Discover what matters most to your customers! Creating compelling user experiences starts with knowing what your customers value. Your business needs to stay ahead of ever-shifting consumer trends and preferences. Every member of a good research team must understand how to collect relevant insights to drive product ranges over a sustained period of time from concepts to launch. Good research keeps feeding into the roadmap of your business by helping you to know more about the behaviour of your target audience and opening up potentially new business opportunities.

Here are the six steps.

ONE. Understand the goal

“Understand what you’re seeking” – sounds simple and common sense, yet missed by several researchers. Even for generative research, you must go only as broad as you should. Drawing and scoping the research and creating a list of potential questions is very important for  research to be effective. Besides understanding the goals, you also need to convince the stakeholders in achieving those goals by making a case for user research. To get the project team on board you need to discuss and convince how research would help them. If your development team follows agile development, you can read this article for some tips.

TWO. Choose the right research method

After the research has been scoped, and you know why you set out to find the answers. It’s about zeroing in on the right methods to most effectively and efficiently find those answers. Understand what you’re seeking—and how best to find it. From simple surveys to in-depth research, there are a number of available research methods to choose from. For instance, the most common methods are listed below. Some methods can be used in combination

In-depth interviews – Find out user behavioral information and evaluate product interaction experience, in-person or remotely. Use proven techniques like ‘Laddering’ or the ‘5 Whys’ to dive deeper into the minds of your target audience. Read 5 Probes in User research

Ethnographic studies – Study what users do, the relevant ‘how’s and ‘why’s in users’ context. Observational as well as participatory studies can help you to find more without directly asking the users. You can choose to do Diary studies too in case on-ground fieldwork is not feasible.

Focus groups – Discover users’ preferences, needs & wants using this method if your product or service requires a social setting in usage. Focus groups can also be for ideation.

Surveys – The time-trusted option which can be used to collect qualitative and quantitative information. Surveys can be online or in-person using pen and paper or computer.

THREE. Get the right Participants

Ensure your research includes the right users. When you need to learn from users of a similar product or a product that you are building does not exist, you would need to recruit people differently. Sometimes, it might be better to also recruit and interview non-users. Recruitment can be challenging, use a recruitment service or read our guide on research recruitment. Read this article Recruiting right respondents for your user research

FOUR. Ask the right questions

Without the right questions, user research is meaningless. Design your research, with preparation of questions you want to ask, and analyze the results so that you unlock the critical insights for success. Like Abraham Lincoln said, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”

FIVE. Engage users in their native language

Users are more expressive in their native language. To tap richer results, try language customization for User research. Harness the power of online user feedback collection tools simultaneously in multiple regions and in their native languages. A mix of both in-person and online research, is helpful to validate results.

SIX. Organize to Translate insights into action

After a round of research, you’d typically end up with loads of Text, charts, Graphs, Video recordings, etc. You need time to do the analysis and synthesis of that data and unlock the value in the form of the Insights. Take help of your colleagues or external research companies to interpret critical findings and strategize a path to capturing the opportunities they contain.

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