Get to know the folks you’re inviting
It’s probably not the best, or the wisest strategy, to invite total strangers to a party. When it comes to our projects, that’s exactly how we feel at MxD. Depending on a project’s needs, we have numerous user research techniques up our sleeves. These techniques help us define which user groups should be priority and beyond. Doing so helps us put everything into context — from the likes and frustrations of users to making sure that we apply the best standards the user experience field brings to the table.
Here are some basic steps we like to take:
- Define primary user groups — This encompasses crafting a framework that defines the main user types.
- Conduct user research — This is pretty basic. It generally includes stakeholder and user interviews or surveys and the format this research is conducted in.
- Validate the user group definitions — Using the findings from the above two steps, this is where we solidify our user group models. Step 3 also defines the structure for the creation of personas.
- Generate user requirements — Generally these are statements and functions that a site, an app, or a portal may include. We take these requirements and align them with the business requirements and then transform them into project requirements.
Use facts — not opinions or assumptions
The essence of user research is at the pinnacle of “why user experience” as a whole. Spending effort and money on giving end-users what they want and need rather than what you think is right for them is a much simpler solution than finding out the cheaper, yet harder way.