking to yourself; ” surely user research and audit cannot possibly be the same thing” then let me ask you this. Have you ever heard the expression, “Usability Engineering”? It basically means that they analyze every aspect of a new product development including; how it will be used, what it will look like, how it will operate, and what its purpose is. If the company is employing usability engineers to do the User Research then they must have spent a significant amount of money hiring them. This is the surest way to tell if they have invested their money wisely.

Now then, why is this important? Well, if the company has spent money hiring usability people to do all the user research and then hired a group of people to do the audit on those sites then they must believe that the new product development is going to be successful. Unfortunately many companies just throw money at the project without giving the developers the kind of attention that they need to ensure the success of the project. This is because usability and real life user experience go hand in hand; meaning that if you fail to properly implement one of these techniques you will never really know whether or not the new product development is going to work. Companies that are implementing UX can tell by looking at the results of the audit whether or not the new digital products that they are implementing are being well supported by the engineers.

So how can you make sure that your application is going to be successful on the market? You have to pay close attention to the process and the usability that the developers are implementing. Look for things like user research, usability testing, and the three sprints ahead strategy. If you find out that these techniques are not being used then you may want to reconsider the whole ux design process. If you find that a majority of the engineers are not using the three sprints ahead strategy then you need to make changes to the process. Find out what the requirements are so that the team can start implementing the new products before they face a lot of resistance from the business.

Another way that you can make sure that the new product development is going to be successful is by watching the behavior of the users and the behavior of the customers. You need to observe whether or not the users are happy with the new products. Is there an dissatisfaction level that is high enough to cause a lot of turnover and frustration amongst the customers? Does it seem like there are more new customers coming into the store than are leaving? If you find that there is an unsatisfied level in any of these areas then you may want to make some changes to the ux design process.

The final step of the ux design process is to get the user personas. These are the people who will help you understand the real problems that the customers are having when using the software. You should be able to collect information from the users and then you can use this information to address their issues. If you have real people involved in the gathering of user information then you will know whether or not the collected data is representative of what real people would be saying. If you collect this data using online surveys then you will know whether or not the data is accurate.

Once you have the usability personas and the data that you gathered, you will need to work on addressing the issues. One thing to remember is that the design team is not responsible for solving these problems. It is the job of the project managers to make sure that these problems are solved. You should give them as much time as needed to do this.

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