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According to the Interaction Design Foundation, “UX (user experience) research is the systematic investigation of users and their requirements, in order to add context and insight into the process of designing the user experience.”

What does a UX Design Researcher do, typically?

Validate assumptions

UX Design Research is both quantitative and qualitative. Researchers set objectives, create hypotheses, and reach conclusions. Hopefully, their assumptions will be validated and supported by both the quantitative and qualitative data found in their research.

Guide product & service design

There are various types of research methodologies like focus groups, interviews, surveys, field studies, card sorting, journey mapping, testing, and more. Using these methodologies and a set of best practices, researchers are attempting to discover unbiased patterns and insights that will help guide product or service design.

Reduce product development time & costs

User research helps prevent scenarios in which a product is designed, built, and launched only to have it flop. UX Design Researchers keep the product on track by focusing on specific goals. When goals are clearly defined, there is less development work and reworking that needs to take place – saving both time and money.

UX Design Research misconceptions

Takes too long

User research helps its builders develop products that people will actually use and/or need. Research may also prevent builders from creating a product that isn’t necessary.

Costs too much

UX Design Researchers can actually contribute to ROI by saving time and money in the long run. The time and initial cost associated with performing thorough research prevents products from being reworked over and over again – or even scrapped. Research helps builders get the product right the first time.

Can be done by anyone

UX Researchers have a thorough understanding of research methodologies and best practices in the conducting of research. They are skilled at obtaining results that are as free from biases as possible.

Measuring UX design research effectiveness

Many of the metrics are qualitative. However, user research metrics are also tied to UX design decisions. Therefore, in order to measure the impact of user research in an organization, data and success stories that prove a significant ROI can be used. For example, “In product A, user research insight B informed design decision C. Design decision C was successful in D,E, and F ways.”

Bonus copy for your UX Design Research Specialist job description or job ad!

Copy the following text and paste it into your own job description, or, into our downloadable template in the section that looks like this:

As a UX Design Research Specialist  at <Company XXX>, you’ll get to do more than conduct surveys and focus groups. Your expertise in research methodologies and best practices will lead to ground-breaking user designs. More specifically, you’ll get to:

  • Create hypotheses, set research objectives, and reach unbiased conclusions
  • Conduct quantitative and qualitative research
  • Validate assumptions that will guide the product team’s designs
  • Discover patterns and insights through focus groups, interviews, surveys, field studies, card sorting, journey mapping, testing, and more
  • Keep the product design team on track by focusing on specific goals through user research objectives
  • Assist the product team in making design decisions that directly impact ROI – saving your clients’ time and money

free job description template

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