Although the designing part is considered the most essential in any project, some prior research wouldn’t cause any harm. Actually, it might end up being more productive than you think.
Author Christopher Murphy talks about the importance of undertaking user research on a renowned online portal for web designers and developers, smashing magazine. But before that, ask yourself the following questions before you proceed further; What do my customers want to get done? What are their goals and what are they trying to achieve?
Although research is an essential backbone to any design, there are some other aspects to be considered which are to be emphasized on the same level. They are prototyping, building and testing. Importance given to all these factors will ultimately benefit any project on a whole new level. To those who think research is something that isn’t affordable, they might as well scrape off the project as it is almost equal to designing without having the users in mind.
Can always come in handy when trying to understand user needs and driving factors. This can be carried by means of interviews, both Structured and unstructured. Contextual inquiry can also prove to be useful as they’re informal and more accurate as the interviewee is in his own work environment. Card sorting can be advantageous by helping you sort out the information gathered to arrive at better conclusions.
Can be carried out to check the intensity of compliance to your assumptions. Surveys and questionnaires can be issued to gather opinions in huge numbers. Analytics, a very persuasive tool can help arrive at conclusions from the data. Finally, the A/B testing can help choose between two alternates, A and B and test their effectiveness.
With a proper balance of outputs from both qualitative and quantitative researches, gain an upper hand while executing your designs. Because when you step into the shoes of your users, you find the path that satisfies them the most.
Via: Smashing Magazine