User experience research is a critical part of launching a website, app, or marketing campaign. Ideally, businesses should gain opinions from a representative sample of their audience to determine functional or design issues, or even the emotional response of the public.
Many companies use short surveys to learn more about their website design before they official launch or make changes. This method is ideal to gather basic information about the user experience. You may want to know how participants feel about any modifications to the website and if the website is intuitive to use. Open-ended questions can also help you gather more elaborate information from participants beyond simple, multiple-choice answers. Although businesses may not consider demographic differences in user experience by using short surveys, collecting this information may identify problems. For example, you might determine significant differences in user experience between sexes, racial, or income groups, causing you to go back and see what is contributing to this discrepancy.
Generally, finding design or functional flaws in a website, program, or app requires more extensive research, such as beta-testing. During this type of research, participants will spend more time using the website or program, and may even record their experience verbally. Some in-person beta-testing might involve cameras that detect eye movement and expressions as participants view and use a website or program. This allows researchers to see where participants look and possibly subtle changes their in their facial movements. Beta-testing for apps or software programs typically involves some form of error reports and regular surveys. Error reports will give you the opportunity to match any reported issues with what actually happens with use, making it easier to identify coding errors.
Businesses may hold online or in-person focus groups for user experience concerns, which can make it easier to address any possible problems that are sensitive in nature. Since a moderator has the opportunity to ask the group in-depth questions, they may be able to gain better information about the messages and imagery participants see during their experience. One concern, especially for retail stores, might be inclusivity and representation of different groups on their website and marketing campaigns. Information from participants might reveal lack of representation or products available for people with different body shapes and sizes, or certain groups may feel excluded.
Input from the public is an invaluable tool to help your business make good decisions. Research on user experience can minimize the amount of problems you face from poor design choices, technology problems, or bad marketing decisions. Get in touch with a user experience research company to learn more.