User Experience Research

Category
  • User Experience

We design and build solutions with users. While many companies build products for users, but our experience shows that including users in the design process significantly improves the effectiveness, performance, and acceptance of solutions by their intended users. We achieve that through user research and more specifically, with integrated user testing.

  • User research
  • User testing
  • Focus groups
  • Usability testing
  • UX audit
Close up of UX Researcher in front of white board

What is user research?

User research is a phase that consists of several activities using multiple research tools and methodologies. These activities are undertaken by strategists, researchers and UX designers at the beginning of the design process in order to develop an understanding of users' behavior. At Solvers, we use secondary research, market and user trends analysis, focus groups and interviews to gather insights into users’ attitudes, habits, aims, pain points, and more. These findings help inform business decisions and scope products and opportunities. User research also provides us with insight into what users desire from a solution, which helps us to shape customer experiences and journeys so that they best reflect users’ motivation.

You use user research to inspire your design, to evaluate your solutions, and to measure your impact.

— Interaction Design Foundation

Focus groups

During our focus groups a representative sample of users participate in a moderated interview that is used to gather opinions, ideas thoughts and perceptions about a solution. Focus groups provide valuable information about what users require from the experience being studied.

What is user testing?

We know that designing together with users contributes to better solutions and better business practices. To achieve this we conduct user testing during the design process to inform solution design decisions. User testing is an ongoing and iterative process that provides a deeper understanding of individual users’ behaviors when using a digital solution. User testing is a critical part of the experience design process as it helps direct solution design, fix issues prior to development, cut development costs and ultimately increase ROI. During the user testing process we gather and interpret data about users and apply our discoveries to the UX. This allows us to make design decisions that are based on facts, not assumptions. It also allows us to achieve a high level of usability, which is essential to making any solutions a commercial success. Following each round of user testing, our partners receive a report highlighting key insights per demographic tested. This report helps to better business decision-making by providing valuable feedback directly from users, as well as informing and influencing design revisions.

Macbook, tablet and iphones with Solver designs on screen

S.core

We developed S.core to bridge gaps in most common industry usability studies that primarily examine technicalities in design. In common usability studies, solutions can be found usable, but does it mean the experience using them is enjoyable? Does it mean users will return to the solution? Usability alone, while it’s important, doesn’t tell the full story. Aaron Walter, author of Design for Emotion, once said that “Designers shooting for usable is like a chef shooting for edible.” Of course, solutions can function very well but will users find them credible to begin with, desirable enough to use and most importantly, do they offer a memorable experience that promotes repeat use?

Designers shooting for usable is like a chef shooting for edible.

— Arron Walter

Testing beyond usability

We use S.core to measure digital experiences from a user’s perspective. During this process we independently evaluate several data points and then later bring everything together into a total score. The total score positions the digital solution being studied on a quality scale so that we can predict its performance, success and achievements.

Usability

How easy did the user find the experience to use?

Findability

How easily did the user find the core experiences/features?

Desirability

How much does the user actually want the solution?

Credibility

How much confidence did the experience inspire for the user?

Comprehension

How easily did the user understand the value proposition?

Promotion

How willing is the user is to promote this solution or experience to a family or friend?

If the user is having a problem, it’s our problem.

— Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple Computers

UX Audit - Improving the experience of existing solutions

When working with existing solutions we start the process with a comprehensive UX audit process. This allows us to validate and measure the effectiveness of digital designs and experiences. The UX audit process consists of our S.core system as well as user testing to provide a tangible benchmark to evaluate experience improvement. After completing a UX audit we provide our partners with a full analysis of the testing data as well as recommendations for improvements, suggestions on innovation and tangible directions for next steps.

If you would like to learn more about the Solvers research and design process or the Solvers UX audit you can schedule a time to discuss it with us here.

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