Improving UX Research Practices in Your Organization

Text by Victoria Lorenzana, Product Manager at Smart Research, on how stakeholders can work on […]

Text by Victoria Lorenzana, Product Manager at Smart Research, on how stakeholders can work on improving UX Research practices in any company.

I have always been passionate about research, learning about the knowledge of users or consumers and their contexts. But what I like the most is the discovery of unmet needs, because that represents the opportunity to innovate. For this reason I started in the world of market research and, after a few years, I transitioned to become a UX Researcher.

When I was working in market research, I considered myself as an ally of my clients and although I put all my effort into knowing the complete context, I had the impression that I was missing an important part of the story. For example, knowing the feasibility of my recommendations, their feasibility to be implemented, their impact on the business and so on. Becoming a UX Researcher allowed me to know the complete story, so I was able to see the full picture and access all the information sources and previous insights to generate more strategic research projects. This transition challenges me to get familiar with new methodologies and to execute processes on my own.

If you are interested in improving UX Research practices on your business, let me share with some elements that, from my experience, add value and guarantee a successful and more strategic execution.

Well-defined research objectives

As a consultant I could be somewhat permissive with the already defined objectives that I received from my clients. After becoming a UX Researcher, though, I was able to accompany and guide the definition of research objectives, talk with stakeholders and ask them what do we want to know? Why? And, for what?

Right methodologies to get the right results

While in market research many times our clients already have a methodology in mind and we have a slight margin of suggestion, a key function of the role of UX Researcher is to design research projects. For this, we must consider what insights we already have and what we need to know in order to identify the best methodology.

Sample design, both for qualitative and quantitative projects

Knowing how to define a minimum recommended sample is key. While in market research we are committed to reducing the margin of error, in UX Research we are committed to efficiency.

In qualitative projects we seek representativeness, therefore the recommended minimum sample is 5 participants per segment. On the other hand, for quantitative projects we have to ensure that our sample is statistically significant by ensuring a good level of confidence. Currently there are several online calculators that can help you with this definition.

Storytelling in your results presentations

As a market research consultant, the presentation of results was a peak moment because it revealed our commitment to deliver on time. It was also my opportunity to provide added value, additional analysis, and recommendations for a more complete strategy. As a UX Researcher, the delivery of results is a key moment too, because it allows documenting the findings of the entire process where (ideally) the various profiles of the organization were involved.

In both scenarios, a good results report allows you to position yourself as a researcher. The report also becomes the foundation of a strategy that will allow the company to achieve objectives. The results report must tell a story.: it has to present the research objectives, what was done (methodology and sample) and the findings. But above all it must be clear enough so that anyone in the organization can read it without the need to consult the investigator.

In the next article, we will delve into each of these UX Research improving elements that will allow you to consolidate both in the field of market research and in the field of user experience.