The UX Research & Design Process
So, if UX design is all about creating a site that your users will find easy and enjoyable to use, the first step is about understanding their needs, wants, and expectations. Clearly, you must get to know your audience before you can solve their pain points. The way to do this is through user (or UX) research.
Only after gathering data about how your audience feel about your site – and drawing conclusions from it – can you design a website that actually caters for them. There are a number of different ways to conduct user research and gather such data, including:
- Session recordings: by using software that records user sessions, such as Mouseflow, you’re able to watch back and analyze real-life customers interacting with your site. If you notice multiple users encountering the same issue, it’s a good indication that this issue is affecting website performance.
- A/B testing: this is a great way to test different designs and allow your users to choose which one is most effective. Present your audience with two or more versions of the same webpage and see which one produces more desired actions (e.g. clicks) or a higher conversion rate.
- Customer feedback: although they may be deemed “old-school”, surveys and questionnaires are also a great way to gain invaluable insight into how customers perceive your website. However, keeping these surveys or questionnaires short and sweet is key.
The information that you gather during user research must be incorporated in the design process. For instance, you may notice through screen recordings that people are proceeding to checkout but then quickly abandoning their cart. This should prompt you to analyze your checkout process. Are there too many form fields? Are you providing enough payment options?
When you have drawn your conclusions as to why this might be happening, it’s now time to design a checkout that solves any UX pain points. Through continued user research, you will be able to see whether your hypothesis was correct. Has your shopping cart abandonment rate now dropped? Is it taking a shorter time for users to complete the checkout process? Your design decision should be constantly informed by real-life user research data.