What is UX Research: The Basic Concepts in 2022

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Hi, and welcome to another exciting and info-packed article on what UX Research is.

In this article, we will examine the concepts and methods of UX research and how to become a UX Researcher.

After reading this article, you will comprehend the advantages of UX research, the best practices, and the responsibilities of a UX Researcher.

This write-up will examine the following topics:

What is UX Research – Overview
UX research methods
UX research Benefits
UX Research – Best Practices
Steps to Become a UX Researcher

If you are set, let’s continue!

What is UX Research – Overview

UX Research is discovering what end users of a system or product need and want, then utilizing those insights to enhance the design process for products, services, or software.

UX Research can also be referred to as user experience research.

What is UX Research - Overview

The area of focus for UX Research might result in the research being conducted in various formats.

For product teams, for instance, UX Research may entail verifying concepts, wireframes, and prototypes, whereas, for marketing teams, it may involve evaluating brand designs and messaging before the launch of products.

When conducting user experience research, UX Researchers uncover users’ motivations, actions, and demands through observations and analysis of how users carry out specific tasks.

Research on user experience (UX) can also include:

  • Working directly with real users through UX testing sessions
  • Observing users remotely through the use of digital tools
  • Conducting surveys to obtain user input
  • Utilizing a variety of other methods

Because people have different ways of perceiving the world, each user creates a unique mental model.

For this reason, Product Designers need to put the behaviors of users front and center when designing a new product.

UX Researcher Responsibilities

Discovering user behaviors wants, and stimulation is the responsibility of a UX Researcher.

This information makes products, services, and websites more user-friendly and pleasurable.

They conduct in-depth research using qualitative and quantitative research methods, then discuss the research findings with the User Experience Designers.

The primary responsibility of the UX Researcher is to streamline and improve the efficiency of the design process as a whole.

Some of the most typical duties of a UX Researcher include the following:

  • Putting together a carefully thought-out research plan that outlines your goals in detail
  • Developing an image of the target audience based on needs, motivations, and barriers
  • Composing research screening questions and discussion guides for usability studies
  • Attracting specific types of participants for usage in various research initiatives
  • Presiding over individual usability testing sessions
  • Contributing to the development and administration of quantitative surveys
  • Conducting interviews with customers and other interested parties; providing the product design team with recommendations that are both actionable and relevant
  • Delivering a lucid and well-organized presentation of the outcomes of the design research to a bigger group of people
  • Collaborating closely with the Product Managers and other stakeholders to determine the research goals, as well as developing and putting into action an overall research plan

UX Research Methods

Quantitative and qualitative research approaches are the two primary types of UX Research methodology used in user experience (UX) research.

Quantitative: Researchers in user experience (UX) use this research method to evaluate hypotheses about people’s actions and attitudes based on numerical or statistical evidence.

The objective here is to quantify a user’s experience, typically through examining a single data point.

This strategy is essential for comprehending the statistical possibilities and the goings-on in an app or software.

Qualitative: The goal of qualitative research is to understand the reasons behind users’ behaviors, such as why they require or desire a particular product to function in a specific manner.

Inspections, field tests, controlled usability testing, and user interviews are all examples of methods used to do qualitative research.

This study aims to better understand the human element of data by attempting to decipher the underlying causes and impulses that drive customers to behave in the ways they do.

When conducting UX Research, UX Researchers make use of a variety of user research methods, some of which are as follows:

Card Sorting

This research method aims to evaluate and plan the user experience of a software or website’s interface and navigation.

Card sorting is a data analysis technique in which participants are presented with a list of things, such as all the products listed in an online supermarket, and asked to classify them that make the most sense.

Contextual Interview

This study approach allows UX Researchers to examine consumers in their natural contexts, which enables researchers to understand how users carry out their tasks.

Focus Groups

These are user conversations overseen by a moderator and involve a group of other users.

Surveys in UX Researchers

Participating in focus groups allows UX Researchers to gain valuable information from users’ attitudes, ideas, and wants.

Expert Review

Usability specialists examine a website using a predetermined set of criteria to make their assessment.

Interviews

Through these in-depth conversations, researchers gain a rich understanding of a user’s wants, needs, and perspectives.

Surveys

These are a set of questions that are asked to several users, and the user feedback to these questions assists researchers in understanding the folks who use the finished product.

Usability Testing

Personalized sessions in which users do activities on the websites the researchers are researching reveal the difficulties and annoyances that users have with a particular website.

A/B Testing

During testing, visitors are shown varying versions of a website at random to monitor how well the layout of the site influences behavior and conversion rates.

UX Research Benefits

Research on the user experience (UX) assists organizations to:

  • Gain an understanding of the actual experiences that users have with websites, mobile applications, goods, and prototypes
  • Assess and refine ideas and prototypes based on the findings of the user experience research, which enables firms to make the appropriate design decisions early on in the process of product development
  • Discover new customer needs and business opportunities; find and fix flaws in products and services; provide better user experiences than competitors;
  • Understand every user interaction across the entirety of the customer journey
  • Gain a clearer understanding of your target audience to promote them more effectively

UX Research – Best Practices

The term “best practices” refers to a group of guiding principles, codes of ethics, or concepts that, when applied to a particular business circumstance, stand for the course of action that is either the most effective or the most responsible.

When researching the user experience, the following are some recommended practices to follow:

User Needs

Gain an understanding of the requirements and patterns of the users; this is an essential part of developing a product that people will want to use.

To understand users’ actions and inclinations, UX Researchers should use qualitative research methods such as interviews and user testing.

User Behavior

Pay close attention to the many ways in which users behave.

After moving on to the quantitative stage of assessing user behavior, it is important to not solely concentrate on the actions of most users, given that not every user behaves similarly.

Ask yourself what lessons you can take away from the actions of the minority group.

Keep an open mind about everything that could happen, even if the results don’t fit your initial ideas.

Progressive Research

Conduct research on the user experience at every step of the project.

Setting aside some of the project’s resources and budget is essential to conduct additional research later in the research process.

It might be more efficient to carry out most of the research at the start of the process to guarantee that the project will proceed as planned.

Usability Testing

Usability testing should be done during refining and iterating the product to determine what improvements should be included and what problems need to be corrected.

Researchers who work on user experience can improve a product by understanding how people engage with that product.

Collaboration

It is important to ensure that the Developers working on the product know the outcomes of any usability tests, quantitative and qualitative research, studies, and interviews with end users.

UX Researchers are responsible for translating the needs of their users into a technical language that the product team and the Developers can understand.

UX Research Planning

When preparing your user research, drawing on a mix of numerical data is a good idea.

It will help to ensure that you do not run into problems caused by the value-action gap, which can sometimes render quantitative data unreliable.

When it comes to the preparation of your user research, paying attention to your people and observing them is truly the key.

Keep an eye on what the other people using your site are doing.

To be a great user researcher, you need to be an expert at drawing up the correct questions and receiving unbiased responses from your users.

UX Research Planning

This research technique is an important part of becoming a great UX Researcher.

Put yourself in the position of the person who will be using the product and try to do so without your preconceived notions and assumptions about how the product should operate and what it should be.

Empathy is required for this purpose (together with good listening skills) since it enables one to notice and question one’s preconceived notions about what they already know about their customers.

UX Researcher Salary

The typical annual income for a Junior User Experience Researcher is $82,108.

Although the Bureau of Labor Numbers does not provide detailed statistics for User Experience Researchers, it does provide statistics for Computer and Information Research Scientists.

This industry, including User Experience Researchers, is anticipated to expand by 15 percent between 2019 and 2029.

The following tables show the average salaries earned by UX Researchers in each state as well as the highest-paying locales:

State

Hourly Wage

Weekly Pay

Monthly Pay

Annual Salary

New Jersey

$52.00

$2,080

$9,014

$108,170

Massachusetts

$50.09

$2,003

$8,682

$104,181

Hawaii

$49.78

$1,991

$8,629

$103,545

Tennessee

$49.46

$1,979

$8,574

$102,887

Nevada

$49.43

$1,977

$8,568

$102,812

Minnesota

$48.88

$1,955

$8,473

$101,679

Connecticut

$48.83

$1,953

$8,464

$101,567

Washington

$48.45

$1,938

$8,398

$100,778

New York

$48.22

$1,929

$8,357

$100,288

Rhode Island

$48.00

$1,920

$8,320

$99,839

Alaska

$47.57

$1,903

$8,245

$98,941

Oregon

$47.27

$1,891

$8,194

$98,325

Wisconsin

$46.97

$1,879

$8,142

$97,699

North Dakota

$46.71

$1,868

$8,096

$97,157

Ohio

$46.21

$1,848

$8,010

$96,114

Maryland

$45.46

$1,819

$7,880

$94,564

New Hampshire

$45.29

$1,812

$7,851

$94,211

Iowa

$45.19

$1,808

$7,833

$94,000

Utah

$45.15

$1,806

$7,826

$93,918

New Mexico

$44.77

$1,791

$7,761

$93,130

Virginia

$44.69

$1,788

$7,747

$92,960

South Dakota

$44.45

$1,778

$7,705

$92,461

Vermont

$44.36

$1,775

$7,690

$92,278

California

$44.30

$1,772

$7,679

$92,145

Idaho

$43.82

$1,753

$7,595

$91,141

Nebraska

$43.66

$1,746

$7,568

$90,817

Delaware

$43.60

$1,744

$7,557

$90,679

Arizona

$42.95

$1,718

$7,445

$89,341

Colorado

$42.84

$1,714

$7,426

$89,115

Kansas

$42.82

$1,713

$7,423

$89,070

Montana

$42.81

$1,712

$7,421

$89,048

South Carolina

$42.67

$1,707

$7,396

$88,755

Wyoming

$42.29

$1,692

$7,330

$87,960

Arkansas

$42.09

$1,683

$7,295

$87,539

Mississippi

$41.75

$1,670

$7,237

$86,846

Maine

$41.75

$1,670

$7,237

$86,845

Indiana

$41.32

$1,653

$7,163

$85,955

Oklahoma

$41.19

$1,648

$7,139

$85,671

Michigan

$41.18

$1,647

$7,138

$85,661

Kentucky

$40.86

$1,634

$7,083

$84,991

West Virginia

$40.22

$1,609

$6,972

$83,662

Pennsylvania

$39.83

$1,593

$6,903

$82,838

Illinois

$39.79

$1,592

$6,897

$82,760

Missouri

$39.40

$1,576

$6,828

$81,942

Louisiana

$39.11

$1,564

$6,779

$81,347

Texas

$38.72

$1,549

$6,712

$80,545

Alabama

$37.60

$1,504

$6,517

$78,200

Florida

$36.60

$1,464

$6,344

$76,130

North Carolina

$35.89

$1,436

$6,221

$74,648

Georgia

$34.05

$1,362

$5,901

$70,814

UX Researcher Salary

City

Hourly Wage

Weekly Pay

Monthly Pay

Annual Salary

San Mateo, CA

$47.91

$1,916

$8,304

$99,650

Daly City, CA

$47.10

$1,884

$8,164

$97,962

Berkeley, CA

$47.06

$1,883

$8,158

$97,893

Green River, WY

$45.68

$1,827

$7,917

$95,009

Richmond, CA

$44.77

$1,791

$7,761

$93,129

Stamford, CT

$44.23

$1,769

$7,666

$91,996

Bellevue, WA

$44.01

$1,761

$7,629

$91,551

Santa Clara, CA

$43.79

$1,752

$7,591

$91,092

Belgrade, MT

$43.74

$1,750

$7,582

$90,989

Brooklyn, NY

$43.72

$1,749

$7,578

$90,937

Steps to Become a UX Researcher

As with many subfields of User Interface and UX design, the function of UX Researcher is relatively recent.

Consequently, you will find that there isn’t just one predetermined route leading to a UX research job.

Some user experience researchers are self-taught, while others come to the field from related fields.

Consider these pointers as you forge your route in the working world:

Step 1 – Education

Most open opportunities for User Experience Researchers require candidates to have at least a bachelor’s degree.

In contrast, the degree does not necessarily need to be in an area related to user experience.

It can be useful for you to earn a degree in a subject connected to either technology or behavioral and social sciences.

In reality, User Researchers come from a very diverse array of educational and occupational backgrounds.

Many people didn’t even learn about user experience until they were well beyond their undergraduate years.

It is not a problem if you already have a degree in a subject that is unrelated to this one.

You can uncover various approaches to improve your user experience skills.

Step 2 – Research Skills

A degree isn’t the only way to learn about the approaches and methodologies of user research; there are unlimited opportunities to do so while working in the field, and those opportunities are plentiful.

Gain practical experience by conducting an A/B test on a website, analyzing data from a user experience survey, or conveying research findings through empathy maps.

The time required to do each job is significantly less than two hours.

Research Skills for UX Research

Use free resources like blogs and podcasts to educate yourself on the jargon specific to the sector and keep up with the most recent industry developments.

Enroll in different classes or UX training programs.

Learners not seeking a degree may be eligible for UX research certificates or specializations offered by some educational institutions.

Step 3 – Research Experience

If you look through the available job posts for User Experience Researchers, you’ll notice that some require previous expertise in a related field.

You can begin obtaining practical experience by participating in voluntary work or internships.

An application and an interview are often required steps in the procedure.

Investigate any job openings that have been listed online.

Keep an eye on the company website if there is a certain business that interests you and you would like to work for them as an intern.

Working on a portfolio project alongside other user experience (UX) and design professionals is a fantastic approach to expanding your professional circle.

Step 4 – Portfolio

Because it provides prospective employers with evidence of your talents and expertise, your portfolio is essential to your application.

Keep track of your work and include in your portfolio the projects that you consider to be the most successful and the most recent ones when you take classes, complete tasks, or volunteer your time.

You can either host your portfolio on your website or use a repository, which provides a free platform for presenting your greatest work.

Step 5 – Networking

Start cultivating relationships with people working alongside you at your present employment, UX research organizations or online groups focused on UX.

The best method to learn about new opportunities and connect with prospective employers is to participate in networking events.

Networking

When looking for a career path, networking can be a very effective strategy to get interviews with potential employers.

Conclusion

The discipline of UX is rapidly expanding, and the function of the user experience researcher is becoming increasingly important.

It is essential to equip yourself with the necessary information and abilities, learn how to perform user experience research professionally, and surround yourself with others working in the area from whom you can learn.

It is impossible to discount the importance of having a solid grasp on the requirements of the target market as a whole, and user experience researchers will play an increasingly important part in the creation of products and services of the future.

FAQs

References

Ziprecruiter.com

Techtarget.com

Coursera

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