Did I compare a UX researcher to Legolas? Yes, I probably did. This article will convince you that researchers are mythical beings that you should discover and hire to your team. UX researchers will analyze the interactions of users with the design and determine the future steps in the process. The question that many companies ask is if it pays off. The article will discuss reasons why it is worth it to hire a UX researcher.
Who is a UX researcher?
To be clear, a UX researcher does not have to be fluent in Sketch, InVision, Axure, Figma, or Photoshop. Don’t ask him to remove your second and third chin or make your wedding website. A UX researcher is a professional who is studying the behavior of users and their interaction with the design.
A researcher comes to the process before the product is even designed. Is there a need for a certain product? If yes, what exact features are needed, are there products that are already solving the product, and is there a way how to improve them? This does not mean that you have to fire a UX researcher when coding the product. Engage a researcher in the whole process and observe the magic. Data from research can navigate toward better decisions regarding marketing or business models of the product.
UX researchers are studying the behavior of users and the way they deal with the product. Empathy and an open mind are tools of UX researchers. It means that they should be good psychologists. UX researchers are the best people you can invite for a cup of coffee after work to talk about marital problems.
What does a UX researcher do all day?
Okay, so the UX researcher is not designing anything, but how is he studying human behavior? Is it like House M.D., Sherlock, or the Mentalist? UX Researcher is conducting quantitative or qualitative research. It may sound interesting, but research takes time before and after the actual research. Planning, creating hypotheses, writing perfect tasks, and searching for participants are time-consuming. UX researchers are also spending a lot of time with users. They are either interviewing them, writing notes, or analyzing their behavior. This is the reason why UX researchers are often good psychologists.
UX researchers can rely on many tools that are making their work easier. With UXtweak researchers can test the usability of the website and record sessions with respondents. This tool will record all the interactions with the design, every scroll and click. Researchers can review the behavior of respondents and analyze data.
Data analysis is another story. UX researchers are also spending a lot of time analyzing data and evaluating results. Researchers are translating the data to all members of the team who will decide what is the future of the product. UX researchers are working with data-based decisions, not intuitive ones that can be biased. Learn more on writing perfect usability testing questions with us.
Why hire a UX researcher?
1.Finding the direction of your project
UX researchers are good with data. The goal of findings from the analysis is to recognize limitations of the current design and possibilities for improvement. They can identify what users want, need, and hope for. What is better than that? It even makes a magic ball look like an amateur. UX researchers are helping you not to lose track of what is important and what is not.
2.UX researcher will save your money
Do you know the saying: I can’t afford to buy cheap? This is something similar. Many companies can’t afford bad decisions and dead ends. Don’t spend money on cool features and widgets that are not needed. Your customers don’t need such filters. They find it difficult to navigate. Understanding your users is the key to success. It can’t happen without a UX researcher. This means that at the end of the day, you will save your budget when hiring a researcher.
3.UX researcher will save your time
The equation is simple: more dead ends means more time. One famous Greek philosopher once said: Ain’t nobody got time for that. This is the reason why many companies fail even though their ideas were great. They are spending money and time on things that their users don’t need. How to prevent that? Rely on science and conduct usability testing.
UX researchers need time for conducting high-quality research. On the other hand, their time is leading to important findings that can influence the whole product. It is worth it. Are you familiar with usability testing?
4.Better communication in the team
It happens quite often that professionals within the team are struggling with communication. They are looking at the product from their perspective without understanding others. UX researchers can separate bullshit and biased opinions from reality and the actual data. The communication will go smoother because of the clear instructions and directions from UX researchers.
UX researchers can help coders to find bugs or technical errors, designers with a clear vision of design, marketers with an understanding of users’ behavior. Product managers can cooperate with UX designers to create effective business strategies. UX researchers are not only bringing value to themselves but also for the whole team.
5.Growth of the business
By understanding human behavior, and the ways how users interact with the design, the business itself can benefit. Your company will be competitive, innovative, and unique. Finding UX researchers can give you insight and show opportunities for growth. Having a UX designer in your team can be the important element that takes you one step further from the other companies in the field.
Extra tip: Show your users that they are important to you, that you are interested in making their life easier. Publish your findings, write case studies, let your users participate in your usability research.
What to look for in a UX researcher when hiring?
A tight budget is a reason why many companies hire a UX designer with the hope that the person will cover all aspects of UX, even more. Did you find somebody who will design, code the app and create marketing strategies? Something doesn’t seem right. But what qualities should a UX researcher have?
Your candidate UX researcher should have sufficient experience in understanding the methodology of research. They should know how to conduct research, how to find participants, and analyze data. The person should have good communication skills to bring people from the team together. It is important that the person can present the result and report the findings in a clear way. You are probably looking for a critical thinker who is open-minded toward trying unconventional methods and innovative approaches.
UX researcher is a cherry on top
Without a UX researcher, you could be developing a product that no one wants or needs. Even if it is interesting to users, you will lose their interest because it does not reflect their needs, intentions, and expectations. The question that you should ask is not: do you have a budget for a UX researcher but do you have a budget for not affording a UX researcher?
Reduce bullshit. Cut what is unnecessary. Work with data. Understand the needs of your users. Good UX researchers can prevent you from making wrong decisions.