Why Should UX Research be Done?

Building a solid brand unquestionably requires a sound UI/UX design and research ground to establish both credibility and appeal.

Airbnb, the popular online marketplace for homestays and experiences, is at the forefront of developing booking experiences that appeal to explorers and experience seekers alike. The site layout takes into account the common problems that tourists run into when looking for lodging.

Airbnb website provides popular neighboring destinations as another way to encourage people who are undecided about where to go. It offers a variety of things people enjoy, such as entire apartment spaces, pet-friendly homes and offbeat site stays. Booking becomes increasingly simplified due to clean page layout and easy-to-use interface and this becomes a driving factor for its popularity and customer appeal.

For business success, UX research becomes important to cater to different user pain points, motivations and expectations that improve user interactions with a given interface. A PwC survey of 15,000 consumers found that one in three consumers will leave a brand they love, just after one bad experience.

Today, while there are some organizations that are huge advocates of UX research, there are also plenty of organizations that overlook the importance of UX research. This article aims to help you understand why UX Research should be done, and why it is crucial to business success.

Don Norman and Jakob Nielsen the advocates of user-centered design define

“User experience” encompasses all aspects of the end-user’s interaction with the company, its services, and its products”. 

Having good UX is a priority for your products, and UX research is part of the design process that can help you achieve that goal.

Does UX Research matter?

UX Research can be implemented at any point of the design process. It allows product teams to discover and understand how people use the application of technology. For instance, your company has designed a new mobile app; UX research allows you to understand how different people might use that app, what they like or dislike about the app, and what might make it easier or more enjoyable for them in different real-life contexts. This is done by talking to users, observing how they use the application, and analyzing their experiences.

Users are the ones buying and experiencing your products, so meeting their needs and preferences should be part of business goals. Here are 4 reasons why UX research should be done.

#1 Back design decisions with real behavioral data  

UX research utilizes insights and data to inform the design decisions made, preventing from making plain assumptions about the manner in which users will use our products. Be it statistics or qualitative feedback, responses collected from users during research can help a UX team make design decisions with confidence. 

Head οf User Experience & Design at ITML, Matthaios Mantzios, strongly believes that a data-driven technique is crucial to the success of a product. 

“By harnessing user analytics and feedback, designers receive invaluable insights into user behavior, choices, and pain points, empowering them to make knowledgeable choices that optimize their digital experiences.”

Data is not just graphs and charts. The researchers at Spotify successfully helped to meet the business goals by creating user-centric and enjoyable experiences. To find out how their users interact with their product across different environments, Spotify collected observational data, using eye-tracking glasses. This method was relatively non-intrusive, allowing users to be natural and go about their daily lives. 

Spotify researchers collected valuable attention data from the participants and how Spotify was fitting into the participants’ lives. The researchers managed to observe how Spotify was being used by participants in different environments – from commuting on a subway, studying for an exam in a library, to baking pastries at home.

The eye-tracking data allowed researchers at Spotify to better understand fine details of users’ interactions with the application. Researchers followed up with in-depth interviews, to build off the observational eye-tracking data. Through these insights about the variety of ways in which users experience the app, Spotify was able to push and explore new interaction models and design new experiences, tailored to their users. 


Eye-tracking glasses allow researchers to observe how users interact with a product while going about their daily lives. TOBII PRO GLASSES 3 is an example of the modern eye-tracking devices that allow researchers to obtain quality behavioral data in any environment.

#2 Ensure that design is relevant to users, even after product launch

A business can understand the needs and problems of users from UX research. If an organization does not have a clear understanding of the target audience, it becomes uncertain whether proposed design will be relevant, resulting in potential failure of the product. A product might look beautiful, but if a user does not properly understand how to use it, gets lost while navigating, or feels that it does not solve their problems – why would they continue to use it? Through UX research, one can discover certain trends in user journeys, even after a product launches, and learn how to increase user satisfaction. Enjoyable and inclusive products can lead to increased user loyalty. 

Airbnb’s design lead, Vibha Bamba, documented how some UX teams may mistake a product launch as the end goal. By observing user behavior and interactions with their global check-in tool, Vibha and her team managed to discover new ways that users were repurposing their newly-launched tool. Firstly, upon launching the check-in tool, the team instantly discovered that some Airbnb hosts were repurposing the tool to create help guides about how their household appliances work.

Airbnb’s check-in tool allows hosts to create check-in guides and instructions

An Airbnb host using the check-in tool in a way that was unexpected – to create a household appliance guide.

Additionally, some cross-cultural tensions were also discovered after launch. For instance, some Airbnb guests may feel unsafe collecting keys that are left in public places, but guests from other cultures may view it as a norm. As such, Vibha emphasizes how there will always be opportunities to discover potential improvements to your products’ user experience post-launch, through user research and empathetic observations that can address user needs. She feels that we can view a product launch as “the halfway mark”, and start noting observations to constantly evolve the product’s design and experience.

#3 Achieve significant costs and time savings

With UX research incorporated into the early stages of the product development cycle, teams are able to validate or reject hypotheses before allocating resources and effort into development. Investing in UX research helps to avoid facing the consequences of releasing or deploying products that do not meet user needs. Although investing in UX research requires investment in the early stages, it will help to save both money and time as the product develops and evolves.

Forrester Research estimates that as many as 50% of potential sales fall through because users can’t find the information they need. An IBM research states that 3 out of 5 users think that a positive user experience is more influential than strong advertising,

Investing in UX Research may help you save time and money, in the long-run.

The cost required for UX research varies, depending on the research method used. In-person research will definitely require more resources than remote research. UX consultant, Jim Ross, reveals how remote research can reduce cost with regards to facilities and equipment. Incentives given to participants are lower, as remote research requires less from the participants in terms of travel and time to coordinate. Remote research also allows the recruitment of participants from multiple geographies globally, which may make it easier to find participants who fit the criteria. Furthermore, remote research sessions may provide participants with comfort, especially those that have performance-anxiety in an in-person research environment. Being in their comfort zone and familiar surroundings, users share feedback naturally, leading to accurate findings.

Although more resources and effort may be required, in-person research allows us to observe participants and listen to their feedback directly. Researchers will also be able to take note of participants’ non-verbal cues, which could reveal a lot about their feelings and provide valuable insight; this might not be possible in a remote setting unless the sessions are fully recorded. It is also easier to have a form of control on the attention of participants, and they are able to clarify any doubts right away, improving the effectiveness and efficiency of the research. Also, conducting UX research sessions in-person reduces the risk of connectivity issues, and participants do not have to rely on their own devices.

Investing in UX research has its benefits, but it is crucial to select the right research technique based on the project’s situation, resources available and deadlines set.

#4 Stay competitive in the market

A good part of UX research is done in the form of competitor analysis. Brands vie with one another to turn their users into advocates, so UX research may be essential to identify what is working or not working in the market, and what are some gaps that can be exploited to gain an advantage over direct competitors.

Direct competitors usually offer similar products or services to the same target audience, and product features usually overlap one another. It is evident that Instagram reacted to TikTok’s emergence with the release of their “Reels” feature in 2020, which mimics TikTok’s content format. TikTok released “Notes”, a lifestyle platform that supposedly allows users to express their creativity by sharing text and photos about their daily lives. 

Product Hunt: TikTok releases Notes, their answer to Instagram

In an increasingly competitive digital world where users have a proliferation of choices and alternatives, do not allow your brand to fall behind; constantly shine the spotlight on your brand and product, by putting in the effort to understand what existing users really need, and also appeal to prospective customers.


Unlock the true potential of your products

Understanding UX can be a long process of trials and errors. Start unlocking the true potential of your products and discover how you can grow your business by understanding your users. 

UXArmy, a cloud-based Remote User Research platform, can help you achieve your goal of conducting effective and efficient UX Research. User test anything, with five different types of user testing features available on the platform: 

  • Unmoderated Usability Testing
  • Moderated User Interviews (DeepDive)
  • Card Sorting
  • Tree Testing
  • Surveys

If you are passionate about user-centered design, you can contribute to the UX community by sharing your feedback and experiences to help brands grow. Best of all, you get paid to do so! Join the UserAdvocate community here.

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