Insights, Ideas and Inspiration
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The Value of User Research
August 4, 2022

When developing websites, Blueprint uses a UX (User Experience) Design process to consider how a person — the end-user — interacts with the site. The goal of UX is to make it easier and more enjoyable to use. One of the key parts of this process is User Research.


What is User Research?

User Research is a methodology that helps organizations understand their website from a user’s perspective. It’s about diving deep into how people interact with a site and observing how easily they can complete their tasks and accomplish their goals. Through user research, organizations discover user behaviors, needs and motivations, and gain key insights into how users interact with the site.


There are two types of User Research

• Qualitative research methods generate data about attitudes or behaviours based on directly observing them — the Why’s and How’s of fixing a problem.


• Quantitative studies measure the data about the behaviour or attitudes that are gathered through tools such as surveys or analytics; it is the How Many’s and How Much’s?


Why bother with User Research?

User Research may seem like a waste of time —” I already know what my website needs,” is often the response people give when they think about developing a new website. But what you know and what a user experiences can be widely different. This is why User Research can be so insightful - it shines a spotlight on the real issues or obstacles your users have using your website/product. Taking this knowledge and then translating your findings into themes and patterns will help uncover key insights that lead to a design solution that addresses the needs of your user.


Here are a few tools UX designers use to conduct user research:


1. User Interviews

One-on-one sessions where a researcher asks users a series of questions about a topic of interest. Typically done with 3-5 users. Goal: To understand user pain points, motivations, behaviours


2. Focus Groups

A moderator guides 6–9 users to discuss issues and concerns about the features of a user interface. Goal: To understand user beliefs and opinions


3. User Testing

A facilitator asks a participant to perform a series of tasks on the website while recording their behaviour. Goal: To understand user behaviour and preferences


4. User Surveys

A set of questions, sent to a targeted group of users, about their attitudes and preferences towards a product. Goal: To obtain user data about a particular subject or topic.


Time and Money Well-Spent

Not spending any time on user research, basing all of your design decisions instead on best guesses and assumptions, puts you at risk of not meeting your visitors’ needs and wants. That can lead to frustration and confusion and that can mean having users simply leaving your site without them doing what you want them to do.


In the end, User Research is an investment that will pay off in lower production and maintenance costs and, most importantly, customer satisfaction. By uncovering the root of the problem at the beginning of a project, you will save time in design and development, and avoid fixing the problems that will arise after the fact.


Blueprint Agencies has the tools and experience to help with your User Research project. Contact us to learn how we can help make your site as user-friendly as possible.