Tapping Into User Experience

UX research has become quite the buzzword over the past several years. If you’ve heard about it, most likely it was in the context of the digital world, in terms of app or website development. But you don’t have to be strictly in the business of app development to reap the incredibly valuable benefits of effective User Experience Research. UX research allows you to gain insights that aren’t just important, they’re rich and full of depth, allowing you to learn more about your consumers and your products.

What Sets UX Apart

More so than almost any other kind of research, UX research allows you to keep your product development on track. By focusing on how consumers interact with your product (or by extension, your brand), you can gain valuable insights into how your product is actually perceived and used.

Oftentimes, marketers and product developers can develop features and communications built on insights extrapolated from what we can loosely define “indirect research,” meaning research that provides more hypothetical data. They might look at how likely a consumer is to use a certain feature or what kind of impact a potential new feature has on that consumer’s likelihood to buy a product or service. But the fact of the matter is, research subjects have a tendency to respond in an idealistic manner.

For example, if I explained to you the nutritional benefits of eating more broccoli, and then asked you how likely you are to eat broccoli in your next meal, you may very well respond that you’re very likely to eat broccoli in your next meal. However, it’s entirely likely that even understanding the vegetable’s numerous nutritional benefits, you won’t actually eat broccoli because you just don’t like it.

UX research offers an avenue around this kind of idealistic response bias. By observing how your consumers actually interact with your product, you can make sure your product is aligned with actual consumer needs, not just the ones you would expect in an ideal scenario.

How the Insights Trickle Down

From this core benefit, you can take advantage of other benefits down the line.

  • Align your brand and products with your target consumers’ core needs
  • Build a user experience and journey tailored to your audience
  • Build cohesion and consistency across your product line and brand experience
  • Build products and services consumers will actually use again and again

In the past, we’ve looked at why our marketing communications should be designed with our customers in mind. But why stop there? UX allows us to design our actual products and services to our consumers’ needs, keeping our products and our brands relevant and valuable.

Last week, we took a look at pitfalls you can avoid on the road to developing effective research surveys.

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