What Is Actually UX Research and How Does It Work in Universe?
01 dec, 2023
I'm Bohdana Rushchak, a UX Researcher at Universe. Today, I want to explain what UX research is and how the processes surrounding user research are structured in our company.
Bohdana Rushchak, UX Researcher
The User’s Lawyer
A UX Researcher is someone who studies the goals, needs, pains and behavior of the users to gain insights that help in the process of launching or improving a product or service. In a Harvard Business Review article, a UX researcher is compared to the user’s lawyer. In other words, a researcher studies how users interact with a product, identifies their challenges, and then shares these outcomes with the team. Additionally, a UX researcher assesses the impact of various hypotheses on the user’s choice and experience. These research efforts help businesses enhance the user’s experience and earn the customer’s trust.
So, now that we know who a UX researcher is, let's delve deeper into the user research.
What Is UX, and Why Are User Research Studies So Popular?
UX research, or the user experience research, is all about studying the user’s experience. To break it down, "UX" stands for the user experience. Think about your experience as a user of a product, service, or application. Is it positive, negative, neutral, or even terrible? The spectrum of the user experience is diverse, and a UX researcher studies this experience to improve it. In other words, they transform pains into gains.
If you ask me, "What is research to you?" I will say that it's the search for answers to questions. With over 5 years of experience in research, both scientific and user-based, I'm sure that the research is all about seeking answers to questions. Notably, in the field of IT products, user research helps to confirm or refute hypotheses. It also helps to understand his user. It's great to see that each year in Ukraine there are more mature IT companies that hire UX researchers. These companies undoubtedly have numerous advantages. Our CEO, Yaroslav Morozov, once said that by giving value to users, we, in turn, receive it back.
Types of Research and Determination of Its Effectiveness
User and scientific researches can be categorized into:
Quantitative research (content analysis, sociological observations, surveys)
Qualitative research (in-depth interviews, focus groups, expert interviews, ethnographic interviews)
You might be wondering how to determine if a research is effective. The answer is quite simple:
The best research is the one that caused changes in the product.
Let's look at a Universe case study. I am currently working with our Cleaner Guru app. I’ve conducted usability testing for a new feature, and we’ve got valuable insights from both moderated and unmoderated tests. During the presentation of the research results, our product owner immediately took three design changes into production and came up with two new hypotheses for the next A/B test. For instance, these design changes during the prototype stage have saved us a significant amount of money (making design and navigation changes directly in the app would have been much more expensive and time-consuming) and have increased the first payment due to the efficient interaction of the user with the product. The new hypotheses will generate product decisions which we either confirm or refine.
Let’s Prove Words with Numbers
Companies investing in usability have a 32% faster growth in turnover (according to McKinsey). The income from investment in integrating user research into business processes is between 500% and 10,000% (according to Forrester). After conducting research and implementing improvements, conversion rates can increase by up to 200% (according to NN/g).
A Few More Statistics
Bank of America has conducted user research and identified registration process issues. By changing the structure of this process online banking registration has increased by 45%. United Airline has doubled the number of daily sessions on their site and increased ticket sales by 200% through the usability testing. Forbes reported that Jeff Bezos had invested in customer experience 100 times more than in advertising in Amazon's first year of operation.
When Universe Relies on UX Research
A brief retrospective.
I am the first UX researcher in Universe. It's both a significant challenge and a fantastic opportunity to build and fine-tune research processes. At the time of writing this article, I've been working at this company for over a year, and I can confidently say that Universe turns to UX research in the following situations:
Enhancing existing products
Implementing new features
Launching new products
Over the past year as a UX researcher at Universe, over 150 user research studies were done, more than 60 prototypes were tested and almost 50 in-depth interviews were conducted. These achievements became possible by the synergy of our teamwork with product owners, designers and marketers. There's more to come.
If you're interested in becoming a part of our universe, learning more about user research and getting involved in the process, check out our job openings. You’re welcome in Universe.