UX Research Discovery Best Practices

Goals

To obtain best practices on conducting UX research for software development, and further establish why UX research is crucial to developing the best digital products.

Early Findings

  • UX research is the foundation for effective designs that yield the best experience for users. Experts suggest that basic contextual research and strategic & tactful research are integral aspects of UX research.
  • As a UX researcher, it is critical to begin the design process by listening to the end-user to avoid any possibilities of biases.
  • In the discovery phase of UX research, it is critical to analyze the unexpected and unexplained as essential sources of ideas for improvement.
  • According to Limina, “A discovery phase is meant to reduce the risk of failure and ensure that when you launch your products—such as web, mobile or computer applications—and IT systems you have maximized the potential of the project.
  • One of the best practices in UX research is to begin the discovery process with a “thorough UX project scope that includes stakeholder workshops and interviews, along with a service or product walkthrough and an overview of known user experience and usability pain points.”
  • For the best digital product experiences, UX researchers should take a bottom-up approach to ensure that critical user needs and cultural considerations are uncovered at the discovery stage and implemented in the design process.
  • An example of a well-executed discovery phase was in the case of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) when it was redesigning its digital infrastructure.
  • A thorough discovery phase was conducted that included business analysis, stakeholder workshops, employee, public audience segmentation, and an audit of current state technology.
  • The team utilized the empathy-based research and analysis, focusing on process efficiency, user experience, and ease of use of the digital infrastructure.
  • The successful project resulted into a better digital infrastructure that put a “higher degree of emphasis on strategic direction, tactical requirements, and project scope for internal digital infrastructure to best support the internal employees who are charged with the creation, collaboration, and management of their internal and public digital assets as a critical factor necessary for improving citizen engagement. ”

Summary

  • Our initial research yielded some best practices around UX research and its importance in the design process. We also found a case example of a well-executed discovery phase in UX research.
  • We believe that more hours of research will reveal a wealth of information and provide more insights into the best practices for UX research and its value in developing digital products.
  • Feel free to select one or more of the options provided in the proposed scoping section below.

Proposed next steps:

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