“In design, you’re solving for user needs and business goals. In research, you’re solving for a lack of information.” — Erika Hall
You’ve probably heard the term User Experience (or UX) before. Tech companies use it when talking about their approach to product development. But what are they actually talking about?
User experience (UX) Design
User experience refers to any interaction users have with our products. It begins the moment they open the application and start their first task, and describes how they feel when using it. User experience design covers the entire user journey, considering every single element that shapes the ultimate experience.
Here at Rex, our design team’s focus is on creating a product that provides you, the user, with a positive and relevant experience. The goal is for our user experience (UX) to be easy and fun while delivering pleasure and efficiency.
In the user research phase of design, we take a deep look at how people (our users) think. This understanding of their thought patterns, behaviours, expectations, motivations and needs allows us to identify product requirements and create products they love. There’s nothing worse than investing effort, time and money into a product that people do not want to use, due to its lack of user friendliness. Therefore it’s safe to say that user research is a crucial part of the design process - where we gather data from our users through a structured, investigative approach to make sure they will benefit from all our product design decisions.
Ultimately, these two disciplines complement each other. One struggles to exist without the other. That’s why, at Rexlabs, our UX Designers combine market and user research with strategy, design and product development to create products with a seamless user experience.
How can we efficiently perform user research across all departments?
Everyone that performs user research at Rexlabs spends a lot of their day talking to our users but so do people from other departments. Would it not be great if everyone who is talking to our users was able to ask unbiased questions that help generate useful data for our research processes?
In early 2020, one of our product designers, Johanna, identified some issues in our user research approach. She wanted to improve tooling, consistency in processes and spread her research knowledge across the company, in order to educate the rest of the business on the importance of user research in our growth process and customer satisfaction journey.
So, she suggested setting up a Research & Discovery department with a 6 month roadmap to improve research for all Rexlabs products.
Since, Jo has not just grown company-wide enthusiasm for user research by hosting workshops for all departments within the company on how to effectively perform user research, but also implemented a research repository, user insight Slack channel, user research themed lunch & learns as well as a newsletter. Additionally, we’ve fully established the use of our new research tool, Dovetail, allowing us to create consistency in planning, conducting and analysing research.
Through Jo’s workshops, our people have learned about planning and conducting research, with the focus on different research methods along with best practices around user interviews. There’s no point in knowing all about user research, when you don’t know how to ask the right questions that will deliver valuable answers for our research, after all. We’ve also learned how to best analyse, synthesise and share our research findings, as well as actionable steps to take next.
In a short space of time, our team has already gained a greater understanding of user research – which in turn has massively increased the amount of research based data we can leverage when generating insights. We’re excited to see where this journey will take us in the future and how much it will improve our clients’ interactions with our products.