In a previous article of our blog we talked about the importance of return on investment by having a good user experience, this time we will share with you the steps you must follow to provide a good user experience and stand out from your competition.
What is UX?
Let's start with the first thing: remembering the most basic and important information in this process. User experience or UX focuses on understanding the needs and desires of users and thus designing digital products that satisfy them.
Why conduct research?
The key to have a good UX is to know the failures and successes of your platforms, as well as the impression that users have of your product. Below we share with you the process and tools you should take into account to do the research correctly. Remember that there are countless tools and ways to carry out a UX research, but here you will find the basic steps to do it.
The research tools
The first step of any research should be the one that allows you to get to know the users you are going to work for, i.e. you will have to start by interviewing users to get first-hand information about their interests, needs and desires. There are many ways to conduct these interviews, they can be in person, by phone, by video call, they can even be structured (i.e., with questions already planned) or unstructured.
The latter allows the interaction to be more dynamic and the user can provide you with information in a more fun way.
Just as we recommend using interviews, you can also make use of surveys, since they can provide you with quantitative data about users and their needs, you will recover data such as: size, audience composition, habits and preferences.
Conducting them may take you more time because you must find a way to apply them, it can be in social networks or through email lists, you must take into account that many users ignore online surveys, so do not expect a huge bank of responses.
Data or task analysis
Another tool that will be useful is the data or task analysis, the name is very general, but it is really because you should think about the data that will be useful to you. You can use web analytics tools such as Google Analytics to know how your users use the website. Another option is to see in real time or test yourself how you would execute certain tasks, which goes hand in hand with the following tool.
Usability tests are those that are performed directly on the technological product to be improved. Basically, it evaluates the usability of the product, they can be done online or in person, formally or informally, you can do them yourself or a third party who does not know the product to analyze what level of simplicity it presents, what are its usability problems and what improvements can be made in the design of the product.
You don't need to have a large group of specialists or spend a lot of money, testing with a group of five people will allow you to find bugs and flaws as well as with a large number of people.
It consists of showing the user two slightly different prototypes to ask for comments, you can even ask for a list of pros and cons, at the end you can make the user choose the prototype of their preference.
Empathy maps are an excellent way to visualize user needs and desires. To build them you will need to start from the information gathered during user interviews and other forms of research you have conducted. They can be useful for better understanding users' emotions and motivations.
They consist of four main sections:
- "What I see": focuses on the physical and contextual aspects of the user, such as their environment, appearance and behavior.
- "What I hear": focuses on the sources of information and opinions the user receives and the external influences that may affect their behavior.
- "What I think and feel": focuses on the user's thoughts, feelings and emotions, including concerns, desires, frustrations and fears.
- "What I do": focuses on the user's actions and behaviors in relation to the product or service in question, including the solutions he uses and the goals he pursues.
It is a powerful tool that helps UX designers better understand users and create solutions that meet their needs and desires. In addition, it is useful for communicating information about users to other members of the design team and project stakeholders.
Card sorting is a card sorting technique that helps designers understand how users group and organize information.
You will have to gather users and provide them with a series of cards that represent different elements of the interface you are analyzing, such as buttons and menus, so that they can sort them into groups according to their logic.
This information will be very useful for the organization and design of the information in your final product.
Heat maps are a way to visualize user attention patterns on a web page or mobile application. They use eye-tracking or click-through data to show the areas of a page or app that receive the most attention.
They are useful for identifying problem areas in the interface and making design improvements. The parts of the page that users interact with the most are marked with red and orange.
What are their types?
- Motion maps: These show where users place their mouse while navigating a website.
- Scroll Maps: these show redder areas of websites as they have been viewed by more visitors.
- Click Maps: these show, using a romantic scale, which are the places where most users click on a website.
Applications that can help you do the research
If you have followed our posts on social networks or previous articles on our blog, in BluePixel we have a great interest in artificial intelligence and how it can make our life and work easier, so below we leave you recommendations that can make it easier for you to perform User Experience research.
For usability testing we recommend:
- Applause (https://www.applause.com/): It will help you to test with real users and experts that will give you feedback on your platform.
- Maze (https://maze.co/): It is a great help for testing everything from wireframe to prototype.
As far as specialized tests are concerned, some of the applications you can use are:
- Livinglens (https://www.medallia.com/livinglens/): allows you to analyze recorded interviews about your platform's user testing, automatically extracting the most valuable insights.
- Voxpopme (https://site.voxpopme.com/): You will be able to launch surveys, but in video format and get answers to specific questions, like the previous application, it helps you to analyze the interviews by the tone of voice that reflects the user's feelings, the most repeated words and the most valuable insights.
As for the video interviews that you will conduct, you surely already know, but we will list some that we recommend are Google Meet (https://meet.google.com/), Zoom (https://zoom.us/) and Skype (https://www.skype.com/en/). They are the best known by most people, have a very intuitive and comfortable interface, and also allow you to record your sessions so you can consult them at another time. Others are BlueJeans (https://www.bluejeans.com/), Gotomeeting (https://www.goto.com/es/meeting) and Whereby (https://whereby.com/), in this case we recommend you to use the one you prefer, remember that they have paid versions that allow you to have longer calls.
Once you have conducted the interviews, you will need to transcribe the data, you can do it the traditional way, but there are also applications that can help you make this task much simpler and less cumbersome, such as:
- Transkriptor (https://transkriptor.com/): it recognizes a great diversity of languages, so all you have to do is upload your audio or video file and after a few minutes you will receive an email letting you know that the transcription is ready.
- Descript (https://www.descript.com/): one of the tasks it allows you to perform is the transcription, available in 22 languages.
- Otter (https://otter.ai/): This AI will allow you to take automated notes in real time of the meetings in which you conduct the interviews, and is also compatible with Google Meet and Zoom.
Similarly, to take notes when necessary, you can use the already known Google Drive and Evernote.
To apply the surveys you can help you with:
- Google Forms (https://www.google.com/forms/about/): allows you to create surveys in a simple way, even has templates so you can do it, it also has a section where you can view the results because it presents them in a simple and clean way.
- Survey Legend (https://www.surveymonkey.com/) also has the option to use templates to create your surveys, up to 10 questions in free version.
- Typeform (https://try.typeform.com/home/) this application allows you to link the results of your surveys with the application in which you are going to process your data, which makes the process easier.
For heat mapping, eye tracking and session recording the tools that can be useful for you are:
- Contentsquare (https://contentsquare.com/): this application does the work that a large group of experts could do for you, detects the areas that need improvement and gives you an approximate total of the loss to your business if you don't fix or improve those parts of the page.
- Eyequant (https://www.eyequant.com/): the application performs a test by itself based on several neuroscience studies, simulating how the user would go through the site, as a user would do, and giving you results promptly.
- Fullstory (https://www.fullstory.com/): this application maps
- UX Cam (https://uxcam.com/): in addition to providing heatmap analysis, it also gives you data on how much time the user spent in certain sections, as well as what kind of clicks they made.
These are just some of the applications that exist to facilitate the UX research process, try them out! By conducting research using various resources and following the different steps we listed above, it will help you get a more complete picture as a UX professional and you will be able to better understand your users to design digital products that satisfy them.
In BluePixel we are specialists in UX Design and UI Design, so if you want to leave in expert hands the UX research of your digital product, we are the best option, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, if you want to learn more about how a good user experience influences the return on investment, see our article on the subject. Don't forget to stay tuned to our social networks and website for more news.